The other day I was reading about caregivers reporting on the regrets of people on their deathbed. One of the common regrets a lot of these people had was that they did not live much for themselves, did not fulfil all their dreams or do all the things they loved to do.
I was quite melancholic after reading the article… I am not on my deathbed (yet) but I already regret not having lived for myself. My folks term me a rebel but I haven’t done anything rebellious except refusing to get married. But, that is a decision based on emotions and circumstances and not a choice I have made.
The greatest regret I have in life is that I have not been able to travel. Wanderlust… I love it. Unfortunately, even within my own little family… my parents and my brother have travelled and been to more places than I have. My visits have been limited to Mumbai & a few places in Kerala. The rare trips to Ooty and Lonavla are all I have made beyond the usual visiting relatives. Even within Kerala, the only spots I have visited are Nelliyampathy, Munnar and Azhikode & Cherai beaches. Last year, I managed to get on a houseboat in Alappuzha.
Well, while I was in Kuwait I did manage to go on a whirlwind trip of Dubai, Ajman and Sharjah… in 3 days. It was more of an official trip than anything else.
I have dreamt of treks to the hills of Uttarakhand, and train journeys through the colourful countryside of Rajasthan. But they are just dreams… now, I don’t even have the stamina to climb up the 3 flights of stairs up to my house without panting. Even if I could, I still would not be permitted by my parents to go on any such trek or trip alone… nor would they accompany me.
In the morning I get to work and when I get home in the evening, I confine myself to the 4 walls of my room. I immerse in a world of books and live my life through them… and only through them.
People tell me that I cannot change what has already happened, but I can change my future… that I should start living. How do I start living defying my folks… they don’t even realize that my dreams have all been crushed because all that they do is out of concern for me, it’s their way of protecting me.
What they are protecting is just a husk… the spirit has long died. The dreams are fading too. The will to live for myself, to change the future is supressed under the heavy burden of responsibilities and love.
I hope no one else finds themselves in a position as mine and makes the same mistakes. Fight back, get back your happiness and convince the people who stand in your way to ‘protect’ you that your happiness is your protection… and because they love you, your joy will only set their hearts at ease. I have tried and never been able to convince my parents that… but maybe they are too set in their ways.
कभी कभी यूंह भी हम्ने अप्ने जी को बेहलाया है
जिन बातों को खुद ना सम्झे औरों को सम्झाया है
Kabhi kabhi yunhbhi humnein apne jee ko behlaaya hai
Jin baton ko khud na samjhe auron ko samjhaaya hai
But in spite of all my regrets, I have a sense of calm… when I sit in my room listening to some haunting melody… I feel serene, like I have passed beyond this world. It’s the return to the current world that breaks my heart.