(adj.) Describes much more than just cosiness- a positive warm emotion or feeling rather than just something physical- and connotes time spent with loved ones; togetherness.
If there’s anything 2018 has taught me, it’s to savour the moments of gezellig that present themselves. Savour the moments of warmth that are spent among people made from the same stars as you. Who knows how often they’ll come by.
Moments where you feel like everything is ok, because it always is. A lot of things depend on perspective, happiness too. I have learnt very late into this year to choose happiness every time.
Life isn’t easy for anyone, but just because it can get hard, don’t let it get sad. What’s the point of a sad life? Where’s the gezellig in that?
Feb 18th, 2018: 00.00: New Delhi:
The speakers suddenly fall silent, the Bollywood tune has been smashed into oblivion. As if recognising the strangeness of the tune, even the speakers present the next song reluctantly. 99% of the room awkwardly shuffle off the dancefloor leaving 4 people to dance. 3 of them know the tune, a famous Kenyan song from the late 90’s/early 2000’s, the 4th person there just because she likes the way it sounds. You have never seen 4 happier people before.
Feb 20th, 2018: 23.50: New Delhi:
I checked into my hotel room, unable to stand the thought of falling asleep in the house while my grandfather’s body lay on the floor in the sitting room. I put the kettle on, and went into the shower, trying hard to wash the day away but it just wouldn’t go. I got into bed, left all the lights on because there was enough darkness already. I thought about my cousin and his new wife. What must they be going through? Receiving the news of the death just as their wedding came to an end, only to tell them not to come home. I could hear his voice so clearly in my mind. I could hear his laugh, I could hear his stories. My favourite storyteller, the muse of all my words. He could never come to an end. I felt a spark of warmth in my heart. As long as they were words in the world, he would never come to an end.
August 27th, 2018: 23.59: Jalandhar:
Tired feet, tired backs, tired waiters. That moment when you look around the room, and everyone is happily tired. The bride-to-be still has that too-cool-for-school bounce to her step, your brothers have somehow agreed to let the DJ get back home, suddenly remembering they have their phones to continue the music, your mum is silently buzzing to a song only she can hear, and everyone is happily happy. One minute left to the next day, one minute of boundless gratitude and joy to be among the most beautiful people in your life. Whatever tomorrow holds, you’re all together. That’s all that matters. You’ll brave the hangovers and sore-throats with the delight of stumbling upon “the Java of Jalandhar”.
October 4th, 2018: 16.45: Kisumu:
In a split second the heavens started to pour, it gave us no choice but to leave the crematorium. As we drove to the gurdwara it got even heavier. We got the message loud and clear- “I’ve reached, I’m good, go back home!” How can someone be gone and still be there? Only those with the most life can be alive beyond the realms of death, time, and space. I look around at the family he’s left behind, and nothing has ever felt so unfair before. The words he uttered 2 months ago come to my mind- “fix things before you’re only seeing each other at funerals.” So, let’s fix things. You and me. Let’s fill the cracks in this relationship with gold. Let’s make it more beautiful than it’s ever been. Let’s not leave words unsaid and hugs unhugged, and thanks unsaid.
November 23rd, 2018: 16.00: Nairobi:
I had convinced myself that she’ll make it through this- one of the fiercest women I’ve met. This could not be the end, this could not be true. Thousands of miles away, dispersed around the globe, so many people grieving her loss. But do we ever really lose anyone? Isn’t she still around me? As beautiful, as radiant, as caring as she was every day? Life’s a bitch, and then you begin to live.
December 12th, 2018: 15.00: Nairobi:
They say a red unbreakable string ties together all those who will ever be a part of your life to you. The string stretches, tangles, spreads across oceans, but never breaks. As you sit in this immaculately decorated tent, the most beautiful thing is having those handful of people tugging at the strings tied on your finger, and to your heart. You think of all the times these strings have been tugged and you’ve never been more present. You’ve never been more happy. So full of promise for what the future holds, because you know these strings truly are unbreakable.
2018 has taught me a lot about gezellig. About holding close all that matters, and that all that matters is the people who love you, through thick and thin. In a few hours we’ll be stepping into the unknown adventures of 2019, so let’s try to be there for each other. We can’t go through this life alone, and we don’t have to. Here’s to 2019, the year of wabi-sabi!
(n.) A way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully its natural cycle.