Some postcards shouldn’t have to wait for the new year to begin. No better time than the holidays, in fact, to send you a bunch of them, starting with this one.
Before the year ends, I’m going to write you and your people a classic ‘Carpe Diem‘ one. Don’t yawn and leave just yet. Here’s the thing – This year, one of the most beautiful things to happen to me was a Goa trip with my cousins.
A trip taken by all the cousins was ruminated upon for nearly a decade among people who were scattered a bit too widely across your face. Let’s just say that for a whole lot of reasons nobody believed that the trip was going to happen until all of us were at one place in Goa. That whole story is being covered in another postcard shortly following this one.
But what I was coming to was this – if any of us had to be convenient, lazy, cynical, practical even, trying to save the funds for a rainy day (or for the rest of the month), or anything else, it was very easy to lose out on one of the best trips of our lives. This is something I didn’t realize for a while.
I didn’t want to go to Goa to begin with because of ex reasons. A lot of strands were torn out and nails were bitten hard trying to figure out where to arrange the funds. Basically, I cribbed a lot and allowed myself the luxury to petulantly contemplate skipping the trip, until the universe heard me and almost granted it.
It took a while to break into what was happening, leaving my fears and suspicions of the trip and everything behind. Once I breathed in the air infected with an upcoming Goa Christmas and some classic cousins banter, I knew instantly what I wouldn’t have been ready to lose.
But this postcard is more about one specific evening when I was with my cousins on the beach taking leisurely evening walks and waiting to bring in the sunset. We didn’t have to be together, holding hands or making jokes or having heart-to-hearts or clicking selfies or doing anything specific. We went in our own directions and occasionally found our way back to each other.
From soft, sticky sand to poky, pedicure-ish pebbles, everything grazed my soles while waves gamboled around my calves. I still don’t know why exactly but the tide made me giggle each time it crashed against my knees. For a few precious moments, my cousins were amused by me and enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed me.
The rest of the time, it was breeze, Christmas songs far in the background and the waves and I vaguely aware of each others’ humming. Solitude can be sweeter than fresh water and I was taking greedy gulps. Soon, my cousins and I were hugging, holding hands and watching the sea swallow the gigantic reddish orange lozenge to clear the much-adored huskiness in its hum. I was enjoying you, World, you and me.
It’s so important to have those moments, to pick those moments over convenience, laziness, cynicism, practicality, money or daily life obligations.
My sister once made me realize something very important – Life is too short. It isn’t too short in the sense of ‘what regrets would you have if you died tomorrow?‘ It’s short in the sense that you don’t realize how soon you have more years behind you than ahead. How many days from these years behind you are you going to remember? How big are the chunks that you aren’t going to remember because life was mundane, you had a hundred things tying you down, no money and every day looked exactly like the last one? What was special about you or your day today?
Human beings come up with a lot of logical conclusions and wise theories to deal with the complexities and unpredictability of life. I had come up with one, a while ago, that said – You can’t honestly say you’ve lived your life to the fullest and have no regrets unless your last happy memory is today or, at the very least, yesterday. I’m not sure how much I stick by it as of now and whether it’s expecting too much of yourself.
But I know that there were a lot of things that would have readily come in the way of me having that day on the beach if I had let them. In fact, that’s what I want to tell your people, World. There are always a lot of things ready to come in the way if you let them. Don’t let them. Take time off to enjoy you and the World. Try it sometimes and the feeling is so delicious that you might laugh, you might cry, you might smile but there will definitely be the scent of happiness on your breath.
See you soon, World!