At this age of mine, it is a time for stock-taking. As I look back I see that the basic philosophy of my life, has been that the ‘ best is the enemy of good’. Generally, I never strove for the best in any field, made-do with whatever came my way. True, I have not been a big man, not made a tower in Mumbai, nor amassed wealth, but have enough to enjoy my humble life, enjoying good health by the grace of my doctors. Raised my family honourably, enjoyed people’s recognition and acceptance in society. Looking back now, I have no sense of remarkable failure, led a reasonably happy life all through. I have no regret not having been the best/garlanded ever, remained satisfied with ‘ all that is good rather than the best-only’.
For me, life has to be lived in its entirity, many things are involved in life. Nature gave me only a limited time and energy, if all my energy is devoted in one direction, that is, say to learn mathematics only, to ensure cent percent marks, I would not have time and energy to read science, geography, history OR take time to make friends, visit cinemas, take part in sports or adventures OR read literatures/ghost stories……..innumerable aspects. Getting 99% marks in maths and failing all other subjects/aspects is failing in life itself, it is thousands times better to get simple pass marks in all subjects but enjoy life as a whole, and mature. Nobody will accept me but I have been like this and I have no sense of loss.
Only way to balance the demand of all above aspects of life, is to divide time and energy . I took interest in many subjects. I played football, cricket, swam in Ganges several hours a day, many times survived several dangerous situations in water. Very few know the thrill of jumping in the mouth of rising high tide in the un-silted Ganges of those days, or steal a climb from the rear side of the barges in the middle of the river and quickly dive back into the river splashing water to the surprise of the boatman, and many other things. Tried my hand in enjoying the excitement of participating in student politics of those days also.
Never stood first in any class, always a mediocre student going by the exam mark sheets, but enjoyed life in its full. I know something about many things, and not much about anything. I can take part in discussion on any topics from many academic subjects and sides of life, in an adda with learned people. True, if like our academically shining friends if I devoted all my energy to limited academic subjects, I would have no time to pursue other interests which could deprive me unlimited joy that I enjoyed in life.
I firmly believe, all of us come from this universe—I am made of the same material what the universe is made of. I feel the universal power lying dormant in me. Everything is within me, and me in everything. I am in you and you are in me. By this logic, real meaning of life is to extend the self to everything around, and for that we should try our hand in learning and participating in everything along the whole spread of life , which comes our way. Instead of trying to be best in a limited things, it is better to be good in many things and be always available, to enjoy life the most. If I have to complete ten jobs in a day which do not have far reaching consequences, and if there is situational difficulty, I shall not hesitate to compromise with the perfection to complete the ten jobs–initially undertaken, within the day itself repeat within the day itself. Time is the key. There are girls who could not be married off as they would not settle less than a prince, and the prince never appeared.
My life story says that the best is the enemy of good. This philosophy does not look smart, and will not sell well to the business like people—true, but many lives are lost in the endeavour just to look smart in the estimation of others, being quite oblivious of what would quench the thirst of their soul.