Back in high school days around the mid 90’s, my Father’s aunt gifted me a “red jacket” as a Diwali (Festival of lights) gift. I was very happy to receive it as it was my first jacket ever. Cherry red and velvety finished, with black and white stripes around the wrist, had pretty much stolen my heart. I liked it so much that I wore it almost everyday that winter and following two winters until it outfitted me.
Around the same time , a children’s film called “Karamati coat” (The miraculous coat) was out in the theaters and our class was taken to watch it. The story was about an 11 year old homeless boy to whom an old lady gave a coat which she had picked up from a beach. Coincidentally, it was a red coat similar to my red jacket. Only difference being that, whenever the boy would put his hand inside the coat’s pocket, a one rupee coin would miraculously appear thus making it karamati. Flabbergasted by such a finding, the boy keeps it a secret but enjoys the new found treasure with his friends. But his naivety along with other circumstances eventually reveal the truth to the bad world who then conspires to snatch his coat. As the story continues, the coat brings in more problems than solutions to the boy…which makes him throw his coat back into the depth of the oceans from which it had appeared in the first place. The boy had the courage to let that coat go even though it brought him money but had taken away his happiness and freedom. At the end, he was happier to let go off the coat rather than keeping it.
After the film was over, I curiously put my hand in my jacket’s pocket just to check if a rupee coin appears only to realize my innocence taking over the reality. Also, that was not the bottom line of the story, the coin in the pocket would emerge only when the boy was wearing the coat and not otherwise. That meant, the coat only served the need of the master and not the greed of the taker. I realized that the coat served as a medium of happiness and not happiness itself. Wearing my jacket made me happy and I felt an emotional connection to it as it was a gift from a loved one. But, my happiness did not depend on it. I had to let it go when it outfitted me. Its time was over, its service was over.
The coat has the power to give what the owner reflects, so be a master not a taker….demand what you are worthy of and wear it with pride and let go when the need arises.
The boys red coat was meaningful and valuable since it brought him what he desperately needed at that time, which was money. The coat in this story, denotes the different so called sugar-“coats” we wear throughout our lives as a sign of prestige, dress code or just to flaunt our possessions. Sometimes, we feel compelled to follow the fashion or any trend only to stay in the loop; out of the fear of missing out ( it is now a trending term too ; FOMO). I remember I used to get a new dress only during Diwali and on special occasions like birthdays and weddings. The rest were either passed down from family or just hand stitched. Even in social events and performances ….we used to borrow costumes for the day and never felt we missed out on anything. On the contrary, we felt happy to pass our belongings to the others with much love and gratitude. Also, that is why we remember our old possessions because they had that value and emotion attached to them. Even though we all like owning new clothes , accessories or shoes or more abstract stuff like degrees, awards and the same but have we ever thought if those serve our values? Isn’t it more meaningful to own things in life for their worth instead of flaunt?
You don’t need to sugar coat yourself, your are already sweet, you are already enough.
What coat are you wearing? Whom are you trying to impress? Is it bringing you worth, happiness and freedom? Let go off that coat, throw it in the ocean and embrace your own self. Embrace the happiness within.