©Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker

A few days back, I took an old recycled cloth bag and threw in some coloring pens, a sketching pad, a pencil, an eraser, headphones, and a book that I am reading presently. Just out of a whim, I called this ensemble of simple delights as my “joy bag”. 

Since then, the joy bag became my unwavering companion, journeying with me through the kaleidoscope of my daily life. It accompanied me to the hospital, sat beside me through the long hours in the clinic, attended parent teachers meeting with me, came with me to my son’s tennis classes and sometimes even to the local market. It felt like I suddenly rediscovered a long-lost friend. 

My joy bag turned out to be that steadfast companion who loved me unconditionally, harbouring no expectations or demands. It never once pressured me to perform or deliver; instead, it waited patiently for my attention, even during the busiest days. It never complained, never judged. It was a source of pure, unadulterated happiness………….. and “joy”!

As I delved into the mystical realms of creativity, my joy bag became my enabler. Suddenly, the insufferable hours I once dreaded during road travel in this bustling city of Mumbai, held no terror. I no longer minded the occasional delays in the operating theatre. Impatience ceased to grip me when patients arrived a little later than scheduled. In fact, I confess that I sometimes welcomed these deviations, as they gave me some time for myself. I was more than happy to get back to reading the page that I hadn’t been able to complete or attempt to draw a figurine on my sketch pad. Creativity was now at my fingertips, and it brought transcendental joy that extended far beyond myself. It transformed me into a better version of who I was.

All of us live our lives in the pursuit of joy and somehow it is always out of reach. We are brought up to work hard, to achieve great heights in our careers, to constantly keep climbing the ladder and keep going even when we become breathless and tired. While this journey is satisfying and fulfilling to some extent, it can, at times, strip away the joy from our lives.  

In trying to achieve the difficult, we tend to forget the simple. 

“Joy” comes from simple things. 

Things that can fit into an old, small, recycled bag. 

My 10 years old son followed my footsteps (he has to do everything I do) and fished out another old cloth bag and created his own joy bag. 

So, what are you waiting for? Go make your own “joy bag”. After all, we only get to live once. Let us live joyfully!

#creativity #joy #joybag