Count your blessings and be happy


Away from home on his first job and living independently, my son was, somehow, able to manage food but laundry was a big hassle for him. Unable to cope, he decided to buy a fully automatic washing machine. There was a palpable excitement in Anshul’s voice when he exclaimed on the phone, “Washing machine is the best home appliance to have been invented.”

Unable to decide and comment, I kept quite but the remark became a trigger for me to reflect over umpteen gadgets and appliances that have made my life easy and comfortable. Going down the memory lane, I realize how much my mother toiled from morning to evening. While she did all the household chores manually, I have a battery of gadgets to assist me.

I recall the messy and smelly kerosene stove in the kitchen when I was a kid.  I wonder how mother managed to cook on a single burner for the entire family and also for the whole lot of guests pouring in from time to time. Today I have the convenience of a multi-burner cook-top attached to an odourless, hassle-free LPG. Counting my blessings, microwave oven is another instant solution at my disposal, if not suitable to Indian -style cooking, nevertheless, marvellous for re-heating.

I remember how laborious and time-consuming the tasks of grinding chutney and churning butter used to be in my childhood. Loved the green chutney and the home-made white butter but resented when I was roped in by mother to assist her in these tedious tasks. Now we have the mixer-grinder and the food processor to do the job in a jiffy.

How I should rank the gadgets in terms of their utility, I am unable to decide, but definitely refrigerator is a wonderful appliance which has replaced the matkas and surahis (earthen water vessels) of yesteryears.  Today, fridge is an absolute essential, not just for storing the perishables in summers but also it doubles up as a cabinet for stacking food items even in winters.

Unlike most middle class homes today that have attached bathrooms equipped with geysers, in my growing up days we had a single common bathroom shared by the entire family. I remember angithi exclusively for heating water in winters. Hot water would be mixed in cold water to make it tolerable for bathing. Obviously water was rationed, having one full bucket for bathing a luxury!

AC is another ultimate luxury that has made unbearable summers cool and comfortable. In my early childhood we had to be content with the fans that would keep circulating hot air in warm weather. Coolers came much later but didn’t provide relief in humid conditions. Today, there are air conditioners capable of creating semblance of winters in peak summers.

Undoubtedly, our life is much more comfortable than the previous generation but, whether or not we are happier than our forefathers is a matter of debate.  In fact, we have so much to be thankful for, but if we don’t count our blessings and keep grumbling we can never be happy.

(Published in HT Chandigarh ( Sunday Read ) on April 7, 2019)

26 Replies to “Count your blessings and be happy”

  1. Another well written piece Rama. You took me down the memory lane. Our mothers definitely had a tough time. But the bonding was great when we all used to sit around the angeethi and share the dinner or wait for the gajar ka halwa to be ready. And in between sharing small helpings at various stages.
    Now the life is much more easier but with less sharing. Perhaps this has created formalities and distances in relationships.
    But life is great. Each generation finds its happiness in its own way.

    1. Alka, You are right. With all the amenities at our disposal life is much more easier. We must not forget how much better off we are in terms of comforts as compared to our parents.

  2. Very well written piece👏🏻 it’s a pleasure to read Rama ji’s articles..So interesting and relatable👍🏻😘 I had never given thought to the single stove problem..We used to have lots of guests pouring in and my mother used to happily manage single handedly and as she pointed out that too with a single stove…amazing🤔

    1. Thanks Sunita. I am so happy that the article has rekindled our our reverence for our mothers who toiled sans the battery of household appliances and gadgets that we have at our disposal.

  3. Very well written article depicting the mindset of contemporary society where people are unable to analyse the real reason for their discontent ment.Certainly it is when one begins to live in a state of appreciation and gratitude that one can enjoy one’s life.Another positive article Rama…keep it up dear.!!!!

    1. True Madhu,the gadgets and appliances at our disposal make our life easy and comfortable but happiness comes with the sense of appreciation and gratitude.

  4. Mom.. there’s more to these appliances now

    Dryer.. wireless vacuum cleaner.. dishwasher… and the latest addition Rotimatic .. ( no maids though)

    You do have to visit though to enjoy the rotis from the Rotimatic

    1. Yes, of course,You have access to so many latest appliances and gadgets but then you have to manage every thing on your own without any help . We are the lucky ones having the facilities and also readily available domestic help.

  5. So much relatable by our generation. In fact, in early childhood, we used to have coal Angiti. Stove came much later.

    1. True, it is our generation that has been witness to the transition from Angithi to stove and then to LPG. Also, we have multiple electrical and electronic options in Microvave, induction and so on …

  6. Very true Rama, really our mothers had a tough time and had to work very hard, well written, keep it up

  7. Ma’am, your articles trigger so many nostalgic memories & take us back that idyllic world that our hearts yearn for. Happiness is a state of mind. Gadgets make life hassle-free but happiness is a choice that we need to make for ourselves. Looking forward to many more lucid and beautiful articles from you

    1. Pawan sir , I am really impressed the way you have beautifully summed it up. Gadgets can make our life easy and comfortable but you are very right that happiness is a state of mind and a matter of choice.Material comforts do not always translate into happiness.

  8. I agree 100% Rama!!! Very well written article & must say you have rich vocabulary & use appropriate words to express your views!! Yes I agree we must count our blessings & feel blissful!!! Life now is much easier mechanically but emotionally & spiritually our mothers were much much better!!our generation needs to focus in these areas for satisfied & happy life.

    1. Thanks Neelam. Always a pleasure reading your take on the varied subjects.
      I feel the life of our mothers was really tough.Can’t really say they were happier than us.Perhaps I am more realistic , don’t romanticise the past.

  9. You are absolutely right,madam . We are very much advanced materialistically now . when I was a child even pressure cooker and steel made utensils changed life in the kitchen.Now it is long ,long back…..Very emotional remembering our mothers,madam.

    1. Very right Garima. Pressure cooker and even steel utensils arrived during our early childhood days. In fact, there are many gadgets/appliances that we are so much accustomed to using that we tend take these for granted.

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