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?
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.
Enjoy my other life-related posts:
- I’d pick more Daisies
- 11 Secrets to Success
- Flower Sellers at Dadar, Mumbai
- You are not special – David McCullough Jr
- Steve Jobs Commencement Speech, 2005
The Complete Travelogue from Austria:
- Visiting Innsbruck
- Innsbruck: Overpriced gizmos
- More from Innsbruck
- New Year Greetings from Innsbruck, 2007
- Street Food: Seafood in Salzburg
- Stefansdom Vienna Austria
- Vienna: Those pastries tempt
- Good bread is good for you
- Celebrating Mozart