‘This 60-Year-Old Taught Me The Meaning Of Life And I’m Unlikely To Forget It’

Posted on April 13, 2016

By Pallavi Singh:

solo-female-travel-in-IndiaGoa beaches are always happening. It fills one’s life with fresh energy to walk on the slipping sand. I don’t know about others but this is what I felt.

I was looking at all those who were strolling on the beach at about 5 in the morning from my sea-facing resort. I too followed them and sat around on a stone. The view was beautiful but I was not able to enjoy it as an argument with my boss haunted me.

A day before, I had a horrible argument with my boss, where he unnecessarily accused me of something I was not involved in, not even aware of. It’s the easiest thing to blame others and walk away – a lesson I have learnt in my professional life. Everyone has a weak point where they break; I had found mine too.

That night when I walked home, only one question rang in my head. What next? All those sacrifices I had made for the organisation seemed worthless now.

I postponed my vacations, didn’t visit home for the longest time and now it seemed as though I was the dumbest person in the world. I was not in a mood to drag my family or friends in this issue. They would all pour in to give me solace and courage and I would feel as though my dreams were over for good.

Instead, I checked my account and discovered that I had more than enough money to survive one week in complete luxury anywhere in the world. Goa had been on my mind for some time now, and I would often check out lucrative deals on travel websites. This time, I thought of giving myself a luxurious trip worth remembering.

Next day I shopped a lot and booked the evening flight to Goa. Around 9 pm, I had checked into the wonderful resort with its courteous staff and sea-facing rooms. Everything was as I had desired, yet my heart was locked and none of the excitement seeped into me.

The sun was about to rise when I saw people from my adjacent cottage heading towards the beach just across our resort.

Trust me; the ocean is the most fabulous thing I have ever seen in my life. I can still hear those tides in my ear.

Young couples, children, old people – all having fun. They all were celebrating life in their own way. Amidst the crowd, my eyes stopped on a lady, about 60 years old or maybe a little less, in a blue shirt and black shorts walking on the beach holding the hand of an old man.

She waved her hand and asked me to click a couple of pictures for her. I took her cell-phone and clicked away. I was taken aback to know that the old man who accompanied her and was now sitting on the sand, was her father. She introduced herself as Sheila. She was from Mumbai but had now settled in Goa with her father. Her house was quite close to my resort.

She held my hand and encouraged me to plunge into the water. I refused but she was so stubborn that finally, I was in. She didn’t ask me anything but read my face maybe and told me something that made my trip awesome.

Life is too short to worry and too long to wait. Don’t stay idle, get going because nobody owns your life. Don’t let anybody snatch your happiness away from you. Cheer and smile.”

I was surprised the way she was enjoying like a kid in the water taking selfies and talking nonstop.

Later that evening I saw her walk around in my resort talking to people, solving problems and generally being her confident self with a lot of comfort. On enquiring from a waiter, I learnt that she is the owner of this resort. I was genuinely surprised and was curious to know more about her.

The waiter replied that this resort is everything to her. She works here like a mere employee because she enjoys filling up her time with the challenges this job brings with itself. She had lost her husband and her only son some time back and her father was the only family she was left with.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Sheila the one with so much life in her had such close encounters with death! She could have chosen to end her life sobbing and grieving in some old age home, but here she was living her life, not forgetting to smile whenever she got the opportunity. That moment I realised, how blessed I was. Suddenly, my own problems seemed so vague and meagre. Sheila had taught me to be thankful for everything that I had in my life instead of feeling sorry for that one problem I couldn’t solve.

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