It was a winter evening. I and my friend were enjoying a hot plateful each of soft and juicy steamed Momos in Dilli Haat. We generously dipped each morsel in the spicy chili sauce and marveled sinfully at these little pleasures. The weather, the scrumptious food and the conversation was just elating.
Our conversation turned towards ‘the definition of being fulfilled in life.’ ‘What is that one thing that makes you feel fulfilled?’, she asked. I, in my simple observation replied that ‘I have a 9-5 job, I earn for myself and contribute to my family, and I feel that my life is fulfilled.’
I posed the same question to my friend and her answer left me in awe. Not because she said something so far-fetched but because her truth was so simple.
My friend is a Phd, is married and has a beautiful child. She chose not to work and rather follow her passion. She creates art and sells her creations. She has earlier had a corporate job but that single experience left her so drained out that she made it a point to never associate with it again. I found this decision rather weird and personally tagged her fragile hearted. She has a flourishing painting business now, and sells her art in various places, Dilli Haat being one. People even buy her work from her exhibitions. In the art circle, she is a known name.
She told me that she feels fulfilled every day for different reasons. First when she rises with the sun and goes for a run. Seeing the sun rise makes her feel alive every day she says.
Secondly, she feels fulfilled when she sees her daughter. After her baby arrived she has always stayed by her side. She has been the sole witness of all her daughter’s first feats – yawn, stand, walk, laugh. Her resolve to stay away from the corporate was made even stronger after her daughter arrived. ‘I did not want to miss out on my daughter’s life’ is what she had said.
Thirdly she said she feels fulfilled about the hot meals that she lovingly prepares for her little family. Nothing gives one a better feeling than nourishing your loved ones.
Lastly her painting shop. Following her passion and getting money for doing exactly that is one of the greatest blessings she believes she has. It was a tough decision though, and required a lot of hard work to actually carve out a niche all by herself. She can now proudly call herself an entrepreneur.
‘You know Priyanka’, she said, ‘I spend an hour to eat my breakfast. I relish every bite that I take. I meditate and have the time to reconnect with myself. I water the flowers in my garden. These little pleasures give me immense satisfaction. Had I been in the corporate madness I would have missed out on so much in life.’
As I made my way back home I could not help but think of my own life. It is a blur five days a week. I have never seen the sun rise. I eat food out of machines and cans. I don’t get the time to exercise. I do not exactly do what I like. Mostly, when sometimes I do something worthwhile, the masterpiece gets tagged under the company’s name and not mine.
I always prided at being an independent working woman. I always thought that those who are not in the corporate world miss out on so much, the money, the corporate parties, the new friends, and the independence. But looking at my entrepreneur friend I realized it is actually the other way around. I am the one missing out on my life.
On the metro, my friend’s question reverberated in my ears. ‘What is that one thing that makes you feel fulfilled?’ Well, this is a question I realized that I still needed to find an answer to. What about you?