A life sans regrets

reflections

“If you were given a chance to change something in your life — past, or present — what would it be, and why?” I came upon this topic for an essay competition at the local club.

 The word limit was 500 and the only rider on it was that it had to be straight from the heart. Grabbing the mouse and opening a word document, the following words burst forth as naturally as the fizz from an aerated drink. 

I am extremely happy the way I am and content in my present situation in life. Be that as it may, if asked what I would change given the chance, what comes to mind right away is that I would love to remap one aspect of the lines of my past. And what would that be? My education.

I didn’t do too badly in school. I strongly feel though, as we all do in hindsight, I could and should have done better in college. They say hindsight vision is always 20x20. Let’s go back in time and see what could have been corrected.

Life was a lark then. Young, energetic and with cotton wool in my head; it was innocent fun though. College gave us the freedom we craved from a protected convent school education. I concede that it was the same convent education that instilled in me confidence in the spoken word, in my demeanor, in my stride, and in my attitude and approach to life. Moreover, the fact that I was fortunate to grow up in a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai, Bombay then. Bombay gave me an exposure to life and its various hues and situations I cherish to this day.

In such a scenario, I could have taken studies a little more seriously than I did. For sure, I would never have made a good nerd because I was full of fun and frolic, but a little more focus on what I was doing then would have rendered me more useful for my own good. Having got married soon after graduation and being cocooned in love and cushioned in comfort, I didn’t feel the need to put my education to better use, professionally.

I became a happy homemaker and created a loving environment for my family, so no regrets there. I’ve been so protected that I wouldn’t know what to do for myself, were life to do a somersault on me. Had I kept working, I would have been in step with progress the world is making, in tune with the latest in music and movies, and generally alert to what is happening around me. 

I took to English Literature because I liked the subject. I enjoy the Arts: dance, theatre. I wanted to become a journalist. Looking back, I feel I should have taken Political Science as my subject and seriously gone into politics! There is a need in present times for committed, hard-working, and above everything else, honest people in our political scenario. I consider I have the above three virtues. Lack of good governance is staring us in the face at every level. I feel I could have done something constructive for my city or district. 

I am a crusader by instinct. But having chosen a path which directly led me to marital bliss and there unto a loving family, I now choose to stay happy in that environment for good. I admit that I took the easy way out. 

I then shared the piece with my son, proud to have landed a prize for it. Incidentally, he lives in Canada. In his usual dry humour he stated, “Mama, the last I know and read about India, you don’t need a degree in Political Science to join politics; you only need to be a criminal!” 

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