Today is 7th of March, my birthday and I am 65. Thank you for the greetings. Don’t bother about the gifts, I have the best gift of my life, I am breathing and a man in no hurry. Today I am the youngest, I ever will be.
An extract from a poem titled “ Live your dash” by Linda Ellis-
The line etched into a headstone
Between the dates of birth and death
Represents each step we take on earth
… and every single breath
To many, it is but a hyphen…
Marking time between the years
But in that little dash, is a lifetime
Of laughter, love and tears..
Time steals our days and hours
Before we recognise the theft
And we live each day not knowing
how much of our dash is left
Last year on my birthday a friend commented, Raj, do you realise you are growing old. I told him its better than dying young.
So far its been an unplanned and happy life. Life is full of options, just picked one whenever I had to and kept going. Decided to be happy whenever I wanted to, never tried to be a perfectionist, it can be stressful and a waste of time. Aimed for excellence, most of the time ended up scoring good, at times very good and many flops, which were blessings in disguise.
Never bothered whether plate is half full or half empty, adjusted the appetite with whatever available and felt full.
Going back to school days, I did not like any subject except maths . Exams, elocution, mugging were all stressful. Earliest dream was to be a postman on a bicycle, then a steam engine driver with an handkerchief tied around the forehead shovelling coal into the boiler. In the engineering college I had a secret desire to be a taxi driver, a long distant one and by final year, a marine engineer standing on the deck playing mandolin in the deep seas. As luck would have it, all of them flopped.
What I enjoyed in school and college, are cricket, tennis, table tennis and friends and one big secret. I shall let it out now, even my nearest one do not know. In places like Ranchi and Rourkela, there were many tribals, I used to spend my time, teaching them to read and write and gifted crudely assembled radios (by my friends ) for them to listen to songs and news.
Never had any personal goals. Change in designations, increase in salary happened along the way , did not count them. Making differences to other people’s lives were accomplishments. There were stages in life worked 18 hour a days for weeks together and enjoyed it. Questions were raised about wok life balance. No need, interfered less with children’s affairs and gave them freedom to grow. Give them space , you don’t have to be with them every time. Shortcomings may have been there, they have not complained yet. And then you don’t have to score cent percent everywhere.
One change I am experiencing now is that I have stopped going in search of people and forcibly helping them whether they need or not. You remember , the scout master, at the end of the day asked his pupils, whats the good thing they did ? Three of them stood up and said , we helped an old lady cross the road. Why the three of you ?
She did not want to cross.
Today, somebody wants something, they will find me and I go all out for them, though the outcome is not guaranteed
The blessings in my life are my wonderful parents, sibling family, children, relatives, friends, team and colleagues. They have taken care of me in times of need. I am thinking hard to find a name to complain about. Sorry, none.
A youngster, the other day, told me that I am his role model, he wants to be me.
I told him, NO, a big NO.
You should be you.
We are all unique and do not try to be someone else.
Create your own path.
Just work, to do something good, big, great.
Have habits that suits you, what matters is attitude.
Never stop learning , add to skills learn to respond and not react, find a candle to light when there is a power failure instead of cursing.
Understand everybody is unique and respect the differences.
Measure your strength by what you can give, not by what you get.
What you do with your knowledge is more important than just knowing.
Compete with yourself.
Take responsibility, do not blame others
Nothing happens before its time, patience
Take the example of cricket, a ball driven by Tendulkar through the covers, would have been flicked with elegance through midwicket by Lakshman, straight driven by Dravid for four. Same philosophy of uniqueness works in life.
Care, share and give with love , everything else will fall in place.
Somebody after hearing one of my lecture told me I should have gone higher in life !! . I told him I never practiced all that I preached and if they practiced, it will do them good.
Since I am a man of few words and lazy, I am posting my 2 paged draft auto biography as final.