Life has three Ps… pursuit, promise, and perception. Each of us is seemingly pursuing a goal, a person, an idea, a thought, or an ambition. Our moments are full of promises to others, to our own self, to inanimate objects, and God. What we do and how we go about doing it is inextricably bound by our own perceptions. Believe me, there is no other P or any other word starting with any other alphabet that wouldn’t actually fit into one of these three.
So what made me zero in on these three Ps?
One moment years back gave me a thought that I carry with me still. As my wife and I were window-shopping in Connaught Place in Delhi, I stopped at one of the footpath book-sellers and began haggling for the right price.
Specky, my wife, turned the pages of a few books and said, ‘This one gives me a strange feeling. It appears like a second rate book.’
‘Second rate book?’
‘Yes, as if something went wrong with the printing or the binding and the publisher gave the entire lot to be sold on a footpath,’ said Specky.
I took her aside and whispered, ‘These are pirated issues and that is why they sell at such a low price. Do you think we can afford to buy them at the publisher’s price?’
Specky didn’t seem very convinced with what I was saying… and even I didn’t want to pursue the matter. We had been married for a few months and were still trying to understand the real person in each of us. We walked away from that seller but I noticed that Specky’s eyes were searching for something. And soon enough she apparently found what she was looking for, went into a small roadside kiosk and bought it. I had been asked to stay out.
She came out holding a small brown paper bag, a smile on her face, and excitement in her eyes. She handed it to me and said, ‘A memento from me and I know you’ll never misplace it.’
Gifts are always great to accept and I thanked her, opened the paper bag and saw this pin-up badge with ‘Fight Book Piracy’ written on it. I smiled and put it on my shirt.
Yes, that badge brought us closer… and it did more than just change my book-buying habits. This badge made the two of sit cocooned into each other to discuss all sorts of topics. We actually converged into each other through ideas and thoughts… and you know what our first discussion was all about?
It was about life. And that evening as I went to bed with that badge fixed on my khadi kurta, we made our first conclusion: The 3 Ps of life – pursuit, promise, and perception. So yes, the badge, even though it is a bit wrinkled, has a small dent and some rust, has dust inside its pin pores, is still firmly and proudly sitting the books in one of the shelves in our home library. We have never bought a pirated book. We have always talked to people about avoiding books that are pirated. Piracy is an issue that I’ve blogged about and spoken in debates and discussions. This is because of that day in the past when Specky went in a shop and bought a memento for me.
One moment… one memento… one philosophy. We’re happy.
26 March 2014