gratitude for the inanimate

As we grow older we become more and more sentimental about everything. We cling fiercely to things dear to us. We get teary eyed much easier and quicker than before. We know we have begun to over react but we cannot revert to our older selves. We begin to accept our over sentimentality. We know this new guest wouldn’t leave, and would only get more intimate and is here to stay. We come to terms and look for ways to detach ourselves. We try to avoid being tagged the touchy one. We turn more and more to spirituality and philosophy. We pretend we have begun to insulate ourselves from attachments. I am not absolutely sure if we are in a way deceiving ourselves. We try to strike a balance between how we are and how we are supposed to be. It’s a tough call. On the outside we are these persons who have realized we can’t hold on to things forever. On the inside it’s a tug of war. let go…don’t let go…
Now isn’t it too much if my eyes welled up while I returned home from a home appliances service shop. My blender is my dearest kitchen friend and has seen me in intense pressure times. After nearly two decades it has started showing symptoms of stress. I can see it’s trying to do its best but no, it simply can’t run with the rush hour demands. That’s when I realize my good old friend is ageing like me. I took the blender to the service shop and left it there for the expert to diagnose. Two days and I didn’t hear back. I went down to the shop. The expert looked like he had examined the anatomy of my blender and was ready with his inferences. He said looking half pitifully and half in admiration at my blender,

nobody makes this model anymore. The motor’s efficiency has reduced considerably and it won’t take much load. It will switch off if you don’t use it delicately. I will try replacing the weak motor but it would cost you half the price of a new blender.

I pleaded with him to do his best to revive my blender. He must have wondered why I didn’t want to buy a new one instead.
For the next ten minutes he just listened as I told him how loyal and efficient the blender had been all the while. He had about fifty blenders queued up for servicing, most of them looking overused and exhausted, and in dire need of ‘moksha’. His eyes softened as he turned around and looked at them, as if for the first time someone had made him realize what a life saving job he is entrusted with. He sighed and promised me to get my blender on her feet.
How we develop affinity towards things that have made our lives easy, have listened to us silently, and have sometimes even borne our tantrums! It’s this humane side of objects that draws us into an emotional equation with them.
Curiously I looked up more about this kind of attachment to inanimate things. Anthropomorphism is the term though I am not sure if the attachment becomes more intense with ageing. Of course there are instances where this affinity stretches too far and becomes something of a medical condition. Given we are basically emotional beings I would like to treat this as normal behavior. Moreover the years that make us all salt and pepper on the head must add a fourth dimension to our thinking.

Picture courtesy- Internet (Japan

Hari-Kuyo, a Japanese Buddhist and Shinto Festival of Broken Needles is observed (feb 8 ) annually where a memorial service is held for broken or worn out needles and pins. That’s how gratitude is shown, by gently laying them to rest on a tofu bar.

Picture courtesy –

Something similar to the ayudha puja an Indian festival celebrated during navaratri/vijayadashami where all implements and tools are worshipped. I am sure my hale and hearty blender will get its share of adulation. On that day they get a break as a mark of respect for the services rendered. One day in a year isn’t too much to ask as against our weekly off of two days.


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