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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

We are always in a rush to complete our never ending bucket list as if we were leaving this planet the next moment. We are so proud to say how busy we are. "I don't have a minute to breathe" seems like a current favourite dialogue, sounds cool (or at least supposed to). Please do take time to breathe since it is the only sure-shot evidence of us being alive. So savour every breath you take.

Our life has become so mechanical that we go through the day like programmed devices. A time to eat, sleep, work, traffic jams, rushed meetings and a quick hi to loved ones. May be I had a chance to analysis life when I was paralyzed (I had all the free time in the world for 2 ½ years) and this question always popped up in my mind, whether all these busy people who are rushing around, really happy? A person who works long hours to earn his daily bread is in a different league because his economic necessity prevails over anything else. But the people I am talking about are the "haves" of society and not the "have-nots".

Cinema often reflects real life and our society at large. The new genre of Hindi movies like "3 Idiots" and "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", are much appreciated and that simply shows that many people agree with this line of thinking. Everything in life, they say, goes through a cycle. People enjoyed the roller coaster ride and the rush factor, but now are willing to appreciate the simpler pleasures of life, like a scenic drive. The concept of "burn out" wasn't there in our parents' times, what got burnt was a toast and not people in their everyday life. We first lose our health to gain wealth, and then lose our wealth to regain our health. Many times, we don't succeed and what is lost permanently in the process is precious time.

We go for meditation classes, yoga sessions and nature retreats to gain some peace. But we are searching for something outside, what we need to find in our own mind. Why is it that we find meditation so difficult, to sit quietly and silence our mind? That is because we have got used to a robotic way of life, we find sitting in one place and concentrating on our breathing very tough.

We are in a hurry to reach a destination, but what we miss in the bargain is to enjoy the ride called "Life". There is no destination actually, the ride is what counts and what is known to us, after that it is all unknown. After having many things to be grateful for, we are still unhappy. We have set such unrealistic standards for ourselves, and when we don't reach them, we are depressed. Does it really matter, in the larger picture of life, what was your rank in class, what percentage did you get in college, how many medals are there in your cabinet, what is your waist line and so on. Believe me, we won't even remember all these facts, but what we can always reminisce are the good times of our childhood, our school trips, family holidays, weddings and joyous occasions. The reason we take photographs in our happy times, is because we want to capture the moment. We know that after many years, the photograph will bring a big smile to our face and loads of happy memories.

Please stop using the words, "Surviving" and "Getting along" when talking about your life. It is simply too precious to be treated with such disrespect. Ask a cancer patient the value of another day, and you will never treat life callously. These words of Agatha Christie echo my sentiments - "I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."

People spend their lives in anticipations, in determining when they should be happy because we have got so accustomed to a time schedule for everything. But the present time has one distinct advantage over every other-it is our own. Past opportunities are gone, future may not come. So don't defer life and the happiness that it holds to an uncertain tomorrow. Even the finest of wines are soured if we defer the tasting of them too long.

I would sign off with a simple truth of life that needs to be reiterated time and again. Carpe Diem! Seize the moment - rejoice that you are alive and live life to the fullest. Life is a major force to be reckoned with, don't treat it as a Force Majeure .

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