Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Past - My Muses

The past

However much I want to forget it, my past keeps appearing before me. It makes me feel bad many times. Only some times it makes me happy. I have done a lot of good things in life. The bad things that I have done far overweigh the good that was done. Is it the same with all, or, am I feeling bad about it just for nothing? This question makes me feel very unhappy.

As I am typing this, a young lady walks in and asks me about some person. That some person is supposed to be a very senior officer. Here in this place, where I have put myself, there are a lot of such people. There are also some novices who are trying to enter what exactly is called life. They are given a feeling that they are the great people here and they run the show. If, that girl knew my past, or the past of that person about whom she was enquiring, she would not ask me the question in the manner she did. She does not know who I am, and does not even perhaps care, even if she knows. I have done a great lot of things. I can tell everyone about them. It is me who put me, in the position that I am in. There were times when people were taking permissions to see me. Does that mean anything now?

In the course of life I have seen many a place and many people. I am not exactly an old man. One need not be old to be experienced. I have understood life at very corner it took me. I know what it is like to be away from parents and live with other families. I was not exactly ill treated like the protagonist in the first Harry Potter movie. But, the times I have spent away from parents have made me realise their value. Now, I tell my children that all children should live at least for some time, with some one else. My son, when he was introduced to school, lived with his maternal grand father. He may not exactly remember what has happened to him there. I lived with my brother, who all by himself was away from the parents. It should have not made any difference for me. It was after all, my own brother. I really do not want to comment on those times. Life is like novel, if narrated in a good manner. My life is not an exception.

After competing graduation, I asked my father to arrange for a job as a clerk or something like that. My father was retired. My elder brother, who was employed, was running his family and living separately. May be I thought I should support the family in general and father in particular. He was after all retired. When I recollect what he told me on that occasion, my heart misses a beat. Father said, “You people are suffering because I have not taken any good education. Your children should not suffer, because you are not educated well.” He also said that all people can not really excel in education. He had immense trust in my capability of doing things. I have not exactly let him down, but I have not lived up to his expectations either. I knew this at a very later stage when nothing could be done about it.

There is no use now, thinking about all that happened in the life. There is a Japanese idea named SUMO. It is the acronyms for the maxim “Shut up and move on!” Shut the doors that allow you to look into the past, they advise. Or, is it really a good idea to forget the past. One need not keep crying about all the lost chances. But, at the same time, if you forget wherefrom you came, and what exactly is your past, it is a kind of hypocrisy according to me!

There was a rich man, who kept a box in his room and never allowed anyone to look into its contents. Naturally people get curious about the material that there is in the box. At the end of the story it is revealed that the man was keeping a pair of clothes in that box along with the tools that he was using when he was poor. He never wanted to lose touch with the past. I also feel the same way. Your psychology is very much steeped in that past of yours.

A day goes by. You become a day older. You are seen as a senior. I was dumb stuck the day the conductor in the bus called me an uncle. Already I was an uncle to some by relation. When you become an uncle to the whole world, you come to know that you have grown old. If you do not remember your past, this is not a problem. You are always living in the past. Body grows old. Mind still stays there back in the youth and childhood. All those pranks you played in the college appear like happened yesterday. There is a lot of fun in the past. Life becomes more and more morbid with the passing days.

What exactly is the problem with the past? It haunts you with all its content. People who do not remember much about the past are the happiest lot. People who think a lot, particularly about the past are the most vulnerable.

Past comes in a great many shapes. Your past, families past, history of the world, history of mankind and the history of life are all the variations in the theme. Where do you put yourself to look at all these stand points depends on the psyche. Do you see yourself as moving forward from the past along the youngsters of the time? Or do you see yourself stagnated and standing at a point condemning all that is happening around?

The second scenario is perhaps the pet theme of old people. Youngsters of these days, when we were young…. Kind of statements do not work. There is no use crying over the spilt milk. May be, the milk is not spilt at all. That is how the times go. If there is anything that is permanent, it is the change. If you refuse to embrace the new situation, only you are to be blamed. I know I sounded like a typical old man in the beginning paragraphs of the entry. And then, the idea changes. That is the beauty. Why complain about the world. If at all you want see the world the way you like it, it is your point of view that has to change. The world has been changing right from the day it has started existing.

Many people talk about keeping the environment intact. Was the environment ever like what it was the earlier day? It has always been changing. It is not the environment that is at risk. It is your existence in the present situations that has become a problem. Mentally and physically we stagnate. We stay back in the past. Without changing along the times! That is the problem with the past. It never allows you to shake off and move ahead. Learn the trick of keeping up with the times. You will live happily, in spite of remembering the past.

I have written this a couple of years back.
I was working with a CSR organisation at that time.
I am no longer with them now!
I realised that even today, these ideas hold good, at least for me!


1 comment:

Babu said...


I have been reading your post since a few months and enjoyed.

Today I was stuck by this post especially the picture and thought it fit to acknowledge your efforts.

Sir, one who accepts the past as such (because nothing can be done about it)and learns lessons from the past; and who has no anxiety about what lies in the future and lives life fully in the present is the great and wise one. We come across many even now but they are a minority.

Sir, my sincere thanks again for your efforts in sharing what you have with others.