Monday, September 28

Card Game...

Years after hearing the tragedy, I met him. We sat across a table and locked our hands to chat endlessly. I had missed my friend too long, too much and too badly. I looked deeply into his eyes and heard him whisper his good times and bad. Deep in me, there was a shame that I stood all these days away from him. “I am sorry...very sorry” I told him. That was the best I could tell him now. With a gentle smile, “It is ok”, he said.

A short romance...a quick betrothal...a hurried marriage...and a painful divorce. That was the great tragedy in my little friend’s life. I was shocked hearing his personal story. So strange were his post-marriage days that there wasn’t even a honeymoon! Nevertheless, throughout his revelation, there was something that perplexed me: my friend made no complaints about what had beached him. He complained neither God nor his fate. He had only words of forgiveness and a determination to build another life where it had failed. In fact, he told me that the divorce proceedings were smooth and was on a mutual agreement of withdrawal. Looking onto his clean-shaven face, I saw a deep serenity glittering all across. He stood released and liberated for life.

My friend not only shared with me his crumpled fate... he also told me of his flying dreams...dreams to build his life back. “What a great strength he has!”, I thought. 4 months post-divorce, he was already working out a return plan. Hatred to none and joy to all, this young man was already employing eight paramedical-staff and running a medical centre. Beaming with confidence, he was putting back his life-bricks. As I bid him good-bye and shook his hands, I realised how smooth and soft his palms were. “His heart was as soft as his palm”, I thought.

Driving home, I kept thinking: I have understood today that life is all about overcoming obstacles, of seizing every moment’s magic, of enabling others to go forward... I have understood that life is all about living. I also understood today that there is more than one way to measure success and failures.

My thoughts run to Randy Pausch, the dying computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon. He had said, ‘We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand’.

--- Photo : My favourite beach at Kappad, Calicut.

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