To the things we missed.
1900 hours and fifty two minutes.
At one of the many odd airports of the journey called life.
In the last three and half years of my life, I have literally been on my toes 16–18 hours every day for six days a week, most of the weeks. And in the process I have probably missed more personal time & life moments than I have ever done in the years prior to the last three and half odd years.
However, before we start drifting, this isn’t a coming of age story. It’s probably not going to be a better me, anytime soon. But while we are at it, I just wanted to lay an epilogue to things we missed while we grew up and probably didn’t have the time to notice.
I lost my maternal grandfather at an amazing age of 102 years recently. And thankfully in spite of everything, I did have the sense to go see him while he was alive, a month before he passed away. And when there, I was just wandering around the courtyard when this struck something deep home.
The earliest days of my life were spent at this place in a nondescript town in Assam. However, there is a stark difference between those days of old and today. While the permanent parts of this image, including the trees haven’t changed at all, a lot has changed.
But this was the first time it hit me hard that it’s the time of Magh Bihu (the harvest festival that is celebrated across most parts of India by different names in the month of January) and none of my cousins were there and the sounds of laughter have been replaced with a silent acknowledgement of coming of age and growing up.
And the feeling has lingered on. While we keep reading through all those then and now posts on social media, blogs, laugh a little or grow nostalgic about the times past, the question arises to how much of it are we really acknowledging and keeping with us? Because if not now, then when, would be the next question hitting us hard?
When a lot of it would have passed us by.
Hence this epilogue to what we missed or keep missing and probably don’t notice as often as we should.
- A walk down memory lane.
A lot of these roads are better now. Or some of them would have ceased to exist. Yet they were there before we started treading other paths.
With the world as distributed and remote as it is today (who would have thought that as we grew closer globally, we would drift apart locally), it’s important to take a long walk down memory lane through lanes we used to frequent, as often as we can. To keep in touch with ourselves and maybe to feel a little sane.
2. Watching the sun going down.
When we were younger and we were together, one of the things most of us probably would have done a lot, is to play down the road until the sun went down. Cut to today, how often do we do this? Let’s maybe pause more and catch the sun going down a little more often. We might just end up finding more of us there.
3. Keeping ourselves warm with the dying embers.
Cold winter nights, no electricity, someone building us a fire and spooky stories. Rings a bell? We might still do this wherever we are, but maybe we should take a few more days off in a year to get the original circle of those fireside chats back together.
4. Take a swing without being in a photograph.
The makeshift swings tied to the trees, or even the real ones. Today the reason we would swing is probably for instagram. Maybe we take a moment to build those makeshift swings yet again and not click a photograph but talk and smile in elan?
5. Recollection. Taking a stones throw challenge and staying put on those riverbanks or the ponds.
And finally for no reason, stop at these random places. Watch the water. Let it all sink in and not move on. Moving on has become the epiphany of the twenty first century life. But at the end of it all, why do we have to move on?
Maybe when we do stop moving on from things that do matter, the world would be a much better place to live in, than the one we are in today.
What was the point of this epilogue? Nothing really, save the realisation that we are growing older. The world is moving on, but maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe we should start noticing the things we are missing from the older times. Maybe we should fixate more on our childhoods. And maybe, just maybe that might be the difference between a happier world and one not so.
And you know the saying they keep saying that between broken pencils and erased dreams we all grew up? Maybe we don’t have to erase them. :)
Here’s to the things we missed and maybe never noticed. But we should have.