A few days back, I saw a snippet post of yesteryears Bollywood actress, Asha Parekh turning 75 years old. She was beaming brightly, largely content with life and better still, raring to go. It was so good to see her so gung-ho, eagerly looking forward to the next phase of her life. She joked how she never got to drink wine on her birthday as it coincided with Gandhi Jayanti. She said she didn´t feel her age at all and she was grateful for the year that has been. Reading her interview was such a heart-warming experience for me, as a reader.
I looked up to her, wishing deep in my heart, that I would have the same excitement for life at that age. In fact, till the very end of my last breath. Most people in their old age look back at life and get nostalgic. A bitter-sweet mixture of gratitude and sorrow for the time gone by. Perhaps, tad regretful for the lost opportunities and moments.
I think nostalgia is a beautiful thing. It makes you feel grateful for all the experiences that you have been through. Yes, even the hurtful ones because it is a reminder that you survived it and here today. With another day…another opportunity. In many ways, nostalgia is a great teacher. Even if you have goofed up or weren´t at your ideal best version, merely playing the past moments in your head like a movie can tell you exactly what went right and what could have been better. Remember the movie, Dangal? Geeta Phogat competes the second time at the International Wrestling competition after a disastrous performance the first time. You know what made her clinch the gold medal the second time around? It was going through her same disastrous performances in the past. That was her Dad´s (or the coach) strategy. Nostalgia, especially the painful (failure, loss or death, breakup, abuse, divorce, terminal illness etc) ones, can be a great learning lesson for the future, provided one views them objectively.
A life well spent in the present makes for a beautiful memory in the future. Someone wise said ´The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.´So, dig into the past, time travel and indulge in a little nostalgia like that sinful chocolate stashed away in the refrigerator and come back to live in the present.
On that note, I sign off with one of my all time classic faves.