A couple of days ago, my elder daughter M, age 16, borrowed a formal churidaar-kurta ensemble from me to wear to a Diwali party with other teens. After trying it on, she busied herself with hair and makeup, until it was almost time to leave. Then, she asked me, “Where’s the dupatta? I had it just a minute ago.”
I smiled and replied, “This kurta doesn’t have a dupatta. I never got one made. I wear it just like that.”
She refused to believe me. “But I tried it on just a minute ago, it’s the same colour and it goes perfectly.” She kept rummaging in my cupboard and peeking about her room. My rational argument fell on deaf ears. She completely, irrevocably believed this kurta had a dupatta. She just hadn’t found it yet.
Suddenly, sitting on my bed, I recalled another ensemble of mine that had a dupatta in these colours. I dug it out from the corner of my cupboard, where it lay packed in plastic, the dry-cleaner’s tag still on. I interrupted her search and offered it to her: It was a perfect match. “See, I told you this kurta had a dupatta,” she said breezily as we left for her party. My explanations about where it had come from were irrelevant for her.
After dropping the kids, I was driving back alone, smiling about the whole event when a deep realization dawned on me. It didn’t matter where the dupatta eventually came from; in her reality, she simply got what she utterly believed in. There was not a trace of doubt in her heart that this kurta had a dupatta in its exact colours. And no matter how it came — no matter that someone’s memory in extracting another dupatta from the back of a cupboard had a role to play — she got what she expected and what she believed in.
It was enough cue for me to do some expecting and believing of my own. So I spoke aloud a couple of statements three times, and then to seal the deal, turned the volume of the radio really high. It was Adele belting out the original version of Skyfall. And to her stupendous vocals, I added the refrain: “So be it, so be it, so be it.” It was all very dramatic and goose-bump-inducing.
This Diwali, I wish my readers and everyone else in the world the fulfilment of their most impossible dreams, the attainment of the most complete joy, and the power to create their own destinies. Happy receiving!