The Things We Enjoy In Ways They Are Not Meant To Be

The Things We Enjoy In Ways They Are Not Meant To Be

Written by Nandini Sethi


There was a tune stuck in my head, but I couldn’t recall the name of the song. 

Agitated and vexed, I took a seat on the bus, aggressively mouthing the high-pitched notes of the tune. 

The old man seated next to me inevitably picked up on my disorientation and asked me very calmly,

“Son, what is it?” 

So, I explained to him my ordeal, 

But what I received in return was some bewildering advice that I realized made complete sense;

The old man, aged beyond his years, once again spoke, 

“Yes, but do you enjoy the song as much once you’ve heard a hundred times?” 

That made me think. 

The idea of the song is more interesting than the song itself,

And once the excitement of listening to it fades, 

There’s nothing left to wonder. 

Aren’t there a million things just like this, that we enjoy in a way different than it’s supposed to be?

Can you think of a few examples? 

Like you know how when your school announced a holiday for a certain event, 

But you end up relishing the day before the actual holiday? 

There’s a sort of eagerness, 

A sense of anticipation, while deciding what to order for dinner; 

But once you’ve eaten, 

Is it the feeling of fullness that you crave or the next round of hunger and anticipation? 

Elated, exhilarated, and eager: it’s your birthday! 

Weren’t the days counting down to it more wondrous than the day itself? 

Or the feeling of booking flight tickets

Over the feeling of being back home with a truckload of memories (despite having had a great trip?) 

Is there a reason behind all of this?
Is this some Force or Power’s way of telling us that nothing last forever,

That we must enjoy every little second of life that we’re given,

Even when we don’t know how, when, what, or where? 

I was jolted out of my thoughts as the old man dismounted the bus, 

Giving me a wave goodbye.

I smiled a little wider,

As I hummed the tune, hoping never to know it. 


Nandini Sethi
Nandini Sethi

Sometimes dolefully insightful, sometimes plain distressed state of mind, but always love. I think there’s a bit of love in everything we write. 

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