THE FIRST FORTY
I have been made to believe in last two decades is that Living longer is no more special. Science somehow has developed so much that an extra kidney, artificial limbs and even Artificial heart is at your disposal. You pay for it and then proudly say that “I don’t listen to my heart because it is not mine”. Not very long back a renowned leader got all possible attention and support and what not after his death but was completely ignored and out of news while being bed ridden for more than a decade. Anyway, that has lot do with media and politics and so it can start a never-ending discussion, and you never know if your views can put you in some or the other bracket of Liberal, Tolerant, Anti National and whatever based on people’s choice.
So coming back to the basic of Life and its challenges, at least living longer is quite an easy task. Stay Mum, Stay irrational, Stay low profile, Choose not to have higher goals and aspirations, and chances are very high that you will not die before 80. So in this era of 20-20 Life can also be divided in four segments of 20 each. Primarily the first 20 is full of excitements, whether you like it or not. First 10 years you can pass on any problem to special creatures called parents and they will mostly end up solving it beyond their limits. Next 10 are critical and mostly seen as most demanding phase of life but you end up having best of memories also during this phase. Well having memories or staying excited and charged up about life is more of a choice than option but if allow life to have a say then the path is mostly defined as I have mentioned. If all goes well than you may have a love story also in this phase to share. Now come on!!! Don’t talk of one sided love stories, then no body would be spared and then not every story is worth sharing. Then comes the next 20 years which again requires exemplary focus and balance. You are expected to decide and identify two most critical aspect of your life, Kaam (Job ) and Kaam ( A partner for life ). You are not only expected to select the best one but have to continuously prove that it was best possible option. The only difference is that in Job you can keep making changes and choices but in spouse – No way, not in India at least. Another beautiful part of these 20 years is if you decide to relive your first 10 years then have kids (as many as you can afford) and live life from scratch. I believe watching kids grow and parenting them to be a good child is the most beautiful part of anyone’s life.
And then when you reach the end of this first 20-20 journey and calculate & observe life@40 then see what is expected out of you. If you have enjoyed every moment of last forty years, if your kids love you so much that even when you are out of sight for a day they miss you like crazy, you had a job which you loved to the core ( and missed out on making hefty money), if you have a spouse who swears by your love even after a decade of being together then still its not that great. The word is SETTLED which you need to justify. If you have the freedom to stay home and not work then its not settled. You are Settled when your friend ask for an unplanned break and you can manage. You are not settled if you had a long drive or unplanned outings for a day or two, but the parameter is how many family trips domestic or international you can afford in an year. You are not settled if you prefer a big house in home town over small rooms in big cities and park the extra savings for future contingencies. Big houses and big cars are no more a luxury status but are the core values of being SETTLED.
And so make a choice friend. Either be settled or be happy. While saying this I have few names which are happily settled also but then inspirations are not so common. For most of the milestones and benchmarks there is a pre-defined age bracket but if you choose to be happy, its never too late. Cheers !!!