Friday, December 17, 2010

From The Memory Lane - 1

A lot of things pop up from the memory store during normal daily events. Of late, I have been thinking of putting at least some of them in words. So, this could be first of a series I hope to blog. Read on.

I am regular on the walking track of the residential park here since long, for both my morning and evening walks. Mornings I walk more and simply return home after the walk but in the evening I walk less and then take a seat for awhile. It has been during this period many people - old and young - made friends with me. Almost all of their first question has been - "Excuse me sir, are you a retired army personnel?" A six-footer with straight and erect body, disciplined style of walking with firm steps is natural to me and this perhaps makes people think I am retired army man and ask that question. I tell them the truth that I am retired small time businessman, having never been in military service. They could not hide their surprise.

This is how I have made quite some friends, some casual, some indulging in serious talks and some others feeling safe to reveal their innermost secrets to me! Otherwise, I am usually a shy loner almost never making the first move with strangers.

That military thing brings back an old memory to the fore. During my second year B.Sc. at St. Aloysius College of Mangalore I was a junior NCC cadet earning accolades from my seniors and the coach from Indian  Army. A conditional Short Service Commission offer came from the Indian Army for outstanding NCC cadets. The condition was that not only the degree should be completed at first attempt but also a senior grade certificate exam of the NCC should be passed. These two things were not much of a bother to me. But a third condition that my parent or guardian as the case maybe, should consent my joining the army in writing, because I was still a student irrespective of my age - minor or a major, legally. My big brother, my guardian in the absence of my late father refused to sign the statement in my commission application. There ended the matter. Let alone me the youngest, nobody in the family dared to talk against the wishes of my big brother.

People still thinking that I am a retired army man makes me look back at this incident and rue over my bad luck! For a brief moment I get depressed, - if my brother allowed me to join  the army I could have climbed up the ladder, I could have got many medals for valour, why, I could even have become regular on service without retiring after a short period. I could have made a successful army career. I feel sad for having missed the opportunity.

I think every person, irrespective of his/her level of knowledge, spirituality, social or administrative position however high, still rues over missed opportunity. I am sure the so called Godmen are not exception to this natural behavior of the mind. If you say you do not have any regrets for the past, I dare to say you are cheating yourself; none else!

The funny thing I notice every time when I indulge in this nonsense - I have lot many missed opportunities in life to rue, don't you? - I rue over only the good things I missed along with the opportunity. In the case in focus, what if I return home maimed for life? If dead by an enemy bullet, or bomb on the war front nothing is left to rue. Also what if I or my health failed to adjust with weather of the place of my posting? Above all, would I compromise with my most cherished principles if I am placed in a position of easy inflow of bribe?

Mind creates only good or happy things about past and rues, why? Desire and satisfaction are ever elusive, aren't they? Mind never stops desiring nor can it be satisfied. So how do I manage myself in such a reality of life? To me, acquiring the ability to see one's own thoughts without judgements, without criticism, as if the thought is of somebody else, totally unconcerned to me gives me much more clarity in seeing life; takes me much more closer to the reality. So, I never condemn myself for having such thoughts of missed opportunities. I clearly see that it is only a passing state of mind with an ability to bounce back to the present and that is why I always call this mind petty, little, shallow, and stupid! Any takers?

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