Friday, April 22, 2016

LIVING ON BORROWED TIME








Pic.: Anima D'Cunha


"A man who lives on borrowed time lives on trespass-ground."
- Anonymous


I heard an elderly man telling someone this, yesterday: “You know I am living on borrowed time.”

If I do not tell you who this elderly man is, you will surely have pity on him… You may feel like reaching out to him… show loads of compassion to him.

What if I told you, that he is well off… highly qualified… but, has chosen to live a life of negative pursuit against several people around him… He is too full of himself… doesn’t like to concede, thinks he is always right and others around him are either ignorant or corrupt… Most of all, if I told you this: that, he is hellbent in taking vengeance just like Shylock from The Merchant of Venice…. Yes, if I gave you this background of the elderly man, and, then told you that I heard him saying to someone those words,  yesterday… “You know I am living on borrowed time”…

Yes, would you be still compassionate to him? Would you still feel like reaching out to him?

Well, I do not know about you… But, most certainly, if someone had asked me the same question providing the said background, I would have first reacted, “The old-man  is an idiot, a fool.”

But, then, when my own ignorance got cleared off, I would have settled for compassion… “He doesn’t know what he is doing… He is ignorant… He needs mercy, compassion.”

In this man-eat-man world, I do not think, we are able to easily recognize this shift of paradigm in our hearts – from hatred to love… from anger to peace. If it happens in us, we are really blessed souls… If it doesn’t, then, we will end up exactly like that elderly man, who, despite knowing that he was living on borrowed time… was abusing the grace and privilege granted upon him by God…

We all, whether elderly, young, little kids or even just-born – yes, we all are living here, on this planet, on borrowed time. The land we are standing on, right now, is a trespassed land… Hello, let us not be blind to this fact… Lets’ not abuse the privilege, let’s not live as undeserving of the grace…

Well, I am no one to judge that elderly man… He is there just to hold me a mirror… to make me strikingly aware of the borrowed time I am living on… whether or not I deserve them, worthy of the privilege and grace… I am no judge of the elderly man… He may live even longer than I am destined to… Yes, I am strikingly aware of this truth, too!

So, do I smell the wayside flowers? Am I able to see peace on the sleeping baby? Do I see the beautiful blue sky even when the day is scorching? Do I hear the song of the birds… see the gentle dance of leaves on the tree outside? Am I able to see my anger… my jealousy… my fear and insecurity? Am I able to feel the surge of power in my bosoms when love, dreams, passion and compassion rule my soul? Do I laugh enough… say ‘Its okay, it is okay’ enough?

And, yes, do I see that I have already trespassed on a land that doesn’t belong to me… that I am already living on borrowed time?

Incidentally, this is April month. In 17th century England, it was usual to describe the first eleven days of May as borrowed days, because in the Old Style calendar they belonged to April. Let me, therefore, keep reminding myself… “May is coming… May is coming.”

GERALD D’CUNHA

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