Pain of los­ing things and the joy of find­ing

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - HARYANA - Dr Rana Preet Gill ranag­ The writer is a Hoshiarpur­based vet­eri­nary of­fi­cer

Los­ing things, es­pe­cially our pre­cious be­long­ings, is a pain we have all ex­pe­ri­enced. Yet, the joy of find­ing the lost stuff is a feel­ing that re­mains hard to de­scribe.

Keys, hand­ker­chiefs and um­brel­las are the things we lose with amaz­ing reg­u­lar­ity. It is ex­tremely stress­ful to lose your keys and phone. Today, a phone is a store­house of our con­tacts, act­ing as our link to the world. In ad­di­tional to the fi­nan­cial pain of re­plac­ing the lost phone, one has to deal with the stress of re­con­struct­ing the con­tact list.

Los­ing or mis­plac­ing keys cre­ates an­other ma­jor prob­lem. Dur­ing my stu­dent days at univer­sity, I had the habit of lock­ing up each and ev­ery­thing. So, quite nat­u­rally, I had a bunch of keys that were very pre­cious to me. Once, on re­turn­ing to my hos­tel from my home, I dis­cov­ered - to my hor­ror - that I was not car­ry­ing the bunch of keys. I broke into tears at the thought of un­der­go­ing the te­dious and cum­ber­some pro­ce­dure of break­ing all those locks. To my re­lief, my par­ents called up to let me know that the bunch of keys was at home. Fi­nally, I got them through a class­mate from my home­town, who was to come to hos­tel the next day.

For a day, how­ever, I had to bear the in­con­ve­nience of not be­ing able to ac­cess my own stuff in almi­rahs and trunks.

Loss of gold is considered in­aus­pi­cious.

Once, my mother lost a gold earn­ing in my an­ces­tral vil­lage. All daugh­ters-in-law were made to search for it, and when one of them found it, my over­joyed fa­ther gave Rs 500 to each of them, bring­ing smiles to their faces.

My daugh­ter, of­ten, mis­places stuff and goes on to cre­ate a ruckus. I tell her to take a deep breath and think of some­thing else, ad­vis­ing her that at home, things are rarely lost. Usu­ally, things get buried un­der a pile of clothes or are tagged with junk. Sooner or later, she finds her stuff, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing im­mense plea­sure.

A cou­ple of years ago, I lost a cap at a phone booth in Lud­hi­ana; mobiles were not ubiq­ui­tous then. I was mourn­ful; imag­ine my joy when I hap­pened to be at the same booth two weeks later to get the cap back from the kind shop­keeper. Yet, two weeks later, I lost the same cap in col­lege. This time, it was lost for good.

This taught me that los­ing things and get­ting them back, only to lose them again, is a vi­cious cy­cle that car­ries on, for­ever. A few days ago, I went to a chemist to buy some medicines, the names of which I had jot­ted down on the back of a diary. In that diary, I used to note mean­ings of dif­fi­cult words. It was my per­sonal

mini-dic­tio­nary. And, as you would ex­pect, I left it there and it has not been re­lo­cated yet.

I was re­ally an­guished at the loss of pages that had so much knowl­edge. I got my­self a new diary and started all over again to fill it with wis­dom and knowl­edge. I feel it is a loss that I can now re­gain twice over – with more read­ing and writ­ing.


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