There is no such thing as a free lunch, they say. They may be right about that, but there are sure as heck a lot of other free things in life. Mastercards and Visas will only get you so far, for there is an abundance of things that money has nothing to do with. From abstract emotions to tangible things, life does hand out a lot of free stuff. Here is a list of the top ten free thing that won’t cost you a dime but the happiness that they will fetch will surely be priceless.
10- Free Samples
Ever seen those people standing in malls and street corners and handing out free samples of food and perfumes and other cool stuff? Those are my favorite kind of people. There are a very few things that I love more than free samples. From amongst these free samples, I especially love tiny free chocolate tarts and bakeries who hand those out. Free samples are such a nice way to advertise and draw in customers who will then spend money on your products, so I personally think that all establishments and stores should start handing out free samples on street corners (I hope you are reading this, House of Chanel)
Nobody has to pay for hugs. Hugs are free and wonderful. Nothing sends out a message of love and sympathy quite like a hug. All of us have wanted the warm embrace of a loved friend or family member when living away from home. Who amongst us hasn’t felt the free comfort of a mother’s hug? Who amongst us hasn’t craved to be hugged sometimes when we are lonely and down in the dumps? Hugs, I’m pretty sure, are miracle cures created by God to cheer us up after a hard day, comfort us after a break up, make us smile when we meet a friend after ages and so on and so forth. And the best part about hugs? They are free! You don’t have to pay a cent in order to get a hug.
8- The Beauty of Nature
They might ask you to buy a ticket before you can view the beauty of the Taj Mahal, but they can’t make you pay for viewing the gorgeous night sky twinkling with a thousand stars. In his poem ‘Leisure’, W.H. Davies says that we don’t have the time to enjoy nature anymore because of the hectic lifestyles we lead. And that is so very true. So many of us are so caught up in the troubles of everyday life that we forget how healing the presence of nature can be. And you don’t have to be rich in order to enjoy nature. Nobody can tax you for sitting under a tree and looking at the clouds. Nobody can ask you to pay for stopping to smell the roses. So take a leaf from out the books of all Romantic poets who swore by the healing power of nature, because they knew what they were talking (writing) about!
7- Shooting Stars
I know this is an offshoot of the previous time but shooting stars deserve to be a separate category of their own. They are just so gorgeous. I have only ever seen one in my life, it was a thrilling experience. I don’t know if that was because they are so rare or because it was so unexpected or because I could really use a wish at that time. Shooting stars are basically meteors in the sky. But even the name ‘shooting star’ sounds so enigmatic and pretty. I can’t even begin to imagine how amazing it must be to witness full blown meteor showers. They happen once or twice every year, so you could definitely try staying up at night to look at them. Also, if you are slightly superstitious like I am, do close your eyes and make a wish. The wish I made looking at my solitary shooting star came true, so you might just be as lucky as I was.
I know you have read all those quotes about how crying inside a Mercedes is easier than crying on a cycle and how money does equate to happiness, but trust me, that is so not true! Money may be able to give you materialistic pleasure and momentary highs, but true happiness is unrelated to money. Happiness can be felt when you score well because you worked hard or because you saw a cloud shaped like a squirrel or when you see a young child laughing or when you know that your parents are proud of you or when your friends make you feel special. Happiness can be felt when you snuggle inside your blanket on a cold day or when your mother hugs you when you are down or when you help someone in need. So the end story is that Happiness is free PERIOD
People seem to really like dispensing free advice and I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Remember Kareena Kapoor shouting at the railway attending for all his senseless and misogynist advice in ‘Jab We Met’? Yeah. Free advice can be a bit annoying at times. That, however, does not mean that you completely disregard all the well meaning advice that you are sure to receive at every point in your life. Some people really do have your best interests at heart and really do want to help you out genuinely. When your elders and parents give you advice, take it! It may stand you in good stead. Do not, however, get swayed completely and rely totally on the advice of others. Strike a balance. Free advice can range from which brand of soda you should drink to which college you should attend and what subject you should major in. Listen to all the advice you get and figure out who give good advice. (Also, if you do everything that I have said above, you will have taken advice from a complete stranger)
4- Your Senses
Is there anything more precious to you than your five senses of sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell? Can you imagine how difficult life would be without even one or more of these? Do you not feel lucky that you have all your sense organs intact and that you don’t have to pay for their upkeep? I bet you do feel lucky! Your senses are so very important and you do not have to pay for them. God did, presumably (if you believe in Creationism, that is) But the important thing here is that you can see this text and touch your laptop and hear music and smell coffee and taste food without having to pay for doing it! So take care of your senses and don’t get glasses because you strained your eyes (because they cost money!)
This is my all time favorite thing to do. Daydreaming is so much fun and it is completely free. There is nothing that I like better than thinking up complicated scenarios in my head, extracting revenge from people I hate and having my crushes ask me out and becoming the supreme ruler of the universe and having a pet unicorn and going to Hogwarts and becoming the most gorgeous supermodel in the world. You get the idea. You don’t have to pay to daydream. Most people do it during a boring lecture or when their job is monotonous or during a long seminar with an incomprehensible topic. I do it all the time.
There is nothing more important than family. (Did I not totally sound like a Mafia head there?) No but seriously, your family’s love and support is free and unconditional. You cannot put a price tag on your father’s care or your mother’s love, your grandmother’s storytelling sessions and your siblings’ fights. Your family is free and yours for keeps. You can rely on them to be there for you in good times and in bad. You can always count on your parents to help you out of a tight spot and tell you that things will be all right when you mess up. Just writing this makes me realize how much I love my slightly crazy but supermegaawesome family.
This one is such a cliché I bet you could have seen it coming from a mile away. But it is so very true so I had to put it at first place. Love really is free. You cannot buy a replacement for your family’s love. You cannot buy it with expensive gifts and brew it in cauldrons. Infatuation and crushes may be bought about with good looks and money and diamonds, but love? Love is something better, something that is not dependent upon bank balance.