#49 Exceptionally Ordinary

Hey there,

This one is about being ordinary.


Be special.

Be exceptional.

Be extraordinary, outstanding, out of the box.

A seed sown long ago… watered ever so tenaciously with this kind of continuous chatter, I grew to despise anything that was remotely ‘ordinary’. I figured that wherever happiness was, or whatever it was, I would never find it ‘in’ the box.

Consequently, I always felt like I had to do the unprecedented. But all the planets had been named. All the names had been printed in books and all the books had been sold. So, where do you find room to be extraordinary in such an ordinary world?

My grandmother is remarkably ordinary.

She never bothers about these books we just talked about, but she finds joy in embroidery, cooking and telling stories. And she breathes life into seemingly mundane activities. In fact, when you look at her works of embroidery, you can vividly see the hours she spent poring over each intricate stitch; the sun flooding in through the balcony, illuminating the cloth, her forehead pleated with wrinkles and her fingers deftly pulling the needle in and out. It’s a magical sight.

But by no means is it what you’d typically call ‘extraordinary’. Embroidery has been around since ages, nothing new there. There are creations out there on canvases that encompass walls, sewn with finer thread than anything my grandmother could bargain for in the market. Although she’s ordinary and she does ordinary things, she has made room for herself to be extraordinary on a rickety chair in a balcony.

It got me thinking about what being ‘exceptional’ or ‘out of the box’ really meant. Who decides on the boundaries of this metaphorical box? And which bouncer decides what goes into this imaginary box and what doesn’t make the cut? Who defines these terms and what do they mean? Where does the arbitrary notion of ordinary end?

Where does ordinary end and extraordinary begin?

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