Today is a gift

Today is a gift

March 9, 2017

By N.K.A. Ballal, Retd. Sr. Vice-President, ITDC

Today, I received a beautiful message on my WhatsApp  on the above subject  and  thought that I should share it with Star of Mysore readers:

Some day & one day

A friend of mine opened his wife’s wardrobe and picked up a silk paper wrapped package.

“This,” he said, “isn’t any ordinary package.”

He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box and silk satin dresses inside.

“She got this the first time we went to New York, 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on, was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is it.”

He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral house; his wife had just died.

He turned to me and said, “Never save something for a ‘special occasion.’ Every day in your life is a ‘special occasion.’

I still think those words changed my life. Now I read more and clean less. I sit on the porch without worrying about anything. I spend more time with my family, and less at work.

I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through.

I no longer keep anything. I use crystal glasses every day. I’ll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if I feel like it.

I don’t save my special perfume for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to.

The words ‘someday…’ and ‘one day…’ are fading away from my dictionary.

If it’s worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now.

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I don’t know what my friend’s wife would have done if she knew she wouldn’t be there the next morning, this nobody can tell. Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.”

A simple but touching story. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, and that is why it is called “present.” As I was writing this article, I was reminded of a beautiful song, penned by the legendary poet Javed Akhtar and sung by Sonu Nigam “Kal ho na ho.” This song won the Nationa honour in the year 2004. I would like to jot down a few lines of those immortal song for those who have not heard it…

Har ghadi  badal rahi hai roop zindagi,

Chaav hai kabhi, kabhi hai dhoop zindagi

Har pal yahaan, jee bhar jeeyo, jo hai samaa

Kal ho na ho…

Simple lyrics, but the truth of life. Why is that we get so enamoured by the future that we forget to live the present fully.  The woman in the narrative above had kept a dress for several years waiting for the right occasion, which never arrived. This story is true of many women and men. Just open the cupboards of any household, you will find brand new sarees, shirts, perfumes etc., not used but kept for future use,  waiting for the right occasion, birthdays, diwali etc., which somehow  never comes.

I know of several families who scrounge throughout their lives to save for their children, not enjoying their own lives. What every body forgets is that each child is born with their own destiny.

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As Paulo Coelho has commented “In life, there is only the present moment, the now. You cannot measure time, the way you measure the distance between two points. Time does not pass. We human beings have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present. We are always thinking of what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our action, and about why we did not act as should have. Or else we think about the future, about what we are going to do tomorrow, what precaution we should take, what dangers await us around the corner, how to avoid what we do not want and  how to get what we always dreamed off.”

Death is inevitable and everyone knows it but one always hopes that they some how escape it. Very few are able to accept death when it comes. I know several friends of mine always using the words “I wish I had a chance” late in their lives regretting for not doing certain things which they always wanted to do.

So, if by chance you have not gone ahead and done whatever you wanted to do, start today. It is never too late. Make a list of things you always wanted to do and start the process. To conclude:

“Never forget yesterday,

Always live for the day

Because you never know

What  tomorrow can bring

Or what it can take away…”

Kal ho na ho…

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