By Ashok Bhargava
VANCOUVER: Another summer is almost over and signs of its end are everywhere. Shorter days, chilly mornings, longer nights, the last harvest from the vegetable garden, countdown to 1st day of school, no matter what signals, there’s no ignoring it.
Summertime brings out the “kal ho na ho or carpe diem” side of me and I love the opportunities – like impromptu outing to the beach, spontaneous potluck dinners on outdoor patios, and splashing in the outdoor pools.
I find myself looking back with longing and nostalgia. We should be wise and realize our hopes and dreams when we can. As we speak time has already fled. Don’t trust tomorrow as a saying goes in Hindi, kal ho a no – Carpe Diem. Seize the Day, putting as little trust as possible in the next day.
Italian poet Horace wrote, “Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow!” His Roman phrase “carpe diem” actually translates into English as “pluck the day”. There is hope for today when we “pluck today” by making the most of what life offers us today. Many times, however, we allow life to “pluck our feathers”, instead of us “plucking our days”
I expect to pass through this world but once. Let me therefore do good to others, enjoy bounty of life and live life the way I want to. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again. It is good to plan for tomorrow but remember that “life is what happens while you are making plans”. Find a way to enjoy current moment as you plan for tomorrow.
If there is something you have always wanted to do, today might be the day to do it because who knows “kal ho na ho.” Procrastination robs life of many joys. Never postpone your appreciation of life until you have a life exactly as you want, or you may never appreciate your life. Appreciate life as it is now, experience life as an adventure, and then watch it unfold before your eyes. Be an adventurer who knows how to find new things to explore and appreciate.
Do not allow the noise and clamour of your life to drown out opportunities that knock at your door today. The Chinese believe that even in crisis, there is opportunity; therefore, if opportunity only knocks once today, it might be during a crisis moment. Stay attentive; don’t miss your opportunity.
Cicero said, “Pick the day as you would a poppy”. Seize the day. Do not blind your eyes to the blessings that are all around you. Be fully present in your life today. Take time to stop, look, and listen. Each new day of life offers hope and opportunity for you to seize the day, even if it is moment-by-moment.
Summer has been extremely enjoyable time for me and my family. For me it was “Poetry in the Park” at Queen’s Park in New Westminster and “Summer Dreams Festival” at Trout Lake in Vancouver that I enjoyed most. Some other amazing events for me were “Jashn-e-Azadi’ shayari at the Afghan restaurant to celebrate the independence days of India and Pakistan. Wow, how appropriate that India, Pakistan and Afghanistan at the same venue. I wish politicians from these south Asian countries take note of summer celebrations of Vancouver and follow suit.
End of summer is as good as any other time to look around at our lives, the things that matters most of us. Pluck them as juicy, ripe fruit that makes the senses tingle with anticipation and excitement.
I find myself looking back with longing and nostalgia at the amazing rain-free July (at least in the lower mainland, Vancouver), as though it was months ago rather than just a few weeks. Now it’s back to a more structured routine for many. At work, it’s great to have the full team back together and at home, families are adjusting to school schedules. How has your summer been? Are you looking forward to September?
(Ashok Bhargava is president of Writers International Network or WIN, Canada)