OPINION: Priceless or Price-Less?

Dictionary defines priceless as something ‘dear or precious; something irreplaceable.’ People put different things under this category. While it’s esteem, prestige and dignity for some, it’s a job, reputation, status for others. It maybe love for one and ancestral property for another; an achieved position after struggle or simply a lifestyle.

Sitting among peers, when I asked what they would say is priceless to them, most responded by saying, “The ring my boyfriend gave me,” “The new dress or shoes I got for my birthday,” “The Maybelline kit my aunt sent me from New York,” “The Audi that my dad gave me,” etc. Ironically, all these things have a price tag. And nobody mentioned the one thing that comes with no price tag and is in no one’s means to buy, and that is — life.

Lost in the magic of this world, influenced by the lust of its materialism and blinded by greed, man forgets the most fundamental fact of his existence – ‘Life hai to sab hai!’ (If you live, you have everything)

A friend of my mom has all the luxuries that one could dream of. She is a working lady, a proud mother of four (three sons and a daughter), wife to a wonderful and successful business man. Materialistically also very successful with a beautiful five-bedroom house of their own, a BMW car and her children own nothing less than iPhones. She has the liberty to choose the best education for her children from across the world.

Socially, they are respected as a sophisticated and charitable family. But parents consider their lives to have a meaning if they have blessed children. And she does. All her three sons are beautiful, smart and talented, with a raging spirit of being a winner.

As for her daughter – a beautiful 10-year-old child – is a victim of down syndrome and may not live to complete her teens. No matter how much she spends, there is little hope for a complete cure. Ask her what the ‘real’ priceless is?!

Walk up to a young leukemia patient or an old arthritis patient and ask them what life means and they will tell us how blessed we are to be able to live life the way we want and how unfortunate we are to not appreciate it. I think it is natural for mankind to realize the value of ‘priceless’ when it’s either at stake or slipping away. It is only when something like Arushi happens around us that we realize what we are losing.

Hope and faith, the keys of life, are lost like they never existed. The youth of today, which is devoid of these essential keys and claims to deal with life ‘practically,’ is so weak that it would rather give up on life than fight the simplest complications such as the exam results.

They treat life like it’s a burden. Little do they realize that life is more than ‘just a ridiculous race wherein being at the second position is not acceptable.’ That it is okay to not be in the top notch. The problem is in the very mindset of people. We have convinced ourselves that whatever we have — financially, socially, and materialistically — is not enough. This is so because we are always busy lamenting what others have and instead don’t celebrate what we do have.

If only people could have the eye to appreciate and enjoy the real aspects of life that they are blessed with, life would be bliss and the world would be a better place.

Just the other day, a few of my friends and I, played childhood games like ice and water, kho-kho and kabbaddi in our hostel. In the two hours that we played, I realized how small moments of pure fun and happiness can make your being worth.

In today’s time, concepts such as ‘family time,’ ‘friends get-together’ etc, hardly have any value.

I understand it’s a competitive world, life is busy and an attempt to be successful is not a sin. But is there anything worth killing the memories with friends, which will bring smiles to our faces in the years to come, and the quality time that can be spent with family which brings peace beyond imagination?!

Well folks, it’s about time that we realize the value of the ‘real’ priceless. I don’t want to be in the category of people who ignore the reality for now and then regret for the rest of their lives. So if you ask me what is priceless for me, I will tell you that it is: the trust of my parents, the time with my friends, the late night snacks and movies with my roommates, my college days (that are flying away!) and most importantly my life, which I will try to appreciate and live to the best of my capability.

Life is like a rose. Though the thorns are inevitable, they do not compromise its beauty or significance. Similarly, you are bound to get your share of thorns in life but that doesn’t compromise the importance of living life and appreciating it. All it takes to curb the thorns is faith and the spirit to go on.

Therefore friends, let us wake up from the dreamless sleep we have put ourselves in, and enjoy the ice cream before it melts.

About Aisha Shamsuddin

Aisha Shamsuddin is a postgraduate student in the Department of English. She can be reached via email at: aisha.shams9021 [at] gmail.com

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  1. Nice.. Good views

  2. Naveen, this article deserves much more than “Nice.. Good views”.
    The articulation of “life” as priceless entity is really great.

    But, I don’t see other dimension of this article i.e.price-less. The section of people she is taking about constitutes only around 5% of the population. A country where 77% of people survive by less than Rs20/day, the idea of life being price-less seams to be more appropriate. While she is having late night snakes and watching movies, thousands of people are sleeping hungry. What is life for them? May be, a burden.

    And, it is only hope and faith which gives a meaning to their life. Otherwise, I can’t imagine living on Rs20/day. Please note that 30% of our BPL population is barely surviving. There is no rose in their lives, it is thorny everywhere.

    Therefor, Aisha, please wake up from your dreams and try to find out that how many children in India dream of having ice-cream in their so- called “life”.

  3. hey…firstly thank you for u for the response. Also Naveen thank you for the reconciliation with the reality. But I am trying to bring to attention here that when people like you and me, good enough to be educated eating and sleeping well,living comfortably whine about small or big issues in life, that is what is sad. I mention lukemia arthiritis and down syndrome because these are though not the case with every body around yet common enough to be seen every now and then and these things may happen to anyone anywhere.
    Yes poverty is an aspect. And you know the thorns of my life may not necessarily be the ones specified to me. Knowing about people dieng out there, for one reason or another, is also a thorn that one faces. So living with that fact, trust me I m wide awake! But I don’t see how me not having my ice cream will help those poor people. On the contrary me having my ice cream and reaching a meaningful place in my life may help these people overcome their thorns. I just wish a lot of people had the courage to think this way and act in the regard.

    • I have never said that (1) You don’t enjoy your life or (2)reach a meaningful place and then work for the impoverished.

      If you remember, the collector of Malkangiri was doing just the same when he was kidnapped by the Maoists.

      My aim was to highlight the other side of article, which I think is more important and relevant in present day society. Just by talking about a stupid minority we shouldn’t make generalizations.

  4. Aisha, after reading your article, i have become a fan of yours and want to meet u for the autograph. Please dont say no to me. I hope we will meet some day.

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