It’s a Beautiful Life

“……Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way;

But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day…..”

~ A Psalm Of Life, by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow.

As I was battling with Covid last month, like many other sufferers of the disease, I too had my moments of anxiety and worries. I tried hard to keep myself away from all the negative thoughts but with the weakness in my body, my mind too started imagining things. But it was not for long and may be on the fourth day I decided enough of all this weakness and negativity, I had to come out of it. I slowly started practicing yoga and doing few routine work, whatever I could in my room, in isolation, to distract my mind from slipping into despair.

I took out my Kindle, (which was lying discarded in my drawer, long forgotten as I was busy carrying on my busy life) and slowly started surfing through all those e-books I had downloaded earlier some may be couple of years ago, to read someday at leisure, but which never happened. It was during one such surfing that I came across the poem, an excerpt of which I had quoted above.

Like many of us, I too believe that what makes life beautiful are small, beautiful, happy, and sometimes sad moments which one experiences in life. These events sometimes may be as small and common as a fleeting moment or sometimes a phase in one’s life. But I think, it is to these stories we should return back to when we feel down or in despair. These events in one’s life, makes one realize that indeed, life is really beautiful to be wasted away. Here I share a few of my common but untold beautiful moments. These are moments that I am going to store for making my own brand of happy pills.

1. We will Bond more and keep on growing stronger.

I remember, when we were growing up, one of the favourite sayings of our parents used to be ‘United we stand, divided we fall’. Our father even narrated stories to explain us what the saying meant whenever we had our petty sibling fights. Years later, I witnessed my very own story of it. I saw my dear hubby along with our two juniors working in tandem to provide me all the strength and determination to come out of the difficult phase. I watched my elder son, who is 10 years old, growing into a big brother overnight and taking care of the younger one who is six now and guiding him in his daily works including his studies (as they were having their assessment exams at that point of time). They even sent me messages through paper planes (as they were kept out of my room) and drawings to cheer me up and to telling me to keep going strong. I saw my younger one act with all the discipline and responsibility which I had never seen before. It was as if both of them had crossed over a level in their sibling bonding which to my great pleasure still continues. I realised how correct my father was when he told us years ago, during difficulties if you all stick together, you will see that the difficult times will just fly away. “Yes Papa, now we know how undefeatable a unified team is”.

2. Saptapadi and a lifelong promise of enduring love and togetherness, to cherish in sickness and health, for better or for worse.

A Vedic tradition 5000 years old and a promise which is as old as time. We all are, in our own way, keeping our promises of Saptapadi (seven steps around the ceremonial fire) we made to our other halves. With the first vow which begins with a promise of working together towards a better household and accepting responsibilities towards each other’s families, the promises to each other goes on to working towards a richer mental and spiritual self-existence, to earn wealth with full honesty to sustain the family. It continues about developing mutual understanding and respect towards each other. The sixth vow is for a healthy and long life with the final vow ending with a promise to stay committed. So, isn’t it wonderful when life gives one the occasion to witness the fulfilment of all the promises made? Be it my hubby, turning into a superhero, taking care of me during my illness and also looking after the kids, to attending his office work (as he was working from home), to all the long distance calls and monitoring of my health by my in laws from US (they are health professionals) or my folks from from Assam, I was blessed to have witnessed all.

3. They all grow up, the key to happiness is seeing them doing so and falling in love every time with all the phases.

I remember as we were growing up, library happened to be our favourite place always and also that small book shop in the small marketplace. For us, the book shop or the library was a wonderland embracing in itself a world full of fantasy and wonderland. So, it is in this library we began our relationship with Nancy Drew, Famous Five, Hardy boys and continuing to Jane Austen, Bronte sisters, Shakespeare and what not. Years later I still can’t decide amongst all three of us who will win the title of being a voracious reader, (although I guess our eldest sister will be the strongest contender). So, it’s no wonder how happy I felt when I saw my niece change her DP to a picture with collection of Jane Austen Books. I mean, just yesterday I carried her on my lap singing lullaby and feeding her baby food when my sister went off to office and here she is my friend with whom I can talk about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. And I guess the happiness was mutual from what I understood from the excitement she displayed when she found out I too love listening to “Stay Gold” of BTS. She asked me “Mahi (Aunt), why BTS?” I told her Love! I like listening to all those beautiful songs which spreads a message of life and positivity. “Yes” She said, an instant response and sans the gap of age and distance between us, together we were in the same page of realisation. O... how beautiful that moment was for us. Later on my sister told me that she shared our conversation with her dad, going a step further and speaking about their “Love Yourself campaign” and their relationship with United Nations and all the philanthropic deeds her favourite pop Band was doing. A tacit understanding of the difference between idolising and idolising the good.

4. Seeing the beauty of Life through the eyes of others

Many a times, life provides us opportunities to see its beauty through the eyes of a beholder. And this beholder sometimes turns out to be a complete stranger. Seeing a young girl striding across the street and looking up and smiling at the sudden fall of autumn leaves over her (maybe remembering a beautiful moment from past) , a homeless kid squealing with happiness, laughing and running towards his friends with a kite which fell down from the sky above (maybe his most prized possession of the day), well beauty of life is endless.

5. Meeting the small self-goals, one has set up for herself/ himself at workplace

No dear readers, here I am not talking about the bigger ones. The achievement of the corporate goals set for you will definitely bring you the accolades and positions which you have toiled for and will definitely bring well deserved happiness, but what about all those small targets which you had set for your own? Achieving all those small tasks which you had set brings with it a sense of accomplishment and purpose in life making it all the more enjoyable. Be it the new file which you wanted to finish processing by day end, to finding and plugging the gap which delayed the processing of the same, these are those small tasks which in itself are the stepping stones towards the achievement of the larger and bigger ones. But why stop celebrating the accomplishment of the same? I mean no one’s stopping us from patting our own backs once in a while.

6. Random act of kindness

These acts are spirit lifters not only for the beneficiary, they also bestow a sense of satisfaction for the benefactor too. These self-less acts make one realise that world is not such a bad place to live in and life is indeed wonderful. I bask in these precious random show of humanity whenever I get the chance to act or see one. Offering help to visually impaired fellow colleague while crossing the road, buying local products from a small vendor, to being the receiver of the watchfulness and protectiveness of an elderly stranger while standing alone early in the morning in a dark and lonely bus stand I have witnessed my own share of random act of kindness.

7. Life is all about forgiveness and letting go.

By forgiveness I believe it means making peace with oneself. It doesn’t mean that the act of hurt or harm should be excused or forgotten (which I believe is next to impossible), but forgiving and letting go means to let go off the grudges and bitterness and accept the thing to bring peace to one’s mind. Be it a prejudiced criticism meted out to one or a negative gossip, or a fellow colleague sabotaging one’s planned life, the more one keeps on clinging to these acts of harm, the more bitter the life will become followed by a constant sense of anger, hatred towards all and losing the connectedness. On the other hand, forgiving and making peace with oneself will take one away from the anxiety and depression and make one feel a general sense of forgiveness. For me, the feeling is as beautiful as freeing my mind to a clear blue never ending sky. I strongly believe on the verse

तेज: क्षमा धृति: शौचमद्रोहोनातिमानिता | भवन्ति सम्पदं दैवीमभिजातस्य भारत

(~From The Shrimad Bhagawat Gita)

(Vigour, an attitude of forgiveness towards others, courage, purity, goodwill, towards others, and freedom from pride. All of these, dear Arjuna, are considered by Me (Lord Krishna) to be the great characteristics of a man who possesses a divine nature and has come into this world from heaven.)

Dear Readers, as I sit down and retrospect today, I believe my daily Yoga practices, meditation , a positive outlook and the love of my dear ones kept me enveloped during this entire period of 28 days and prevented me from succumbing to this fearsome virus. The positive thoughts helped me sail through all the dark days and gratefully pulled me out. And as I am slowly returning to my now new normal life, commuting daily to office, I still remember the effort I had to make in dragging myself within my room to only fall exhausted and asleep in the bedroom chair. Yoga helped me focus my thoughts and helped me strengthen my breath and to keep my lungs aerated. A positive mind helped me to heal from within and kept my faith alive. It kept my mind sane and made me believe that this time will also pass through, for life is all about keeping the balance of joy and sorrow.

But, like I said in the beginning, as I continue to live the present, the above expressed thoughts are few of the instances which I am keeping with me as my dose of happy pills. Instead of worrying to what could happen, it anchors me to the present—now, the only moment, the most important moment. Honestly, this entire ordeal has left me a little bit more humble and a bit more compassionate and I believe as I will continue to ride this roller coaster called life, there will be more to cherish, store and share. I also believe that all you beautiful people out there, are also carrying on, with your own brand of happiness which makes this Life so beautiful and I would definitely like to hear from you. So, till we meet again……


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