You’re fat, bald and in a hospital, after having barely survived a major cardiac arrest. You look into the mirror and exclaim, “And somewhere, some lucky bastard is losing money on something!” What you wouldn’t give to be in his place right now! Anywhere, but where you are. You went from being the young buck scoring everywhere to a middle aged man in a hospital. And staring into the mirror, you wish you’d taken better care of yourself, for all the money in the world can’t make you better right now. Your hair, your body, your health. But you can only wish, for now.The chance for redemption will come, maybe. And you’ll make all sorts of plans. But that day isn’t today. Today, you’re just an invalid in a hospital bed, wishing you’d paid attention before.
Those working parent(s) who were too engrossed in achieving corporate success to pay attention to kids suddenly realise that their own kids don’t know them anymore. That they were reading balance sheets when the baby took its first steps, that they were “in a meeting” when the kid had a sports meet, that they were on a business trip when the adolescent aced exams and got into college. And suddenly, the child is an adult, and the hotshot parent is now old, alone and childless, wishing they could do it all again. But time is a cruel teacher. She takes the test first and teaches later.
The meanderings of your daily life won’t permit you to think about that slight weight gain, your dirty hair, that rash, that muscle pain. You’re in the prime of your life, your body heals fast. You smoke to relieve stress, and drink to forget or whatever. You gamble for “fun”. Because these are good times. And such is human nature, that we shall feed our inertia till our asses are on fire and we end up in a hospital, jail or worse, alone. You’re cursed. You will run after riches, after transient treasure. And end up in a trench.
And what is the society made of, but us humans? We’ve been setting bad examples for ourselves for a very long time now. And not just us humans! Lord Indra lusted on Ahalya and got himself castrated. Lord Hanuman tried to eat the sun and got his powers cursed to dormancy. We’re just mere mortals, after all, right? The United States basically invaded anything they saw back in the day, cutting down trees in the name of progress, and started the ”advancement of civilisation”. What followed were blizzards and famine. Soil went acrid, so much so that the most we could do was to “reverse a hundred years of damage and do a plantation drive or something”. Then, came the Industrial Revolution, because fuck workers. Even if we go with the argument of automation and progress, that time was when we started the never-to-end bane of air/water/noise/whatnot pollution. And when our dear Ozone started to get holes where it wasn’t supposed to, suddenly we had people from Clinton to DiCaprio going pro-environment. You weren’t paying attention when you started that shit, and when payback struck, suddenly we were all saints.
Come to your own self. How many times during exams have you gone “yaar agli baar se pakka padhunga” ? Or wept when she left you because “you’re too self-involved and don’t pay any attention”? Or begged to the Disciplinary Committee to give you one more chance? What were you doing when you had the time? You weren’t studying, you were probably playing around. You weren’t with her, wherever else you were. And you weren’t minding your own business, you were breaking rules. All of it without a care in the world. And when it bit you in the ass, suddenly you’re all about #lifeimprovement.
Time won’t come back, it won’t stop, and won’t change.
Even if you’re Stephen Hawking, and understand a million more dimensions, you’re still bound to the human ones.
Interstellar was just a movie. You can’t ever find those never-ending rows of bookshelves that will take you back and help you right your wrongs. And when you do realise what went wrong, it will be too late. So sit back for a second, and think. What are you doing wrong? What are you not paying attention to? Prioritise your activities, keeping the future in mind. Because going through life is like painting on a canvas without an eraser.
And by the time you’re done, make sure you’ve got a pretty damn good picture.
Photography By: Manbarasan