Stop says the red light
Go says green
Wait says the amber light
All must obey it
Even the queen
My four year old boy would sing this nursery rhyme to me when he would be in the car waiting for the green light in the traffic crossing. I wish on this crazy thing ,could it be possible to erect a system that could control the traffic of our mind that lives in constant motion?One could stop the mind for a brief while and after brief refreshing breaks resume its journey again or remain where it is supposed to be rather than pondering around restlessly out of control. Most of us are on the run constantly, rushing to work in the midst of the peak traffic, while we are on the move our minds and thoughts have gone one lane ahead thinking of what is ahead of us in the later part of the day. The constant honking and hooting of the vehicles, the wait in the traffic signals seems like never ending and the urge to barely make it through to the other side when the signal is just about to turn red. The whole day the passes by in a rush, meetings, deliverables, appointments, emails, errands, groceries, heated telephone calls, coffee breaks, meal time……………..Once the long day is over, its time to go back home and then again begin the long journey next day. The mind has already reached home in to the arms of our loved ones or woken up at work for the next working day. I wish then there was some way one could travel at the speed of our own minds?
Finally when I am back home all exhausted and drowned in fatigue I barely have the energy to move a muscle in my body compared to the twitch of the muscles on my son’s face that flashes that beaming vibrant smile. Where is the time and energy for anything else? And I was just waiting to get home. And what one family ends up doing is having dinner; watching the television for a little while and then sleeping .One ordinary day in a person’s life.
To describe another day, I would just have to cut copy paste the paragraph above in here. It may be a little different with one extra commitment, with one more coffee break or an even weaker smile at the end of the day. It is as if there is this treadmill that is continuously on the move and we run on it. But somehow the knobs to control the speed, incline is just not there. Keep running and match up to the pace rather than having your personal program.
I sat by one day and replayed the tape that recorded the events of an ordinary day in my life and watched it in the normal speed rather than the fast forward mode it always played on. I wanted to select the program on which I tread on for the day, walk the way I want to at the speed and incline at which I am comfortable with. Sometimes press stop and take a well deserved break. I wished to take control over my life.Somewhere in that program I wanted a dance class, loose little more weight, eat a little healthier, a walk in the lovely park I have right opposite my house, some more quality time with my son, some more quality time with myself, happiness, time to watch the rain like before when I was a little girl, time for a quiet moment to call my dad and tell him that I have grown up to be just like him.That I am so proud of him.I have most of the things in life that we call privileges. But I am looking for peace, serenity, the joy of stillness and calm of the ever vagabond mind, the ability to enjoy the present rather than carrying the excess baggage of the past or fighting the fear of what will happen tomorrow. Have control over myself to avoid getting in to a silly argument with my spouse , with strangers or people known to me that would only make me feel terrible later. Get a grip over the way insignificant issues and unimportant people manage to affect me.I am looking for happiness. Many of us have almost everything that money could buy us. But how many of us are simply happy and contend with life?
In most self help books we read of a dying mans predicament. All the regrets are about the things left undone rather than what has been accomplished. While leaving this world, it seems no man one their car, the mansion size house or their apartment. The size of our graves or pyres do not correlate to the designation attached behind our name .. What I have seen around the time of departure of relatives is that departing souls hold on to their loved ones and pray for some more grace time, time to hold on and spend with the family and friends, time and a few more breaths to smile, cry tears of togetherness and let the concerned person know how much they mean and apologise for all the misunderstandings and regretful words uttered. Is it not true? When we hear of a near ones illness we travel across the oceans and continents in the last minute to catch up when we have actually let go off a life time to be with them..
Most of us pass our lives complaining about what is not right with our lives, with the world, with our children, our spouses, friends, colleagues at work. We hold petty grudges over simple insignificant things. All the things we complaint about are such an integral part of our lives. We hesitate to pick up the phone and make up with a close friend because of our egos, we don’t have the time to have a meal or coffee promised to a very significant person who is an inspiration to us in life, postpone a very exciting yet simple program with our children thinking we can always do it later. We are reluctant to say I love you’s, feel ashamed to say sorry, look away while passing an acquaintance deferring a simple hey because of the fear of an uncertain conversation. Saying thanks is easy but gratitude is another thing. We curse the hot sunny afternoons and wish for a small downpour and then swear on the he pouring rains and want to see the clothes dry and pray for the sun to be out. Keep thinking about work and are constantly on the phone while having that blessed meal with the family and feeling guilty about not keeping up a promise to our spouse or children because of a last minute meeting cropping up at work.
Just like the mind lives in another lane behind or ahead of us, the body is having a stroll in another lane and our hearts are loitering around lost looking for happiness, satisfaction and contentment in the crossroads which is futile. We continue living a mediocre life while we put away life’s simple things which churn out maximum pleasure for some other time. Most of the time we don’t cherish the dreams of the life that we are living for in reality today. Either we are blind or ignorant or we are waiting for something even better to happen. Simply the integral parts that make us(the mind, the body, and the heart)are not present in the current event together. One fine day I did not have my car and I had to use public transport to commute. I was traveling by an auto rickshaw the younger brother to a taxi with three wheels. On reaching my drop zone, a small argument broke up between me and the driver because we seemed to disagree on the fare. This is very common in my city. Whether that argument saved my life or my decision of not carrying forward a non purposeful hostile exchange of dialogues, don’t know exactly made me choose the perfect time to get off the Rickshaw. A fraction of a second earlier I would have been run over by a huge water trailer. I felt like a stuffing in a sandwich between the speeding truck and the rickshaw. The driver of the rickshaw was sitting in his seat inside. I could barely breathe because I feared if I exhaled my little paunch would touch the truck. The fact is that I was extending this one breath of my life in case it was the last one. Stretching to live a little bit more.
After that there was silence, the auto driver collected his fare sped away, a lot of things remain unsaid, because even he was shaken up by the thought of what could have been.
I sat quietly on the pavement by the side of the road. I definitely had a lot to say and a lot to do. I had to make up with a very close friend of mine and say sorry over a silly argument. My little boy would be expecting me to pick him up from his play school in half an hour. This day was special because I did not go to work and I was so excited that I would get to spend the rest of the day with him. I needed to live for a little while more because I was planing on meeting an uncle of mine who had been diagnosed of having Leukemia.
That day I took a day off from my regular routine for the day and planned to do all the things I have been putting aside, see my uncle, pick up my son, visit a good friend of mine and have lunch with her and her four year old daughter who was my sons heart throb. I intended to walk up to the next lane to register in the yoga classes and enquire about the timings and fees for dance dancing classes. I love to dance.Rome was not built in a day, but the idea of building Rome definitely started with one single thought.My life was one unique, exquisitely selected chance gifted to me for cherishing it wholeheartedly. Each day was a blessing and I just could not let it pass by so carelessly. Today I want to be the person I dream of becoming tomorrow. I want to live my dream life today, now, here, in this moment.There will be no beagle to announce the start, no curtain raisers, just a tiny thought that we are already starting to live our best life. It only takes one decision to change our destiny.