The Present — A Gift

Written By

Vedika Srivastava

Present-A gift-04 Loading

The saying ‘Children can be the best teachers’ sounds a little unconvincing, but when I look back at that day, I cannot agree more.

My daughter’s school summer break had started and as planned months earlier, we had an evening flight to catch that day for our holiday destination. Our excitement knew no bounds and we were all set for a long week full of adventure. She had packed her trolley bag herself with all her favorite dresses, not to forget accompanying accessories as well, the shades of each matching perfectly with the accompanying dress. It was a bright sunny day, like the sun was also blessing us and making our happy faces glow even more under its warmth.

After a refreshing afternoon nap on the day of our flight, I looked outside my window to see ominous shades of grey. Suddenly the sun god had given way to the rain god, whose blessings were far less welcome at this juncture. I called up my cab driver and discovered that he was running a little later than expected. Finally, we started our journey to the airport half an hour late! We had travelled just a few miles when we were greeted with a heavy downpour. Within a few more minutes, with our cab slowing to a crawl to join all the vehicles lined up ahead of us, amidst the irate honking on all sides, I realized that I was going to miss my flight today.

With stress filling my mind, I looked at my four-year-old to share the sorrow which lay ahead of us, a few hours from now, when we would probably bid goodbye to our flight from the airport as it flew away to our holiday destination without us. But to my amazement, she was all smiles as she sat by the open window and rain drops fell gently on her upturned face. She chortled as she watched a few children outside our cab, playing and splashing water on each other. The trees seemed to sway with joy, the rain and the cool breeze had combined to chase away everyone’s depressing thoughts.

However, I soon realized I had a future to plan for, another flight to find and book to save our trip from being ruined. For the next one and a half hours of our journey, my phone was my constant companion as I looked at the various flight options available, did the necessary bookings, called up the airlines and the hotel to inform them of my changed schedule and everything else I could think of.

While entering the airport, I informed my daughter of our missed flight and that the next flight was four hours from now. I expected a little empathy from her, but what I heard instead were wise words that made me realize how often in planning our future or mourning over our past, we tended to overlook the best gift we have in our hands, the present.

She chuckled while she talked about all the moments she spent in the cab, a journey she said she enjoyed the most owing to the amazing weather — she chattered happily about the sights, sounds and smells — an umbrella which could not resist the wind and flew high above her, birds chirping with joy that was music to her ears, the fragrant earthy smell and the breeze that caressed her skin. And for the next four hours she was all geared up to enjoy herself at the airport as she picked up her favorite activity book to play and learn.

I was left speechless and thoughtful. It is so important at times to press the pause button of our mechanized life, to stop predicting and stressing out for our safe and secure future, to move on from our past instead of being stuck there. It is just so important to live the present moment to the fullest to create happy, wonderful memories to look back upon with fondness in our future.

As I gave my daughter a tight hug, thanking her for this insight; through the glass window of the airport I saw a rainbow returning our smiles.




Vedika is an IT professional. A working mother, who feels that writing is a great stress buster and hence pens down her thoughts whenever she finds time to do so. Life is the best teacher and teaches great lessons, so her words are generally the reflection of her own experiences. Music and gardening are the other two pleasures she rates on par with writing and indulges in them as much as possible. Being a woman has always given her pride and satisfaction, and even more so now that she is part of the 'SiyaWoman' family.

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