I WISH HE WAS STILL THERE….

While I am largely happy and content about my life there is one thing that I wish was different.

How I wish my father-in-law (fil) was still alive. We lost him when we were least prepared. His demise shook us to the core.

I got to spend only about 2.5 years with him. Its a very small time but we had bonded so well. Needless to say, he was the fatherly figure for me. Very calm, poised and full of cultural values. His energy and enthusiasm at the age of 73 would put youth like me to shame.

I have a sweet tooth but the family I got married in to prefers savoury food except my fil. We were the partners in finishing all the sweets and desserts at home. Even if only one piece was left we would always eat it half half. I love eating chapati with shikran (banana roughly mashed in milk and a dash of sugar). Almost every night we would share shikran and on the days when the veggie was not my preferred choice he would silently go get a banana and keep it in my plate without claiming his half portion. He used to often say that ever since I got married he got easy access to sweets because of me 😊.

There are many fond memories about him in my heart. No words can really describe them. It was destiny’s tough call to take him away from us and only if we could have done something to stop this wrath of fate. There was so much to learn from him but unfortunately I got very little time with him. I would cherish foreever those 2.5 years spent under his wings with lot of love and care showered on me.

I and my husband were quite young then. We were just settling down in our careers and married life. Unfortunately all that my fil saw was our struggle. Struggle to climb the corporate ladder, struggle to have our own baby, struggle to raise savings. How I wish he was still there when we over came all these struggles. How I wish he was still there when we bought our first car. How I wish he was still there to congratulate us when we finally started getting promoted at work. How I wish he was still there when Aarnav was born, his happiness would have known no bounds. Sometimes I wonder how he must have felt to see me transform from a carefree naive girl to a matured women who eventually learnt to care for everyone and everything around her.

Its been more than 7 years that he left for the heavenly abode but there is never a single day that we dont miss him. I remember few months after he was gone, I was supposed to join a new organization. On the first day, the auto that I was travelling in passed by the hospital where he breath his last. Tears welled up in my eyes and how I wished he was still there with us to bless us every time we started with a new venture.

How I wish he was still with us when we had be able to tell him to relax and let us take over all the responsibilities. But only of it was in my hands!

Even though he is not with us in a physical form he will continue to be in our hearts forever. I am sure that he is watching on us from up above. And I know he is proud of us.

Baba, we miss you.

ACT AND AVOID REGRETS

If a survey is conducted and people are asked “If God grants you one wish what would you pick?”, undoubtedly “A chance to revisit or relive the past (simply put a as Time Travel)” will the take the cake hands down.  “Being invisible”, “Being filthy rich”, “Stay young forever” are few close contenders though 😁.  What makes people cling to the past so much?  Happy moments of past and regrets in present to say the least often make people wish badly if they could just once walk down the memory lane and relive & cherish and change the course of incidents if possible.

And I am no exception.  I want to enjoy my childhood once again with my siblings, wish badly to be in school once again with my best pals, seek blessings of my revered teachers, pursue my hobbies more rigorously, be with my father when he needed me, take up science instead of commerce that could have helped me land in a job at this moment 😁😁 and I regret that decision till this date.  Many more regrets and joys!  Don’t worry, not going to list every minute detail lest it will be damn boring for you all 😉.

But two incidents, one from distant past and the other from recent past that still linger on my mind,  while conscience always questions me – Why you were silent then? At this moment while mentioning about them I am imagining myself in those situations as a person who did something in her capacity that could have made at least a trivial change, but a change nevertheless:

  • I was in college (2003), boarded a bus back to home.  Three men boarded the same bus.  The bus was already crowded. They stood next to me.  Far from being decent or civilised as they looked and sounded, asked me about a particular destination and when I answered them, they started making fun of me.  I was numb.  Not a word uttered.  And I was not the only one they were taking digs at, they poked few more people in an obnoxious manner.  But everyone was silent till they got down. And “Everyone” included me too and that’s my REGRET.
  • When I was in India this year, enjoying my vacations I witnessed a horrific incident of child abduction. As I was leaving a market premise along with my brother, his wife and my daughter we saw a Banjara (nomad) lady handing over a kid to a man who was waiting on a scooter.  At the very first sight it was clear that that the child doesn’t belong to her and our doubts were more less confirmed when we saw the number plate of the vehicle. It was blank for obvious reasons.  It all happened in a fraction of seconds and I was left pondering over ” shall I confront them”, ” shall I alert the police patrol team in that area”.  But alas I just kept thinking instead of initiating the action and that’s my REGRET.

I am sure we all have such regrets in our lives where a small voice made might have been heard, a petty action taken might have made the difference and our sheer incapacity or inaction forced the world trend the improper ways it is already on. Think about it! Well that brings to my mind one my friend’s important quote:

FB Caption Championship -6

(A Candles Online Property)

We are living in times when our silence is taken as our acceptance, our decency is taken as our incapacity or weakness, our inaction is a registered Yes and encouragement to the wrongdoers.  We are living in times where a concrete demarcation is necessary between “Apparently ” and “Certainly ” for people to understand ” Clearly“.  Hence it is important to Act for what you believe and avoid Regrets and your journey to old memory lanes should be a joyful ride 😊.

A REGRET AND A VAGUE ATTEMPT.

Wish Life Was As Easy As My Computer Screen:

Made some errors?

No problem! Just UNDO and type again. But alas, no Undo button for Life.

I remember in the Spotlight series Saakshi asked me the same question: If you were allowed to go back and change one thing from your past, what would you pick and why?”

As I ponder upon this question, all that I see are my regrets and my fanatics. I regret days I wasted – I regret blunders I made – I regret the hurts I gave my dear ones – I regret the foolish decisions I made – I regret the wrong friendships I chose to nurture – and the list “I REGRET” goes on.

We often laugh away when our elders advice us: “One day, you will regret but you won’t have an option to undo your mistakes.” Isn’t this forewarning so fitting to this context!

Taking one such antic of my life into account:

One of my professional life demands is – ‘staying away from home’. Being well aware of my future reality, my mom used to tell me, learn to cook. Cooking has nothing to do with gender-specific obligations. Learn to cook now, you won’t regret when you will stay away from home. But with a manly swag 😎, I used to reply, “Oh, common, restaurants zindabad. We need to be mindful about the restaurant’s survival.” On 2016, when I settled in Kolkata, I lived with this swag for almost a year. But someone said rightly, “penny-pinching is a good teacher for men”. And that day came, ‘alone in my living room with half-burnt curry and over-boil rice for a meal, I wished, I could go back and learn that curry from Mumma and come back to cook for myself. But alas! It was too late for that.😔’

From the 13th of September 1997 to 27th of March 2007, there used to be aired ” SHAKTIMAAN” an Indian Superhero action show on Indian Television screen. Probably, that’s where most of we the 90’s kids were introduced to the unrealistic concept ” Time-traveling” (going back to the time to undo or do some undone works of our life). But our tender minds were barely capable enough to understand the disclaimers shown both at the beginning and end of the show – “All of these are ficious, it has no resemblance to anyone’s life. It is all the work of animation, IT IS NOT REAL.”

Wrong Doing – Regret – Learning is the process of progress of morally equipped human being. Now, a Saint is not a superhero who time-traveled and uplifted his life to glorious standards. Rather, once he was a wretched man, whose sins convicted him, he realised his mistakes by the reasoning of his mind, repented from his wrong ways, looked upon God to strengthen him with wisdom and holiness to navigate life in our sin-centric earth, and after a lot of hardships he gained the experience to live life with holiness and lo and behold NOW he is an example to all.

C.S Lewis said;

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

Indeed, we can’t go back and change the beginning, even thinking about it is a vague attempt. But why do we do so? Often, we consider ourselves as the victim of our past. And if I am allowed for an exact interpretation of it, I would phrase it like this, “I am the victim of my tragedy and the perpetrator of the problem is Mr. X or Ms. Y, not I!”
Going little ahead with this mentality, we EITHER start idolising a successful someone with same/similar story and their way of coping OR we start pushing ourselves to live with our wounds which later bounds us to live another heinous and cancerous way of life.
Penning from God’s perspective, God understands our frailties and he never wants to see us in malady. So, in the uniqueness of our problem, God wants us to repent from our mistakes and learn from our malady and attempt to live life on glorious standard instead of mulling in vain regrets and pining over silly attempts to go back in time and set things in the right order.
As we trust His perspective and attempt His ways, He offers us His strength in His personality reflected in Jesus.

WISH I COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME…

Oh How I wish I could travel back in time. There are thousands of things I would like to erase or change. I would erase all the embarrassing moments of my life or the bloopers I committed. I would change all the reasons because of which I got scolding from my parents or teachers. Ha Ha !! If I could go back and tell my younger self the things I learnt the hard way, life would be so much more sorted… But these are only wishes. And maybe then I would have missed out on the experience of growing up. 

But then we all have regrets in our hearts and always wish we were given a chance to undo it. I can also think of a few things. 

I was a very happy go lucky kind of child. Never took my studies quite seriously. In my primary school years I was in the top ten in class but by the time I touched secondary section there were many distractions. And I somehow lost that competitive spirit. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self how important it is to get a cutting edge degree or a professional degree. And how a plain vanilla B.Sc. doesn’t take you too far. It’s not that I didn’t have the capability, at least l like to believe that I had. Its only that I was not inclined to work hard, didn’t have a goal in mind. I just went with the flow. School, then graduation, then marriage… Everything just happened. It was like my boat was just floating with the current I didn’t even try to steer it. This regret is always there in one corner of my mind. 

As far as my relationships are concerned there is one more thing I wish I could change. When I was in my early twenties I had my sister and two cousins living with us. I was an elder sister to all three of them. The go to person for them. I used to be their agony aunt their problem solver and their shield when we faced the parental ire. I really miss those days, the camaraderie we shared and the fun we had. My friends were by default their friends too. And we were a big happy gang of girls. 

When I got married and shifted to Mumbai I suddenly plunged into a brand new world, a new city, new family, married life. I got so immersed in my life I think I suddenly left them in the lurch. Those were the days of STD calls and rationed talk time, no mobiles to keep in touch with my family. My parents probably understood but my gang of girls deteriorated. There was a rift between the three of them (Two on one side and the third one on the other side. My sister moved to a hostel for her engineering studies I think that was the time she must have felt the most lonely and needed someone to talk to and I was busy building a new life. To this day  regret that phase of my life. I did not even realize the chasm that was created between me and her till it was too late. I just hope she doesn’t carry any bitterness in her heart even now. If I could just re live those 4-5 years of my life I would not let my baby sister feel abandoned ever. I was so intent on creating new relations I took the ones I already had for granted. 

But these are only wishes. Alas time travel is not possible yet. Anyways even if it were possible things would become too complicated if we try to go back and change things. We just have to learn to accept our mistakes and move on and try to be a better person than we were..

Google gave me an apt quote for my state of mind

“We don’t regret the things we have done. We just regret the things we didn’t do when we had a change.”

COULD IT HAVE BEEN ANY BETTER?

Many of us may be content and happy about how our life is today but if we look back and can change something, we would certainly have more than one thing to change. Though we don’t regret what has happened, there is nothing wrong in introspecting to make our future better.

When it comes to my life, without a doubt what I would want to change is how I dealt with people and feelings associated with them. Quite a few things that are usually obvious for others were not so for me. A lack of understanding of people has let me down many times. Someone told me, “It is easy even for a fool to fool you. All they have to do is smile“. This came from an acquaintance and has disturbed me for quite some time now. That’s because the statement is true. But how?

I am sure all of you have friends. During our schooling, university, at work place and even in the neighborhood we make friends. Some of them grow up to become acquaintances and others become best friends. When we are moving from one phase of life to another, our friends change and so are our expectations from them. Sometimes we outgrow our friends and other times our friends outgrow us. In this process, our friends can make us better or worse. As the interests are growing apart, it is important to assess if we can still be friends with that person. May be we jelled well earlier, but at that point of time, we should ask ourselves if this is the person who we would want to be associated with. The answer might turn out to be “no” for some and we should let go of them. Often we don’t do this essential assessment and end up with emotional baggage. There is absolutely no need to maintain friends that can be harmful to us in the future. I never really did this in my life. I always had few friends and every time the distances grew it has only left me devastated.

The second thing I would have done differently would be to open up myself for the world more than I did. My parents were very protective. They would allow me to do certain things on my own like applying for passport or opening a bank account but they would always drop me till the doorstep of the office. I never used went out with friends or movies etc. This continued even after I got a job because I felt this how it is in the world. Even when my cousins who are younger than me bought their own vehicles, I thought a two wheeler is unnecessary even when I could afford it. Are you thinking what’s the big deal? I have not learnt the importance of having independence. If we are always dependent on others to commute, go out and do something, we loose our individuality. Also, this might create fear in some people to do things alone. What helped me here was I started travelling alone. At first, I was really very scared. Fortunately I found a good travel group. This does not in any way mean I have not had hiccups. Someone misbehaved on a trip, has unpleasant experiences travelling solo but, how soon I overcame those was really surprising. Few years ago the same would have stolen my sleep for a few days. Now, I have a better understanding of what trivial situations I should not loose my sleep over. Few days ago, my dad said, “You have been travelling quite a lot. Why don’t you stop now?”. “I started travelling just now, there are so many countries and so many places. I don’t know how much I can cover in this life” was my response. My dad was not expecting that answer from me. But girls, trust me, the confidence in you is the strength to your family. Tomorrow if you run into some trouble, your family should be confident that you would be able to deal with it. Parents, request for you, do let your kids spread their wings. There is no great teacher than life.

Slowly and steadily I am trying to grow and learn from life. It has been tough and it is only going to be tougher. Sure, we cannot change our past but with constant introspection into our own self, accepting our mistakes, learnings from our elders we would be able to traverse through life with ease and certainly carve our future. Hopefully, the small changes I am making would make my life better. Is there anything you would want to change? If so, what is that?