Contentment.

I believe that I am a contented person. I have few wants and they have been provided in adequate measure for me and I am ever grateful for that. That I am at my twilight years helps where nature makes it easier to be content with one’s lot.

I was not always like that and like most humanity I went through various stages of life when “more” was the driving mantra till nature decided that I had had enough and put the brakes on. I only wish that it had in a different way but, that is for another blog post.

If someone were to ask me to describe my lifestyle, I would take two styles. The easier to understand one is the Western metaphor of “going through life like a homeless alley cat, living from day to day, taking it’s pleasures where it can and dying unnoticed.”  Except that, I do have a home and the pleasures I want are very simple and door delivered, like my daily dose of newspapers and crossword puzzles plus enough books to read. I also have serious doubts that I will die unnoticed, not that it would matter when I do.

The other style would be my following the eight fold path of yoga that we in India call Ashtanga Yoga.

In the second limb of Niyama, the second “do” is “Santosha – contentment, acceptance of others, acceptance of one’s circumstances as they are in order to get past or change them, optimism for self.”

At least one reader is very likely to comment that I am aiming for sainthood and I would simply smile and respond with “no, just following a proven system that guarantees that one can live a life of joy. I am sure that the same person would grant me that I am by and large joyful! I am no saint and I do slip but it does not take a great deal of effort to revert to my idea of normal which is being peaceful and joyful.

Believe me, it is easy to live a life of contentment.  Any one can.

I have suggested this topic for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog posts where Shackman and I write on the same topic.  Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to read what his take on the topic is.  Thank you.

Nothing Really Happened.

A dear friend sent this little poem in Hindi to me with his best wishes.

Let me try and make justice by translating it to have the same effect in English.

Nothing really happened
Broke the heart a little
Alienated a few people
Shattered a few dreams
Nothing really happened
Just lost some sleep
Just some joy was taken away
Nothing really happened
Just lost myself
Nothing really happened
Just a dear one made me weep.

Two Lives.

No, I don’t mean the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde lives. I grant my readers that I do know some of that type too but, I mean the lives that Confucius talks about.My second life started, strangely enough in an ICU ward of a hospital here in Pune in February, 2001. I had undergone revision to a revised hip joint and the trauma almost killed me on the surgeon’s table. I was in the ICU for a week and subsequently in the private room for another week before I could get back home whereas, I was released from the hospital after the earlier revision, in just one week’s time.

Those two weeks  on a hospital bed, gave me a great deal of time to think about my mortality and how ephemeral my life really is.  That the period coincided with my retirement from active career pursuits made it easier for me to stop chasing rainbows and spend quality time with my family and friends.  That it also coincided with my care giving duties for my late wife made it all the more imperative that I made the best use of the time given with her.

A bit of why-me-itis did follow when my late father moved in with me to spend his last days but though that was an unpleasant situation, I still did not go back to pursuits other than those that gave me joy.  I continue to live like that and am helped in that way of life by very understanding family and friends who have seen me before and after and prefer the latter.

I am indebted to Ekoshapu for inspiring me to write this post. Please take a bow Sir!  And, just to inspire you in return, here is something to mull over.