I remember the time when I was a toddler. I used to crawl out of my mother's lap and look at the older boys playing in the courtyard. I craved to grow up so that I could also walk, run and play like them.
My wish was soon granted with the passage of time. Now I am a school boy. But whenever I look at the grown ups, I feel how frail and dependent I am. All the decisions for me were made by my parents and I had no choice but to abide by the rules that had dictated. I had to ask for their permission every time and cajol them with all my might to get my petty wishes granted. During those days, I craved to be a grown-up man who leads his life the way he wishes. The one who is independent and has control over everything.
The incessant flow of time granted that wish too. Now I'm a middle aged man. I have a well paid job, a family, a cozy apartment and an expensive car. But now I feel crushed under the weight of responsibilities. I'm sick of the work pressure at the office, a howling boss, the race to meet the deadlines and the furious frenzy to achieve the targets. At home, I had to fulfil the never ending demands of shopping and outing put forth by my wife. The parental responsibilities towards two growing up, boisterous kids would sometimes drove me to the end of my wits. I wished to get rid of all of them and spend my life peacefully as a retired man.
Time was kind enough to grant this wish of mine too. I'm a retired old man now who was of no use to anyone. Nobody cared to enquire about me and I was left to lead a life of solitude. My wife had passed away and my kids were busy with their own lives. My office has found a replacement for me and hence I was slowly erased out of their memories as well. As there was nothing further to wish, I turned back to have a look at my entire life. At that moment, I realised that there are so many wishes that still remained unfulfilled within me.
I wished instead of being in a hurry to grow up, I should have moved ahead in life while relishing every moment of it. I should have stayed a little longer in my mother's lap when I was a toddler and enjoyed the warmth of her love. In place of enacting the life of a grown up, I should have enjoyed the mirth of childhood when I was a boy. Instead of wishing to take refuge in the serenity of a retired life, I should have accepted the challenges of the responsibilities that I had to shoulder. I know I can't rewrite anything. I can't bring back the time that is lost, but at least, I can cherish the memories and enjoy whatever little time that's left in my share.