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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Given a Chance

Vinod Mehta is one of the Editors whom I find largely unpretentious. I was reading the second part of his autobiography called Editor Unplugged and came across one chapter titled What I would do Differently. The title jolted me to sit back and think – yes, given a chance what would I do differently?

Mehta writes that he finds “people who boast they have no regrets in life”, people who would do nothing differently given a chance to live their life all again, rather ‘phoney’ and ‘hypocritical’. I could not agree less. Life is actually a trial and error experiment – one occasionally makes a wrong move and ought to learn from the mistakes. And, one should be ready and candid enough to live life differently, if at all given a chance.

I would turn forty-eight next May, and I think forty-seven is good enough an age to think and write what would I do differently given a chance to live life all over again. There are regrets, and realization of mistakes; there are heartburn and occasional taming of ego. But life, as it is, been generous in all its ups and downs.

So, what would I do differently given a chance? The first in my agenda would be not to take life too seriously by not trying to be a perfectionist. I do not remember who imbibed in me the need to constantly try to improve until perfection. It must be somebody from my childhood. Whoever it was, I realize, he or she was wrong. You need to aim at the sun so that your arrow flies high, but the world it not going to tumble if you do not hit the sun.

A sixteen-year-old girl in my neighborhood, whom I never met, and who was healthy and bubbling with life by all account, died last evening. The only thing she could tell her mother before she died was that she could not feel her body - there was a tingling sensation all over her body and it was over in a matter of few minutes. Given a chance, how would her parents live life differently?

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