Where joy abounds… Zindagi na milegi dobara

Last night, Seema, Neel and I went for the late night show of “Zindagi na milegi dobara” which came highly recommended from lots of friends. It was a thoroughly enjoyable one with some genuine, fresh and youthful humour. Surprisingly, Neel stayed awake till the end (the show ended close to 1.30 am). He still doesn’t fully comprehend Hindi but seems to have understood enough to say that he wants to take part in the Tomatina festival and the bull run!

The movie and its core message reminded me of an e-mail I’d received from a friend over 13 years ago. Included in the mail were beautiful lines under the heading “Where joy abounds”, which I didn’t know then were written by Robert Hastings (and referred to as ‘The Station’ poem). The lines struck a chord then- I took a print-out and tucked it away. That piece of paper has moved with me over the years though the passage of time has left its stamp on it- it’s rumpled and yellow now. May be I am holding on to it in the hope that someday……. well, let’s not even go that way. For the present, I’d rather enjoy those heartwarming lines again.

“Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long train journey. Through the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on near-by highways, of children waving at us from a crossing, or cattle grazing on a hillside, or smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of maize and wheat, of mountains and valleys, of city skylines and village huts.

But uppermost in our minds is our destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Then wonderful dreams will come true, and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the loitering minutes – waiting, waiting …

“When I reach the station, that will be it,” we tell ourselves. “When I’m 25, ..” “When I buy a house, …” “When I get married, …” “When I’ve paid off the bank loan, …” “When I get that big promotion, …” “When I retire, I shall live happily ever after! ”

Sooner or later we realize that there is no station, no place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream that constantly outdistances us.

“Relish the moment” is a good motto. So, stop pacing the aisles and measuring the distance. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice-cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more. Live life as you go along, it will be spring.”

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