This Is Life!

By Anjali Mohapatra • February 20, 2020

Once, a middle aged man took his eighty years old father to the park. His father used a stick for walking. While the old man stepped out from the car, his stick fell down, and he lost his balance. But, immediately before falling, his son gripped his hand tightly, and saved him. The old man smiled at his son gratefully.

The son said, 'Papa put that stick aside. I will support you for walking.' Holding his son's hand, the old man walked slowly. They sat on a bench. The old man taking a deep breath said, 'You know what? This is life!'

The son amusingly asked, 'What do you mean, papa?'

The man said, 'Look! Once, when you were a kid, I was holding your hand to support you for walking. Now, you are holding my hand to support me! Years ago, you were identified as my son, now I am under your care! This is what the game of life!'

The man smiled at his dad's comments. Very fondly he put his dad's thin skinned hand on his own, and stroked it softly. He said, 'Nothing new papa! Let us enjoy the life, the way it runs! We all are passing through the phases of life. So nothing new, nothing to worry!'

'You know, son? What is the funniest part of life?'

'What?!'mischievously the son questioned his dad.

The old man triumphantly replied, 'We all want to be 'young' forever! Ageless!'

Obviously the son's perception of 'ageless' was different from his father. Out of curiosity he asked, 'Why, papa?'

'Ha, you know why! Young age is always full of excitement, thrilling, and phenomenal! When you are a child, it is carefree life. No stress, no liabilities, nothing. Friends, gossips, games, everything is so enjoyable, that never happens again when you catch ages. When you are in teen's, the world looks beautiful. Everything seems colourful, which is not true in reality! In the middle period after education, the service life begins, and slowly grabs your peace of mind with stress, strain, and pressures from all sides, such as: official work, family maintenance, children's upbringing blah, blah, blah. You would be loaded with full of responsibilities. When you grow up further more, the stress of old age, loneliness, diseases big or small and financial concept would drag you into black hole. So, everybody wants to be young to enjoy their life. Right?'

His son laughed aloud, said, 'Papa, are you still roaming around, in your time? Now, it has been changed, papa! The school going children are also under tremendous pressure! Forget about the elders! We are not exempted a single day without stress, and struggling for survival. However, we have to manage. So, don't think too much.'

The old man swayed his head, grinned at his son. He leaned back at the bench with a deep sigh, spreading one leg forward for relaxation, he said, 'I wish I could be a child again to play like these children playing so happily! My childhood days beckoned me so many times. Within all these eighty years, I think childhood is the best time! Stress free life! If I could be a child again!'

'But, papa, you have gone through all the phases of life, because of which you are haunted by the golden time of 'childhood', if there would be no growth of period, how could you compare the childhood as remarkable?! As you said papa, 'This is the game of life!'

Once again, the old man waggled his head. 'Oh, yes! You are right! There is a huge difference between now and then!'

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