The last few years have been difficult and hectic, juggling a full time career, looking after a child and the myriad other responsibilities in life. How the years rolled by and my daughter grew to a poised 17 year old is a wonder. The preparations were on to send her to a prestigious college and I was counting every rupee that I had saved to pay for the expensive education she deserved.
I had to learn an important lesson, how to let go of my fear of letting go of my little one, to let her fend for herself in the real world. It was sheer coincidence that my next door neighbor walked into the house as I was returning from the airport, after dropping my daughter off. I was relating my fears to her in full flow, when I noticed that she had tears in her eyes. Stopping mid flow I looked at her enquiringly.
“My younger brother expired while you were traveling, he just did not come home that day. It was a major accident”, she sobbed. I was taken aback. This was the hale and hearty 27 year old whose marriage plans were being finalized. Slowly she sobbed out her story. Apparently, the young man had been driving his motor cycle without a helmet and was struck by a speeding bus. Aghast, I tried to console her. Her words led me deep into thought, are we over-thinking?
My thoughts kept on spinning out of control. Wasn’t control the key of all trouble? We need to control every little thing, we plan, we think, we try and manipulate every minute according to what we deem ideal. Little do we heed the old adage, “man proposes, god disposes’. My thoughts were deep and my mood troubled. Can we really change what destiny has in store for us? Are we not resting on our past laurels and fearing too much about our future. The parents of the young man had given up all the little pleasures of life, those weekend outings, those movies and dinners were all forsaken for the dreams of their son’s future.
Was I not embarking on the same journey? Was this the rude shock that would remind me to live in the present? I learnt a valuable lesson out of the tragedy. Be prudent, look to safe guard the future, but do not let yourself get blinded by the dreams that you see. Live in the present and savor the small joys that come in your way. I picked up the phone to call my daughter and asked her to get the tickets to the Justin Beiber show to be held in Mumbai in May.
Ecstatic, she asked,’ Mum, how did you change your mind? You said the tickets were too expensive! Did you win the lottery or something’? Her joy was infectious. I smiled at her exuberance and put the phone down with the resolve that I would never put the constraints of a future dream to rule the present of my child. Yes, goals must be set and dreams must be dreamt, or life becomes aimless and directionless. Bur, one should never put off the little pleasures that life brings us in the anticipation of that one big moment. For all we know, the memory we will make today may be the best one of our life.
Sad, but true, we need a drastic incident to jolt us out of the rut that life has thrown us into. It need not be that way! Live in the present and encourage your loved ones to do so too. Let us let go of the pressure that anticipating the future puts on us and live without fear!