happy_birthday_balloons_188060After all the hullabaloo and hard work for Sanil’s 10th birthday party was over, and we were lazing about basking in the afterglow of job(s) done well, I asked him (a pretty simple and deserving question, I’d say):

“So how did you like them? The first ten years of your life? How would you describe it all in one sentence?”

 (Obviously I was fishing for some praise, in case you haven’t figured out.)

He thought and said:

“It was worth it.”

“Worth what?”

(Obviously this wasn’t the answer I was looking for.)

“Worth getting born.”

“What? What did you do in getting born? If anything, I went through a really painful pregnancy and a cut through my stomach!”

(Obviously now I was getting touchy!)

“If I didn’t do anything, it’s even more worth it.”

“How so?”

“Think about it. How is anything worth? If you don’t do anything to earn it, everything is worth it, right?”

Although the logic had my mind boggled, I refused to let go of the initial thing:

“No, no, you tell me, what did you mean by ‘worth it’?”

“Mom, you had asked for one sentence. These are too many sentences now.”

 “No, I want to understand what were you thinking when you said that.”

“Who knows what all I had to go through to be born? Think about it: I may have been sitting on a beautiful planet soaked in bliss…”

“If that were a possibility, why would anyone want to come here at all?”

“For learning.”

Well, I kind of knew what he was arriving at but I wanted him to explain his thought process, so I said:

“Please go on.”

“Okay, if you were given a job to create a planet, what kind of a planet would that be?”

I played along, “Well, it will be a beautiful planet full of joy, love, laughter… fun! There will be no pain.”

“And?”

“And what?”

“What will people do there?”

“They will play, sing, dance, eat… have fun! They will play carom!”

“For how long? For how long can they play carom? Or anything at all? They will be bored. They will be in pain of boredom.”

I was trying to process when he continued:

“And I am not sure if there would be any learning on your planet, mom. Even developing playing skills requires undergoing pain. Oh oh oh, let me show you a video on something similar I saw on TED-Ed!”

He fetched his gadget and showed me this.

Would you opt for a life with no pain? – Hayley Levitt and Bethany Rickwald

“Did you like it?”

I have to admit I was awed.

 “Yes, I did!”

“Plus mom, in your planet, you cannot keep playing the same thing over and over. It is no fun.”

“Yet somehow I keep seeing you glued to that Minecraft of yours all the time!”

Yes! Good shot, I thought. Now was my time to be a mom.

“Yeah… but it’s not the same. It keeps changing. I had version 1.9.0 in December and today I have 1.9.4.”

Hmph! God forbid if someone says anything about the beloved Minecraft!

“And it has two modes. In survival mode, there is a lot of pain a player has to go through to survive. In create mode, he has to regularly keep updating his skills through trial and error.”

Now I was seriously worried that he would start teaching me all about Minecraft. He has tried to do so many times before but somehow I manage to flee the scene. He was continuing, though:

“Minecraft has taught me many life lessons. Like I have learnt never to stick to one thing. Let go sometimes and move on. Explore new possibilities. Ask me how.”

“How?”

“Initially I had this house in Minecraft I was so attached to. I wouldn’t want to create anything else. I tried to fill it up with so many things and I made it grow ugly. I was trying to make it everything. I realized later that I could create better houses if I don’t stick to one.”

“Oh, your Minecraft is giving you valuable lessons!”

Knowing my quite open (and vocal) dislike for the game (actually his addiction to it), he couldn’t believe his ears.

“Oh Thank God! My birthday wish has come true! My mom likes Minecraft!” He was melodramatic.

Well, I don’t know about that… but I did want to write about this. How a simple… very simple question can lead to life’s biggest questions.

“Do you want to learn it, Mom?” Now he was excited.

“What?”

“Minecraft.”

“No! I am going to write the blog before it gets filled up with too many things and become ugly.”

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Dinakshi

Dinakshi is a curious explorer of life, and loves to see everything around her with a sense of wonder. Completely in awe of life and its ardent student, she is a writer, poet, blogger and ex-editor. Her superpower is involuntarily read and edit everything from text messages to poetry on the backside of trucks. Like any other Indian worth their salt, she’s done her time in the IT industry as a programmer. Books and journals have been her best friends for as long as she can remember. A philosopher at heart, she loves to question everything, including her propensity to question. An avid learner and unlearner, she is on a joyful path to live all that is.

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