Thursday, December 13, 2018

Fifty Plus !!

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young”… Henry Ford.

Well, while turning fifty what better quote I could have & by what better man than Henry Ford, who was young till he left the world as till end he was learning something to give the world something new! Since last few birthdays I have made a habit to write something about growing up to genre next (read my sons, nephews, nieces), in a way it’s just review of the year I am leaving behind & this year I will be turning fifty so in a way it will be soul searching for myself also! Indeed fifty is just a number yet we only have made some figures special; for e.g. when its movie’s box office collections its hundred crore club, earlier it was silver or golden jubilee when the movie crossed fifty weeks or seventy five week in theaters & then how can we forget figure of century (hundred) when its cricket as well figure of three named as hat-trick (three wickets in three consecutive deliveries’) in any game may it be football or cricket! Indeed our life is full of special figures & I think that’s what makes us more human as really what’s the difference between a man & other animals, it’s the way we tag things around which makes us different as never think a tiger celebrating his tenth birthday as special or an elephant couple celebrating their fiftieth marriage anniversary & things like that! But some times its this habit of ours tagging figures with some specialty may takes away our charm also in living as ask any batsman getting out on ninety nine runs & his as well his fan’s face will tell you the importance of the figures & sadness it belongs! Same is the story for some Super Star’s movie & its producer/director as even if that movie earns good profit yet if end up touching figure of ninety crores but failing to cross hundred crore line, it’s still considered as flop! Indeed we the humans are interestingly weird specie as we ourselves decides a scale to measure our happiness or sadness by some figures & we ourselves are reason to lose the charm of living by doing so!

Actually we have tagged our mind with the figures in such a way that when at the end of the day we hit the bed it’s the figures we sleep with in mind & wake up with the figures ahead to cover. May it be EMI for our home or car loans or salary package hike or percentage of our kids in exam or price of petrol or share index up down & yes, how we can forget the numbers of “likes” we get for our posts on FB or Insta! Every moment while we are awake (many do it even in dreams too) we are thinking about some figure only, such is our life has become! And after considering all this, I can’t blame feeling myself special for turning fifty; I think that makes me a more human only! So much we get addicted to our today’s Whats-app or FB key board that after I typed above sentence I was searching for a smiley key, when I am typing this is in MS Word format! Well, with use of emojis & smilies we have forgotten what’s a genuine smile or hearty laugh is; actually recently I read one article which asked the readers remember, when you have last laughed genuinely as laugh & not on someone’s failure (which is the only cause makes us smile actually) or some jape but sheer fun or humor! Even the smile we give to others rarely touches our heart as just parting the lips doesn’t make a smile, high time to remind ourselves! One more interesting thing in growing up is, you came across so many people & more if you are lucky to have a habit of reading (I am indeed lucky on reading front) as then the characters which comes in front of you from the books become people you meet & you get to know their version of life as they are looking from their view & the words make you know how the world looks from their view! Do mind my sons, if at all I want you to develop one habit then that is reading as the world can take away from you everything but no one can take away knowledge you have earned by reading & then it takes you to so many places as well makes you meet so many people without you moving out of your chair! Right from Osho to every other philosopher has urged us to keep the child within alive & that’s the success or say right way of ageing or growing up! Incidentally I am going through a saga named Game of Thrones (GOT), nearly seven thousand pages from eight novels & two hundred plus characters in the process you get to know! One unique philosophy GOT throws at us is, “if you want to rule then kill the child within!!” As the innocence in the form of that child will stop you from taking hard (read practical) decisions & eventually that child within will be the cause of your failure as a ruler (read king)! Well, on face GOT philosophy looks absurd or very harsh or selfish whatever you call it but thinking with a settled mind indeed it’s true in a way! As whenever you get upset about something or feel sad, look within what has made sad or upset & actually to whom? Is it that grown up man in me who feels cheated by the people whom I considered as my very own, definitely  “No”, as the grown up man within has come through hard ways of life where betrayal & back stabbing are the only way to survive & he has survived such attacks & aged to fifty figure! This man knows world is going to behave in bad ways only & he doesn’t believe in goodness ever will be showered at him yet he has survived, so how he can be sad or upset for the world’s behavior! Well it’s that child within which makes us respond to the goodness or badness around us as a child sees the world in very simple way i.e. either everything is good or bad & the reaction is instant for both! A good thing makes that child smile whole heartedly where as the bad things hurts him & gets tear in his eyes but the child forgets also very fast which the grown up man doesn’t & this is where difference lies in the philosophies of Osho & Game off Thrones!

Whenever you say keep the child within alive, it means keep the good things (read habits) of the child i.e. a child smiles from within & over smallest of the thing. Just observe any toddler crawling around; even flight of a sparrow or a butterfly fluttering its wings makes it giggle & even watching that giggle makes you forget all worries around for a moment! A child, even if you shout on it or snatch a toy from him or her it’s playing with, will cry immediately but soon it will forget that you have shouted on it or snatched its toy & will again start giggling for some other thing around! So, you can’t keep the child upset for long & this is what we should adopt. As mostly it’s the child within which gets upset for the bad things happening to us which is natural but that grown up within, is the one who is responsible to keep me in upset mind-set as he don’t let the bad memories go away but holds on them! And in that process he makes the child in me busy in  thinking about bad things only, making me blind as well deaf to notice for the goodness around & in a way killing that child within by myself! And here is where I am most thankful to Walt Disney, Marvel Studio (read Stan Lee), DC Comics (Batman, Superman), Harry Potter, as well many characters I met through books & yes Game of Thrones too, as or else how I would have been able to know ill  effects of killing the child! One more is there, yes Karate Kid; if you are wondering what’s all this is about, well these names had been school & college for me via numbers of movies & stories. Indeed I am thankful to my real life teachers including my parents as well friends but then along with came understanding about life, which no school would have been able to teach me; the above named schools taught me that! Marvel taught me, with great powers comes along great responsibilities”. DC Comics taught me, “It’s not who you are but what you do with what you are, is what defines you”. Disney taught me, “be brave & kind & let the magic follows”. Harry Potter taught me, “it takes courage to stand against enemy but it takes far more than courage to stand against your own friends” (Well, Bhagwad-Gita reloaded). Game of Thrones taught me that the child within can make me weak or give me strength, it’s up to me only how to use that child! Osho & many others taught me to respect the child within & how to live along with it even when the grown up man wanted get rid of the child to rule the world!

Lastly, Karate Kid; well just yesterday I was leaving for some marriage reception & urging you both (are they really?) to get ready, while I was wearing shoes on TV, Karate Kid’s last fight scene was on. I have seen the movie at least ten times & yet forgetting shoes my eyes were glued to the TV screen. Its semifinal & Dre Parker (Jaden Smith, some ten year old character) gets his knee damaged in semis of martial art tourney. Declared unfit to play final, he lays on bed in pains requests to his coach Mr. Han (Played by none other than Jacky Chan) to use Chinese therapy on his injury so he can play finals. Jacky Chan asks, “But why Dre, you have proved everything & bought honor to your family the way you have fought, what’s there in winning one more round?” Dre replies, “Because I am still afraid of the finalist boy from other martial art school & today whatever happens, I don’t want to go home frightened anymore!” I think we all have one little Dre within which is afraid of something or other, making us forget to face our own-self in mirror, taking away all the joy & fun in the life from us just because of the fear he carrying & it’s the duty of grown up man to make that Dre stand & fight with the fear which he only can drive away! Today, while getting in to fifties, means no more you will be called young rather its start of journey from being called as Uncle to Grand Pa & this thought itself is frightening enough for any man. But this is what I will tell you my son, I have reached till here & understood one thing, if I can make the practical grown-up man & the emotional child both live in harmony within as then only I won’t be shameful or feel embraced to look at my past as well won’t be afraid to look at future! I think by now I don’t feel need of killing the child to rule the world rather it’s the child within is the one which will help me to understand that you can rule the world only by keeping innocence alive as well by sharing joy & happiness, which the grown up man within can get from that child only! And yes one more thing, never forget to thank every that person who knowingly or unknowingly has helped you to become a better person. These are hard times & very few will willingly help you in the process of growing up & the best asset you can count on is the people who accepts & love you for what you are! I was lucky on that front too & today whatever I could share with you its outcome of such people around me. 

And I am ever grateful to each of them as few might be reading this sharing for you & smiling to themselves, remembering the boy from a small town in Khamgaon who has been called as Sanjya, Chunkey, Pandya, Deshu, who now can preach in English that too about philosophy, is what they must laughing at! Well, they have earned that laughter, as it’s their teaching only which has made it possible for the boy who has turned fifty! So, go on son, as looking at you both I realize how much years I have put behind & yes I am happy as well at peace for my past, that’s best gift life has given to me on this special figure! 
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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