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Autumn blues

india Updated: Sep 27, 2010 23:44 IST
Hindustan Times
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As one grows older, one finds life getting more and more complex, and the path to life's missions getting harder to tread. Every passing year, beyond fifty, throws a hurdle and makes one's vision blurred. With the vainglorious optimism of youthful zest giving way to calculated and cautious optimism, one wonders whether life's great expectations and possibilities were just dreamy passages.

This reminds me of columnist Doug Larson's saying that a lifetime isn't long enough to figure out what is it all about. Of course, that is just to make a point that life is too short or highly uncertain for any distant aim. Even then, on our part, one must remain steady, supported by plans and hard work, until cruel fate intervenes and halts one's march.

After all, in life, as in love, it is better to have tried and failed than accepting failure without putting even the initial bid. To attempt is within one's grasp, but to succeed may or may not be within one's reach and power. That is why the Gita tells us to work hard and not to bother about the results.

Therefore, my concept of life has changed a bit with the change of life's changing seasons. I would like to describe it best in the words of Chinese writer Lin Yutang: "I like spring, but it is too young; I like summer but it is too proud; so I have come to like autumn best of all. Its tone is mellower, its colours are richer, and it has tinged a bit with sorrow…. it has the kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows life's limitations and its content."

That is exactly what I would have liked to say. But I must add one thing: No joy or source of joy is as strong and great enough to overcome and make one forget the pitfalls of one's autumn days. In a way, I would say that is good because one gets used to the setbacks of life that one's wintry days come with in plenty. Forewarned is half the problems taken care of.