Somewhere in the midst of all the crazy drama that life is, we tend to forget what really matters. There was a time when life was simple and happiness was just an ice lolly away. As time passed by, things got more and more complicated.
As a child, my biggest challenge of the day was how to sneak out during day time to play outside. I mostly succeeded in slipping undeterred by the keen surveillance of my parents. Oh the terror! The whole 10-15 minutes away from my home in the scorching heat were considered a treat. Of course there were amazing loyal friends who would warn me as soon as my dad came out looking for me. I still fail to comprehend why i used to hide away as if i would never be found. My parents always would get hold of me, my head lowered in shame i would march back home while my friends gave me looks of pity. I would promise never to do it again, listen to an hour long lecture and then sit down for the homework. Dad would always bring back a treat for me as he felt guilty for scolding me and all was forgotten.
We would go for these evening walks every day to a nearby park and my mother would make me revise all the things learnt in school that day. We would go back home and fall asleep as soon as we got in to the bed. The most stressful part of school was obviously grammar lessons and a few older immigrant girls who would bully the little innocent girls that we were and snatch our lunch. We would go home tell our moms that we ate all of it ourselves. It was a happy outcome for everyone as without their help, who had the strength at our tender years to finish the lunch prepared by our over- enthusiastic-about-food desi moms.
With age came responsibility and with responsibility; stress!
At times I wonder, where is the girl whose biggest worry was the use of helping verbs, how to avoid the big bully girl and how to get out of the main door of the house without making that annoying squeaky noise. In her place is a rapidly aging woman (that part's way too scary), worried about career and deadlines. Gone is the happiness that came with the sound of the ice lolly guy or a simple good grade in a test. Now even at a happy moment, the mind is busy reminding one of the gazillion things that need be done and the very little time there is to do it.
The problem is not that I have grown old, or that i have a great deal to do, The real predicament is the fact that the stress to do all of that, to achieve all that the world expects of me and the race against time to do it in a given time is so completely consuming that it takes away the ability to enjoy the same little pleasures that brought great joy and happiness.
So this all consuming greed to achieve, to be ahead of the rest has taken over the simple joys of life, Lets hope i can once again learn to live in the moment; to look forward and work for a better future while also making sure that the present is not ruined for a future that is uncertain and unsure.