Way back in college, I bought a Chambor kajal for myself. Considering I wasn’t earning back then, the purchase appeared to be very steep. 300 bucks for black paint didn’t seem like a wise decision to many. But I wanted it (I can be a little stubborn) and so, I bought it. As it turns out, it is the best kajal I have used in my life. It doesn’t smudge, it doesn’t drip, it is waterproof, it has an in-built moisturiser, and it gives your eyes a lovely deep black look. In short, it is just perfect. (Ladies, you know what kajal to buy now.) Recently, I got a friend to buy the same thing for herself. I told her, that it may be a little expensive, but it is an investment worth making.

...and that has made all the difference!

Yesterday, I returned from Bangalore. It was my first trip to the city. I’ve been meaning to go down for almost a year now as my closest friends have relocated because work beckoned. It was supposed to be my “vacation”. A few alignments changed that didn’t leave me with much to do in the once Garden, now IT city (which has a lot of trees) so, I decided go to ahead some 5 hours from B’lore and visit Coorg. I was nervous as hell with a few plans going awry as we started out. However, I have returned a little tanned and very satisfied. It has been a fabulous vacation. I will not write a long “essay” on what I did and where I went and the likes, but I will say just one thing—if you’re planning to go on a vacation and have shortlisted Coorg as a destination, please go there. It’s a wonderful place. What struck me most and I remember very vividly, are the roads in Coorg. During the day, the roads are a tar ribbon embedded between coffee plantations on either side and Gulmohar trees in full bloom. And at night, the markings on the road look like you’ve drawn white lines on a clean, black, smooth slate. The roads are a pleasure to be driven on. And the weather? The weather wakes up like an angry man with a hot temper in the mornings who cools down as the day progresses. A little shower of rain during the afternoon adds respite and provides delight. As a tourist, you have a lot to do in Coorg. I went elephant riding, fed deers, saw rabbits, took a dip in the river Kaveri, visited a Tibetan Monastery, and stayed in a fairy tale-like cottage. I also saw the Mysore palace. And, I bought souvenirs for loved ones back home. After 5 days of unwinding and spending quality time with my close friends, I am happy to have taken this vacation. It was an investment worth making.

In recent times, I’ve had events when I was left wondering, “What the hell am I doing?” Those instances might have been the ones that, maybe, I shouldn’t have invested my time and energy in. But how I am to know that they were not worth the effort? Somehow, I am a person who has no placeholders in her life. Placeholders? Let me explain. Every person who is close to me holds a unique place in my life; a place that I cannot give anyone else. And luckily, I have some wonderful people in my life, so much so that they make up integral parts of the person I am. Each person is a metaphor; one is a pillow and another a sounding board; one is an alter ego and another is a prankster; one is a mirror and another is a pillar; one is a detour and another is a teacher; and so on. Just like a sounding board cannot do what a mirror does in real life, neither of them can take each others’ place. And that is why I think the people in my life are irreplaceable. It has happened that maybe, one or two of them has chosen to stray away, but I cannot put a placeholder for those people. For example, I’d rather do without my “pillow” but I couldn’t replace it with another. So, who is to say that it was an investment that wasn’t worth making? No one!

Six weeks prior to my vacation, I’ve spent a lot of time at work. It used to leave me drained, inaccessible to my family and friends, and occasionally flustered. I put in a little more of myself than I could. And today, as I rest at home, I am honestly looking forward to going to work tomorrow. That’s because I learn a lot in that place. I learn how to manage a dozen things. I learn how important time is. I learn how we need a break from time to time. I learn that every person has something to offer. I learn a little bit of Html. I learn that almost everyone has issues with commas. I learn that Mumbai is a great and humble city. I learn that it is important to understand that people can be unreasonable, but not without a reason! I learn that even the best can go wrong. I learn that every day in life is a learning process. And so, I think every day that I have spent at my workplace is a great investment I have made.

It’s easy to spot things in life. We just need time. More importantly, we need to make time. Every day we put ourselves and our money into many things. Each day, we make investments; sometimes a little less, sometimes by the measure and sometimes beyond measure!

 – Sameen