Let us start by being grateful. All thanks to the universe of algorithms, on social media platforms, that bring to me “be grateful” posts more than once a day. And I’m left with the thought “But I always am grateful.”

It is true that I feel eternally grateful for a lot of things in life, but behind it linger another truth, I was not vocal about it. A very small thing if you think about it but one that makes as big a difference.

This led me to practice one tiny change. Saying “thank you” out loud, in person, in real time.

Now, I love coffee! And my mother knows this. She would brew multiple coffees for me through the day, among infinite other things she does for us every single day. So I simply started saying “Thank you maa” every time she brought me a coffee, served food, and so on. Little did I know it would embarrass her. She told me how it was her love and duty as a mother & the lady of the house to care for us and I did not need to thank her all the time for such little things. It made me think, and question that how did we reach this point where not only does she not expect appreciation but even denies it. This needed to change!

I didn’t stop and I didn’t let go of a single opportunity to thank her. Initially she was embarrassed, sometimes even annoyed for I wouldn’t listen. But in time, the awkwardness she felt subsided and it became our thing. She started thanking me, in a teasing manner, whenever I made her tea or helped with the chores. Seeing there’s no stopping me, she adopted the “you’re welcome” approach.

It took time but where we are at now, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. I say “thank you mumma” and she smiles. The shine in her eyes is the tell of the warmth, of feeling appreciated, in her heart. Once in a while, before I can utter a word she serves me coffee with a playful “say thank you!”

A very small thing if you think of it but one that makes as big a difference. Thank you! Two simple words that may even seem repetitive on certain days once you get into the habit. But with such a power to light up hearts, the happiness around me and the one inside me is all worth it.

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Abha Singhal

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