She Died While She Was Alive

Being Alive

 

This is be the one line epitaph I intend to have engraved on every heart when I say my final good bye.

The dictionary meaning of the word “Life’ revolves around:

  1. The condition of being alive.
  2. The period for which an organism exists.
  3. The feeling of vitality, energy and growth.

If one mechanically wants to go through the drudgery of ticking the boxes, you can certainly tick on (b), but you might need to check the coordinates of your event called life before ticking on (a) and (c).

From an ailing bed ridden man to a high flying CEO, all of us certainly exist for a period called life. We exist till we breathe. It gives us immense satisfaction, though unconscious, that we are a part of an ever surprising saga called life.

Do we actually flex our mental muscles to find out other signs of being alive apart from breathing and being there?

The condition of being alive assumes that we are mindful of what is happening inside and outside us.

Do we think about how efficiently our bones, muscles, glands, cells and viscera work every second unless we feel a pain somewhere?

We only pay attention to the wondrous working of our body when it gives us some discomfort. Till then, we use it day in and day out without being ‘alert’ or ‘mindful’.

We create an eternity of urgency around our mundane lives giving a childish impression to ourselves of being very busy in something of real importance. We run through the alleys of our occupied brain at a high speed without having any time to find out what occupies the crevices of the brain.

Our insecurities keep us glued to a life which might be more close to ‘mere existence’ than ‘energy or vitality’ of any kind.

Fear of losing what we have, fear of being judged, ridiculed or written off, and fear of failure keeps us bonded to an existence which doesn’t let us grow or evolve.

The repetitive boredom can erode our mental, emotional faculties if we don’t make an attempt to recharge and reignite our batteries.

I don’t mind being unhappy or sad because feeling unhappy is better than feeling nothing.

I think about ninety year old Mahashweta Devi, the legendary author and activist who lived a vital life till her last breath. She survived her two divorces and fought indecisive, often hopeless battles for tribals. Taking all setbacks in her stride, she never stopped persisting. Then, my thought goes towards those millennials who write a suicide note and say good bye. We are failing as a society, as a community to propagate liveliness of life.

We must choose life for life, not for being a happy life or sad life.

It is a crime to be living a day without feeling kicked about it. It is alright to feel depressed or useless as long as it pushes us to stay alive to make it better.

As an individual, I owe it to myself to be mindful of each day I live. I intend to feel varied emotions every hour. I choose to feel alive.

As a parent, I owe it to my children to make them understand the difference between ‘living life’ and ‘leading life’. I want them to feel the tangy taste of failure and bitter taste of anger along with sweet/savoury taste of happiness. I wish to refine their taste buds to enjoy all tastes of life. I wish them to wait and yearn for different tastes each day rather than safely stick to one taste that they like.

Being alive everyday means loving life every day in whatever form it chooses to surprise us. Being alive every day is a challenge to die for.

Choose it now.

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I Love You Because . . .

I Love you because.jpgThis post was first published on http://www.madratgames.com – 23rd March, 2016

http://www.madratgames.com/i-love-you-because/

At the end of one of our workshops, participants were exchanging addresses, clicking the pictures. A girl came with a slam-book and wanted her friends to fill it up. The slam-book had a statement, “I love you because …” While filling the slam-book, one of the participants commented, “Hey! This question is wrong. I am leaving it. There can be no ‘because’ after ‘I love you”.

I learnt a valuable lesson from that kid. There are plenty of such precious lessons that we learn from children.

1. Curiosity: A parent had shared a wonderful experience with me. Her son was five years old and he saw a rainbow for the first time. He asked many questions like “where does it come from?”, “where does it sleep at night?”, etc. He was super excited to discover a colorful companion of sky. Next morning her driver was taking the car out of the portico. Some petrol had leaked from the car. As the sun shone brightly, a colorful prism like structure danced in the tiny pool of spilled petrol. As soon as her son saw it, he yelled, “Mummy, Get the first aid box. The rainbow is injured. It has fallen from the sky here.” When she rushed out, he was closely inspecting the colorful pool of petrol. We learn this curiosity and spontaneous application of learning from children. For them, everything begins with a “why” or “how” or “when”. When the elders start everything with “Don’t” or “No” or “Don’t you know even this,” the hows and whys die their own death.

2. Enthusiasm: Children find everything fresh and new because of a sense of awe and wonder. They are excited to open a new bar of soap. They are excited to hit a cricket ball. They are excited to play the same games, meet the same friends, watch the same ads and share the same jokes. They have a countdown ready all the time. They can make any moment special. If you observe your best photographs and most memorable videos, they would not belong to big occasions, but to such impromptu, laid-back times made special by those twinkling eyes, smiling faces and tapping feet.

3. The Power of NOW: I see people of my age always crying over past and worrying about the future. Kids live in the present, unbound by the memories of past and unshackled by worries about the future. Children have hourly targets and daily goals which might change within minutes. Still, they are the most important tasks till they last. There is no stress or anxiety if they are left to figure it out on their own. Can we stop oscillating between past and future, brooding and imagining stuff? Can we immerse ourselves in the NOW?

4. Let Go: I remember a chirpy, ever smiling participant who said, “My parents try real hard, but I cannot remain unhappy for more than two minutes.” Children move on swiftly, forgetting and hence forgiving, on the way. We, being protective and wary, try to remind them of mishaps to avoid trouble in future. Let us not sit on our failures & painful memories. Let us not ruminate like cows. Let us let go and move on.

5. Being natural: Kids are transparent. They will always say what they see or feel. They neither fabricate nor manipulate as they only know the truth. They are what they are – spontaneous, creative and intense. Can we try to stay a little natural, a little in touch with our inner core and not lose it all in the name of competition and make – believe?

About the Author

swatilodha