“Favorite people,favorite places,
favorite memories of the past.
These are the joys of a lifetime,
these are the things that last.”
— Henry Van Dyke
A recent event in my life, out of the blue, is the reappearance of Urmeela’s cousin Juno into my life. I have known Juno for as long as I had known Urmeela. Juno emigrated to Europe some decades ago and we have not been touch since then, till we reestablished contact, just a few days ago through the internet. He too blogs and though it is a different kind of blog, I am happy that he too is a blogger.
Juno’s reappearance took me back to the times when his parents were alive and would play host to Urmeela and me. They were the epitome of grace and love for us and would fuss all over us. They lived in an old style Hyderabadi mansion with a central court yard with a fountain in it. Somewhat like this but not quite as elaborate.
I have spent many afternoons there lazying around and being pampered for being the son in law of the house. Later, Juno’s father would insist on taking me to his club on the lake side and sitting on the lawn on cool evenings, to have a few drinks and have some excellent food for which the club was famous. A completely different kind of life style, laid back, relaxed and enjoyable. Nothing like what I see around me now.
‘Times Remembered” happens only when something triggers them off. Juno reappearing in my life triggered off memories of his parents and other matters of times gone by. Similarly, a proud mother, my childhood friend who married another childhood friend, has just sent me information, that her son Vinod, who is the Chair of the Biophysics Dept, at the University of Twente in Enschede in the Netherlands has written an article in a recently published book by the University. The e book that she has sent has a photograph of Vinod in his current avatar. My memory went back to the time when he was a young boy attending school in Delhi and who impressed me, even then, with his remarkable intelligence. That thought led me to remember the times that Vinod’s parents and we had spent together as grown ups as well as when we were children. The memories also took me to the Sashtiapthapoorthi, sixtieth birthday celebrations, of Vinod’s father Ambi, and Vinod’s wedding, both of which, I was privileged to attend. Sadly, my friend Ambi is no more with us and that is a painful memory that this thought process has triggered.
A few days ago, I received a phone call from a strange number and was quite surprised that it was from an old colleague of mine with who I had worked almost twenty years ago. He and another ex colleague are now with another employer but were going through some old photographs when they came across some of mine at a social occasion. That triggered their remembrances and they decided to call me and set up a meeting to see how I am. They in turn triggered off memories of my times with them, that employer, and the great times that we had when Pune, where we live now was a much slower paced and gentle city.
The turning the hourglass is the trigger. This is what makes life such an unpredictable journey.
I get inspired about life in general and mine in particular, by going back often to Viktor Frankl. I quote and I hope that you will get inspired too.
“…..the opportunities to act properly, the potentialities to fulfill a meaning, are affected by the irreversibility of our lives. But also the potentialities alone are so affected. For as soon as we have used an opportunity and have actualized a potential meaning, we have done so once and for all. We have rescued it into the past, nothing is irretrievably lost, but rather, on the contrary, everything is irrevocably stored and treasured. To be sure, people tend to see only the stubble field of transitoriness but overlook and forget the full granaries of the past into which they brought the harvest of their lives: the deeds done, the loves loved, and last but not least, the sufferings they have gone through with courage and dignity.
From this one may see that there is no reason to pity old people. Instead, young people should envy them. It is true that the old have no opportunities, no possibilities in the future. But they have more than that. Instead of possibilities in the future, they have realities in the past – the potentialities that they have actualized, the meanings they have fulfilled, the values they have realized – and nothing and nobody can ever remove these assets from the past.”
Viktor E Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning.
This post is the Loose Consortium Bloggers’ Friday post when Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Anu and Ginger write on the same topic. Please do visit the other blogs to taste the different flavours.