A couple of months back my sister lost her diamond set mysteriously. She had gone to another city for around 3 weeks and returned to find out her cupboard was unlocked and the casing which guarded the jewellery was empty. The police questioned the room-mates and the domestic help, but in the end the cased was closed and sent into a limbo.
For a few days my sister was inconsolable. Living alone in a foreign city, she had never had any hiccups until this. This incident provoked a thought in my mind. Is our love for objects so ginormous? I tried to calm her down by saying that it was just a materialistic thing, and we should not cry for them. Lord Buddha went to the extent saying we should not be emotionally attached to human beings, then the diamond set was just an inanimate object. In a few days, she got over it and my dad bought her a new set. I was happy that my philosophy worked.
A similar incident happened to a friend. He lost his laptop in college. He was totally devastated in the aftermath. He went into a depression. Listening to songs like ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ and ‘Yesterday’ all the time. I know, even I can’t live a single day without my laptop, but I still thought, what is the big deal? How can people develop such a bond with things that are bought.
The other day I was staying at my brother’s house for the night and went out for a walk all alone. I had planned for a perfect night, with my book and i-Pod within my sight and Germany v/s Portugal just a few hours away. So while walking I was pre-occupied with exciting thoughts and was walking frenziedly. A few minutes later I randomly checked my pocket and had a mini cardiac arrest there and then. I had lost my cellphone. Now, this is not an uncommon event for most of the people, and usually in the end the cellphone turns out to be in some other pocket. That is what I expected for the first few moments, but it was clear that I had indeed lost it. Shattered, I went back into the house and tried to focus my mind on reading. I called my parents through the landline and said my phone’s battery was dead.
Now came the part of self-consoling. I ate a lot of ice-cream to ease out the stress, but nothing helped. In the end I switched off the light, laid down on the bed, put the earphones and started the mental strife. The brain, and the dark side of the brain, as I fondly call it, started the debate, making immaculate conclusions. It started with the lecture on materialistic things. I tried hard to make myself understand what I so neatly explained to my sister. But when the nail is in your heart, only then you can feel the real pain. I had wet my eyes and the heart ache was strong.
A cellphone becomes a daily part of your life. It is your closest friend, anywhere and everywhere. We almost care for it like it was a baby. Keeping it close and safe, charging it regularly, showing affection to it, shouting at it and finally using it to kill time. Hours after I had lost my cellphone I still kept looking for it to see the time, every slight vibration made me think it was it. All I kept thinking was about all the things I had lost with my phone. The numerous contacts, heart to heart chats, high scores in games and a perfect mp3 collection, they were all gone. It had become clear, materialistic things do become an important part of your life.
People mostly face these situations at some part of their life and it is always painful. For example people who lose their wallets, don’t exactly cry for their money, but for the loss of a friend who always stayed in their pocket. Losing a laptop now seems an occurrence so harsh, I’ll rather go for a death sentence.
Although it isn’t right, but loving the materialistic things is inevitable, unless you are determined to follow Buddha and attain Nirvana(I’ll prefer LSD). The love does not happen because you ‘buy’ these things with hard earned money, but because as time flies you develop a relationship with them and become dependent on them. When something becomes a part of your daily routine it is hard to imagine a life without it.
The pain is short lived and vanishes with a replacement, but the enormity of those heart aches proves that though we claim otherwise, we all are living in the material world, and it is hard to cut threads.