The wise old man & the sea – Chapter 10

The best is always saved for last. And there is reason for it. When you close a chapter in life with fondness, you will always have the lingering memories to float around in your mind.

The old man had a coquettish smirk as he looked around his beach café. It was abuzz with tourists, in all colours and creed. A lot of them had come to him with questions, some had apprehensions and others, just plain curiosity. But, they had travelled far, to have what most would call a meaningful conversation.

He wasn’t qualified educationally to dole out life lessons, but he had the stellar confidence of experience. Life teaches you what the written text cannot. And this is prevalent today in the world, as we see the young and the old both grappling with technology, to finish a class, lesson or work assignment.

Not everything can be taught.. somethings have to be experienced. And only time can teach you that. It can be regular mundane chores or could be life altering decisions; but what is imperitve to remember is that nothing is ever written in stone. You can always learn; you can always teach. You can always do something you have never done before. The only one prerequisite is ‘you have to have the will.’

He lit up a smoke and put his hands in his pockets, as he stepped out on the beach, immersed in pensive thought. He too, like most of the tourists, was caught up in the rut of life and work until one day, he had a conversation with someone and that moment turned out to define his life. Ofcourse, there are pros and cons to every decision you make.. but ever since he left the city to follow his arrow, he never looked back at what he lost; for what he gained was the elixir of life! Every decision is a half chance of losing the decision you did not take.

This is one year that will be spoken about for time immemorial. A lot will be written about it, documented and filmed too. But in the end, all you will remember is how you lived it and how you emerged out of it.

He smiled as he saw her walking towards him; her waist length grey hair was flying in the wind and she was trying to hold it down with one hand. The other was busy pinning her olive dress down else she would have had a Marilyn Monroe ‘flying skirt moment’ moment right there on the beach! 

“Isn’t it delicious?” the old man walked up and gave his wife a peck on the cheek reliving that era. The story went as such. Maryln Monroe and Tom Ewell were shooting for a movie and as the script would have it, they were to exit a theatre and a slight breeze was to lift her skirt. Instead of covering her legs, as any woman of the era would have, she simply exclaimed, ‘Isn’t it delicious!!!’ And the rest as they say is history.

“I have a question for the old man,” she asked impishly.

“At your service, Ma’am,” he entwined his fingers in hers and said.

“People come to you knowing that you aren’t a therapist in any which way and yet when they leave, they write back stories of how much their lives have changed. What is the one thing you have learnt from all your tourists?”

He looked at her with an arched eyebrow. She always managed to surprise him. And that was a very valid question!

“I have learnt that the one aspect of a healthy relationship is conversation. Everything else follows suit. I wouldn’t call it a problem but the way the world is changing scientifically, is both helping and crippling mankind. Technology is making the world smaller but is distancing intimacy. Most of the people who come here do so because they lack the casual banter between their relationships. They take life too seriously.

I have learnt that we all need to constantly step out of our comfort zones so we can see what we are truly capable of. If the toad stayed where it was and kept hopping around in its pond, the Princess would have never found him, leave alone kiss him to break the spell.”

He put his arms around his wife’s waist and kissed her gently on her forehead. “It is in you that I have my whole world. And to me, that is one of life’s greatest lessons. If you have ONE, just one person whose smile drives you, believe me – you have it all. For no matter how big or small your coterie is, everyone around you, will want to be with you for reason.. Call it stability, work, fear, lack of confidence in themselves… even friendship comes with baggage. It’s a hard truth but truth it is. And, my dear, if you have someone who is with you only because they love you… Our beach café would have no tourists.”

His wife smiled and lay her head on his shoulders. That was a very profound statement and a hard hitting fact. They didn’t need a fortune cookie… for in their hearts they already knew that it was love that set them free years ago…



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