Live Well, Today

M napping on the train in Austria

Today is what you will be nostalgic for, in a few years.

Occasionally, I am overcome by fond memories of childhood in Mumbai; visiting cousins, relatives and grandparents in the rural Karnataka towns of Bhatkal, Honavar, Hosad and Kumta. From what I remember, then I was busy running around, chasing dragon-flys, seeking bird eggs, stoning mangoes, or herding cows.

Now I miss my grandmother – I see her working the orchards, taking care of the household, and scribing “shri ram jaya ram jaya jaya ram” in her notebook every evening. Even when the power went out – which it did most evenings in the summer – she'd light an oil lamp and continue writing. Once more I'd like to peek up at her and see her furrowed brow, the violet bindi and reading glasses perched on her nose. Once more I'd want to be scolded by her.

I have fond memories too of days at Holy Name, then at Elphinstone College in Mumbai, and the fabulous times at Manipal! Even more recently, the good times in grad school and friends we made in Clemson, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Time flies.

Perhaps in a few years, I'd look back at today, at these times, fondly. Many years, or even decades from now, today's grind is what fond memories will be made of. So I should live today, as fondly as I would remember it. In the future then, what would I wish I had done now?

Bread crumbs

I don't attend sermons or listen to spiritual leaders of today. I find most of them very shallow, corrupt, greedy, and particularly in the US – despicable pedophiles.

I am open to inspiration from anywhere.

Every morning over coffee, I never know if and which birds will greet me with their raucous outside the window, but when they do, I listen! Even if it means I will be late, … again.

That lady “Maya-ji” who tends chappals at the Babulnath temple in mumbai – I have learned more from her than all the priests inside all the temples.

Consider my younger, cousin-brother Ramnath. He was unhampered by an urban upbringing or a convent education, and raised in rural Karnataka. Unburdened by Wordsworth, Shakespeare or O’Henry. Free of Einstein and vectors and field theory. He sources the best of indian fine art, and cares for his mother in Kumta; and occasionally drops pearls for me to mull over. During my travel to Mumbai this summer, he came up to visit. Early one morning over chai, he poured (paraphrased from konkani):

Life is like a train journey, Arun-dada, he gushed with passion. A one-way train journey! Every day speeds by you, a blurry scene outside the window; every person you meet, every interaction you have, every event that transpires – an event never to recur again! Just like those playing kids you notice from the train, as it speeds away. You will never see them again.

And we are never able to turn the train around, go back, re-meet, re-interact, re-enact. There are no do-overs! Just do! This day is soon behind us! And so we are on this train, speeding forward, until it meets death.

Enjoy the scene from the window; enjoy the HERE and NOW. Interact with everyone, as if its the last time you will. This you and this me will never meet again! This DAY is gone forever, a scene in a window of a train speeding towards destiny!

Live well. Now.

From mumbai we visited austria, and as the train sped from salzburg to vienna, M dozed off. I couldn't.

Live well.

Enjoy my other life-related posts:

The Complete Travelogue from Austria:

23 thoughts on “Live Well, Today

Add yours

  1. Arun, its 2013 and I came bk today as 29 year old just to read this story again. I am married now and live in Bangalore. Just shared this with my family. So much to learn all over again. Hope you’ve been well !
    Indian Girl

    1. Thank you for visiting again. Your comment brought me back too, and a chance to relive memories. now with Meera, I AM living in the here and now!
      Life ~ Enjoy it. and Congratulations.


  2. What a wonderful way to sum up life. I learnt a lot from your conversation with your cousin. I am 26 now but I look at days when I was 22 / 23 and I realize its not coming back – ever ! Try as I might the moments can never be regenerated .

    Will make me think twice about every interaction and every relationship I have and make the best of the experience !

    The words “This you and this me will never meet again! This DAY is gone forever ” truly spoke to me.

    1. Thank you desi girl for visiting and sharing your thoughts;

      I love this post ~ it makes me nostalgic; I also re-read what Ramnath said. Reading this often is good, it reminds me of the joyous experience right around me!

      And you have a wonderful blog! Nice 🙂
      Enjoy the day!

  3. Hi Sush!
    Thank you and am glad you enjoyed the post!
    With your attitude, I am sure you will always aspire for the best in others and yourself!

    Good luck and Best Wishes

  4. Awesome post Arun!
    I am sort of overwhelmed, filled with fond thoughts of years that have passed by. I am also filled with bright hopes of living life the best possible way I can !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: