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.
6 thoughts on “Birthday dash”
Rajan, congratulations on a youthful 65! Yes, you are the youngest you ever will be, and your attitude will keep you young forever. Happiness is a choice, and you have exercised it well. Love you guy. Wish you many happy returns of the day. Khande.
Awesomeness! Didn’t realize some much awesomeness could be packed in such few words…but no more were needed.
Every mar 7 we are delighted for the gift that is You! Ummma.
Firstly let me wish you many happy returns of today. I have been trying to send you the birthday wishes on time all these years but I fail because I am not as disciplined as you are unfortunately. I forget and I felt shy to ask you and the wishes never get sent.
You have been very regular in sending the birthday wishes ever since we came to know each other. I sometimes forget my own birthday but a nice text from you on my mobile is always there right on birthday morning to remind me about it. Thanks for keeping me alive and afresh all these years.
Your birthday blog revealed many fascinating truths. “better to grow old than dying young” –“never tried to be perfectionist. It can be stressful and waste of time” to name a few. We need you to come out with more truths like these.
You are now 65 years young and I am sure we will hear a lot from you for many years to come.
Thanks Bala. I am glad you enjoyed the post and we are on the same page ion many points.
Wish you a very happy birthday (since it is late, let it be birth week!). I am surprised to know your desires of early age. You have well guarded secrets, man. Great. Your writing is refreshing me. 65 is not that big count, particularly when you have no stress in life and manage everything well. Whenever, you talk about (old) age, I recall your words, “the queue is moving and we have no idea where we are”.
Wish you nice time ahead.
First off belated wishes! Age actually should be defined and the no of years the world has enjoyed us. The more the better as proved by you…. I enjoyed the 3 people helping the old lady crossing the road joke…. lol