Today we celebrated Raja's 50th birthday, rather belatedly by a month or so. We had the opportunity of catching up with several relatives in Pune. Now, one thing about the family is the number of people of the older generation who have put away many years behind them, have seen a lot of life and are still active and contribute more than most youngsters. I decided to ask a few of them what the wisdom of life according to them is, in about a line or two.
Dr. Nalini Nargundkar, Raja's mother (and Shobha's and my mother-in-law), 81, tells me her learning in life.
"Make sure that there is progress every day, a betterment over yesterday. Also, I have lived my life with the philosophy that if anyone else can do something, I can do it as well. So nothing deterred me, nothing is too great to learn or conquer."
Baburao Karandikar, 83, tells me with a big smile and lots of conviction.
"Work hard. Work hard. And enjoy life."
Shashikala Karandikar, 76, says with a smile.
"Be satisfied with what you have in life. Do not go after things you do not need. That is the secret of happiness."
Manik Gokhale, 74, says with a nod of her head.
"Accept life as it comes. Accept it without labeling it good or bad. Just accept life as it comes to you and you will go far.'
Manohar Bhave, 77, retired shippie and scientist from RRL, says at his home in Hyderabad.
"Be positive always. And ACT. You never know what is round the corner so keep your spirits up whatever happens, good or bad.'
A lifetime of wisdom. A lifetime of having seen ups and downs. Families. Children. Grandchildren. Death of loved ones. Birth of children. Success. Failure. Satisfaction. Dissatisfaction. And, still, they are there, with a big smile, a warm welcome, never complaining, reaching out to be of service faster than most people half their age, even a quarter their age.
This wisdom is strained from all these and more. Worth listening. And imbibing.