My friend Jae Rajesh shared his Gratitude Diary with us on FaceBook. I am sharing it here with his permission.
When I was prompted to record my gratitude, as an exercise in the ‘Joy of Giving’, my mind was overloaded with a flurry of thoughts of different people, different times, and different places. And the one thing that gives me the most discomfort is disorder, may be a side effect of the times I spent in a regimented life. My mind was a total mess of memories crisscrossing with no connection with each other. I needed give some kind of an order or index to my thoughts. How do I prioritise them, give them the correct due? In terms of importance and value, each has been of equal relevance to me. Therefore, I decided I’ll do it the way my life happened…in a brief summary.
I want to convey my gratitude to:
My parents, for the pampering I received as a toddler (can’t remember before that), being the youngest of five relatively older siblings. I don’t recollect a single moment of unhappiness during those years or anything that I was denied that I really craved for (except for the occasional ‘Fanta’ which used to be my constant demand during any outing)
My mother, for teaching me to read and write Malayalam before I even started school (I used to read the weekly episodes of novels from weeklies, as she went about her household chores), and ensured I got admission into one of the best schools of the time.
My maternal Grandmother and Great Grandmother, for instilling in me my cultural values, teaching ‘Ramayana’, ‘Mahabharatha’ and scores of other stories, told and repeatedly told. (Even as a small kid, I knew all about the problems of keeping more than one wife or husband)
My siblings, my sister and brothers, for the unlimited affection and partiality shown to me as the youngest, for letting me win when I’m losing and bearing with my tantrums when they didn’t. Teaching me the alphabets and words and reading the clock, as I was preparing to join school, with no formal preschool learning.
My father, for gifting the environment of a happy childhood.
To my teachers, especially Mrs Rodrigues from the primary years, who taught me the Queen’s English as my English Teacher (and almost succeeded in removing my ‘mallu’ accent) and subsequently groomed me to be a leader at a very early age, giving me the confidence for a life time.
To my school friends, who to this day, remain as close and loyal, for the happy and rollicking time I had in my schooling years.
To my Scout Masters, for instilling in me a love of the sea and everything associated, which eventually led me to join the Navy.
To my course mates, my brothers-in-arms, for helping me endure and enjoy the rigors of the training days and giving me a new family to be a part of.
My Physical Training Instructor at the Academy, then POPTI B Singh, who taught me to swim. (Well, at least not drown)
And the long list of various other instructors and seniors who went through personal discomfort to impart me real education on leading men and serving the nation.
To my wife, for the wonders of the courtship days, for loving me with all my faults. For the gift of limitless love. For our lovely sons. For standing by me and supporting me through the tough times and then make them seem insignificant.
To my sons, for their perfectness as children.
To my close friends, with whom I’ve shared the good and bad times, whose company and presence have become part of memories I treasure.
For the grace of God, in letting me appreciate the right from wrongs and helped me give the correct priorities in life.
And a whole score of others, whom I cannot name individually, since I had mentioned, this is just a summary. Thank you all, none of you will be, none of you can be forgotten for the duration of my life.