The wise old man & the sea – Chapter 9

Once upon a time, when the old man was taking his usual stroll on the beach, he came across the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was sitting on the sand with her legs stretched out, staring deeply at the sea. He came closer and noticed a stream of tears flowing down her eyes. She did nothing to stop them, she didn’t even look his way. It almost felt surreal.. like a mannequin that had feelings!

“Pardon my intrusion, but its going to be dark soon. Maybe you would like to head back.” He said softly offering her a hand.

Sensing no response, he sat down beside her, silently. He didn’t attempt to engage in any casual banter. Like her, he too looked at the vast blue expanse stretched in front of them.

“I’ve been thinking. Over time, our physical body changes. As we grow older, each year adds a line or a spot. So if physically, change is accepted, why is it that emotionally, if we crave a change in our choices, it is viewed as frivolous or indecisive?”

The old man looked at the beautiful woman. Inspite of never having met her, he felt the tug of her pain in his own heart. Everyone is born of free will and should be allowed to live their life as they want. But in reality, even the slightest change warrants a protest. It is almost like you proceed along, chained to your choices.

He ran his fingers through his hair and slowly answered. “Nothing is written in indelible ink and there comes a time in life when you can change course. Seasons change, years go by. People change, memories get dim. Even the weather for the day is inconsistent. These are Nature’s way of telling us to keep moving, no matter what.

‘It’s okay to take a moment

From an anxious, fractured mind.

The world will not stop turning

While you get realigned!’

Its part of a prose I read some time ago. No matter how hard you try, you will always have someone in your life who is unhappy with your efforts. And this is when you need to reiterate to yourself that it is ok. If you go on a journey and try and stop for everyone you meet along the way, you aren’t going to get anywhere. It is not being selfish, but being self-reliant and there is fine line between the two. You are absolutely correct in stating that as we grow, our physical appearance changes, likewise thoughts can too. But, to be able to accept this is where most people falter.”

The woman looked at him and let him continue. At that moment, she needed to hear that the turmoil she was facing was normal. And that she was right in taking charge of her own life.

“Any relationship that you have in your life is based on respect. And this is not something you can command. It is earned. Everyone has their own way of showing it, and it may or may not be conducive to your thinking.. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong or disrespectful. Its just a different way. The only thing that you can change is the way you perceive yourself. In my life of over six decades, the one thing I have learnt about the mind is that – you need to power the damn thing with the carefree attitude of a teenager and the philosophical wisdom of the sages (which can be acquired on google!) We aren’t going to get out of here alive and this is the bare hard truth of life. So, the best way to be is be you.

She smiled as she got up and shook hands graciously. Everything around us moves by the second. Life is a mix of choice, chance and change. And we have the ability to use them at our discretion. It can vary at any point and you may need to decide on a new outcome but what is important to know is that IT IS OK. You may make a bad choice, but if you have it in you to give yourself a chance.. you never know the change it may bring to your life!

He handed her a fortune cookie and shook her hand. ‘Life is meant to be lived, so don’t stop to analyse the angle of every bent or curve. Go live it.’

He looked at the upturned curve of her lips and chuckled to himself satisfied and happy, as he walked into the sunset, happily away after!



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