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  • Writer's pictureanjali mohapatra

This is life!

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

Once, a middle-aged man accompanied by his eighty years old father went to the park. His father used a stick for walking. While the old man stepped out of the car, his stick slipped, and he lost his balance. But, immediately before falling, his son gripped his hand tightly and saved him. The old man smiled at his son in gratitude.

The son said, ‘Papa put that stick aside. I will support you in walking.’ Holding his son’s hand, the old man moved slowly. After a while, they rested on a bench. Taking a deep breath, the old man said, ‘You know what? This is life!’

The son amusingly asked, ‘What do you mean, papa?’

The old man said, ‘Look! Once, when you were a kid, I used to extend my hand to support you in walking. Now, things are reversed! Years ago, you were identified as my son, now I am under your care! This is what the game of life!’

The man smiled at his dad’s comments. Very fondly he put his dad’s thin-wrinkled hand on his own and stroked it softly. He said, ‘What's new about it, papa?! Let us enjoy our life, the way it runs! We are all passing through the phases of life! Life itself is a challenge, and we have to face it boldly. Nothing to worry about!’

‘You know, son? What is the funniest part of life?’

‘What?!’ mischievously the son questioned his dad.

The old man triumphantly replied, ‘We all want to be ‘young’ forever! Ageless! Isn't it?!’

The son’s perception of ‘ageless’ might be different from his father's. Out of curiosity, he asked, ‘Why, papa?’

‘Ha, you know why! Young age is always full of excitement, thrilling, and phenomenal! When you are a child, it is carefree life. No stress, no liabilities, nothing. Friends, gossip, games, everything is so enjoyable, that never happens again when you catch age. When you are in your teens, the world looks beautiful! Everything seems colorful, which is not true in reality! In the middle period after education, the service life begins and slowly grabs your peace of mind with stress, strain, and pressures from all sides, such as official work, family maintenance, children's upbringing, etc. You would be loaded with full of responsibilities. When you grow up furthermore, the stress of old age, loneliness, diseases big or small, and financial concepts would drag you into a black hole. So, everybody wants to be young to enjoy their life. Right?’

His son laughed aloud, and said, ‘Papa, are you still roaming around in your time? Now, it has been changed, papa! The school-going children are also under tremendous pressure! Forget about the elders! We are not exempted from a single day without stress, and struggling hard for survival. However, we have to manage. So, don't think too much.’

The old man swayed his head and grinned. He leaned back at the bench with a deep sigh, stretching his legs forward he said, ‘I wish I could be a child again to play like these children playing so happily! I missed my golden time. If I could be a child again!’

‘But, papa, you have gone through all the phases, because of which you are haunted by the golden time of ‘childhood’, if there would be no change, how would it be remarkable?! As you said, papa, ‘This is life!’.

Once again, the old man waggled his head. ‘Oh, yes! You are right!'

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