Sunday, April 2, 2017

Achievers Who Came Along In My Life

Life is a long, continuous journey, most often lived in long periods of confusion, followed by realization and finally ending in regret & repentance.

There are many who see merit in renouncing everything in life, so that they can pursue knowledge and wisdom. And yet, for all their troubles, they have not been able to rescue the world or the humanity, from the brink of disaster.

Then there are those who travel to distant pilgrimage sites - in pursuit of higher purposes and higher Gods, while the abodes of their resident Gods are in shambles and in need of urgent repair and renewal. This lot will spend millions to go to Dorjeden, Tshopema, Boudha, Varanasi etc. but will not cast a morsel for the nourishment of the poor and the hungry who line up the streets outside their fortified homes. For these passionate believers in God, charity begins at the feet of the ornately adorned Buddha and Guru statues. No wonder the Buddha is depicted with a curious smirk on his face. The man knows!

Others spend a lifetime amassing wealth and fortune. They cheat, they plunder, they lie through their teeth – they have no time for the sunset or to tickle a baby. They are so taken up making money and hoarding them in chests and bank lockers, that they fail to notice the look of contempt and abhorrence in the faces of their friends and neighbors. Too late they realize that they had become slaves of that one thing that they had all their lives tried to master - MONEY. They were too greedy to spend their wealth to give themselves pleasure - let alone for those of others. And now their time in this world is up and it is time for them to be gagged and bundled and put on the funeral pyre, to be turned to ashes. What a waste.

Then there are those of us who live life one day at a time. We do not hoard for tomorrow - because today is more certain than tomorrow. Our bank accounts may be nearing negative balance - but we have piles and piles of credit - of goodwill and appreciation, of gratefulness and gratitude - overflowing in the hearts of those to whom we gave freely and without condition.

Life is made up of moments and encounters. One remarkable encounter I had was with late Captain Charles E. Brady Jr., NASA astronaut who passed away on 23rd July, 2006.

Autographed photo of Space Shuttle Columbia Mission STS-78

 Captain Charles E. Brady Jr., NASA astronaut

He was a crew member on the Space Shuttle Columbia Mission STS-78 during June-July, 1996. That mission was the longest shuttle mission at that time. It lasted 16 days, 21 hours, 48 minutes and 30 seconds.

I hosted him during his Ham Radio trip to Bhutan. I was hugely impressed by him. Perhaps it was due to his time in the infinite space - or he was naturally so. He had a Buddha-like calm and serenity about him. It was so soothing to be around him - life suddenly became even paced and unrushed - as if it held no meaning.

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