Guest Article #29: For the Joy of Sharing

Lost and Found- A Blessing

By Meera Venkatesan
Learning Consultant, Performance Storyteller, Trainer, Creative writer, Bangalore

Foreword by Venkat
The best lessons in knowing the value of a thing come when we lose it. Meera in her simple style, joins the disconnected dots to form an embroidery of truth from her recent personal experience. We all have received a ‘refresher’ through the COVID pandemic to reconnect to the things that really matter and to regain ownership of the powers within. It is in the misplaced understanding of values that we often do not know what to hold on to and what to give up. Losing, then seems to be a great way to find ourselves back in the spirit we are endowed with. There is a wonderful tinge of humor in Meera’s writing which is eclipsed by the finishing lines that sets our thought rolling on a steady groove.

Enjoy in Meera’s words, the subtle force of life’s realities in finding the value of what we lose.

Meera is into Learning and Development for both K12 and corporates, specializing in designing and delivering story based, scenario based and experiential training. At present she is a Learning Consultant at Anahata United efforts, an NGO brightening lives with career education.

She also conducts and curates storytelling sessions for children as well as adults.

Lost and Found- A Blessing

I sniffed into each of the kitchen cabinet -nothing there. And yet as soon as I turned my nose back into the kitchen, there was that unmistakable stench. It was mysterious. This smell had haunted my kitchen the last 3,4 days and yet I had been unable to trace its source. In retrospect, I think the mystery bothered me more than the smell itself. But at that time there was no time or mind space, really for self-analysis.

We were bang in the middle of the COVID second wave. Everyone was working from home, including my house help, who was working from her home. So, household duties at home were divided, and fixed among all the members of the family. I was in charge of the kitchen. And this smell was just exploding in my head. Every morning, since I had spotted it, I spent the first forty-five minutes trying to trace it, oblivious to any other task. I am sure you can resonate with that feeling, that little worm that haunts us till you find what is behind it.

As with any other search, I solved a lot of unrelated mysteries in the bargain. I found something that had been missing from forever, discovered the untouched and pristinely dirty spots that my house help had dutifully avoided- but I could not find the source of the smell. I put back everything and decided to attack the loft the next day.

The next morning, I entered the kitchen and sniffed as usual. But to my surprise, the smell had just vanished! In disbelief, I sniffed all over the kitchen like a dog, but yes, the smell seemed to have found its way out! I was so happy that I didn’t even mind, when my daughter shouted out to me from the first floor and asked me to come up. This kind of long-distance communication inside the house would usually make me quite upset. Today I went up with a smile, but she was not smiling.

Her face was flushed and eyes tired. She looked feverish. Alarm bells rang and I immediately called the doctor. He asked me about other symptoms, any loss of smell, he asked. My daughter shook her head in the negative. As I turned to tell this to the doctor, something struck me, and I sniffed again. Nothing! I could not smell anything! I had lost it!
Just like many other families we went through the stress, the fear and the tension of COVID in the second wave. Thankfully we came out of it that time. The fear for my loved ones drove the thought of the smell right out of my mind.
After the quarantine period, my house help could finally come. The moment she entered the kitchen, she sniffed and said, “What is that smell?” I sniffed, took a deep breath, and drank in the smell and the realization that I had found my sense of smell! What a blessing!

I don’t know when the mystery smell did vanish or why it had visited me. But it brought with it a lingering realization about how easily we discount what we have. And again, just like many others, this pandemic taught me to count my blessings that I had lost and found. March 20th was World storytelling day. The theme this year was Lost and Found. I dedicate this story to Lost and Found.

By Meera Venkatesan

Guest Article #30: My Favorite Word

Guest Articles: Archives

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