The Heart of Watermelon

If I had only'
Forgotten my future greatness
And took a pause from this mad race
And looked at the green things and buildings 
And reached out to those around me
And smelled the fresh air 
And heard the rain on the roof 
And put my arms around my wife
' And it is not too late 
(Modified 'Hugh Prather' Quote)

How many of you after a day's tiring and hectic job at your work front, take a deep breath when you sit in your car to go back home, pause a minute and try to put yourself in a different perspective. Do you think about your family who are spending most of the time inside your four walls? Do you consider what kind of an environment you want to create when you go back home? If you do, you know how to pause in your life. Such a person when he walks in through the door of the house may perhaps shout, ' I am home! Please try to restrain yourself from hugging and kissing me'! He may then interact with his family and try to create warmth, joy and fun. Such people enjoy every moment of their existence and find joy both in work and in vacation.

Unfortunately the predicament of most of us is different. Many of us can be bracketed into 100M Olympics sprint category. The only difference is that out there in Olympics people do it only once in four years where as in real life we do it almost everyday without any pause, without any break and without any finishing lines. As a result, we limp in our daily life with our sagged faces and vacant eyes and our images have become scarecrows for one another. Most of us have now two ages to declare. You are 28!, but you look 40 ! Modern world has dragged us into a mire of million complexities. Life has become more mundane, messy and melancholic. We cement our relationships with our barren love and hollow dialogues. Look at our executives today. They are adept in multitasking to save time. They virtually eat over the kitchen sink and forget where they are rushing to? They lose track of time (am? Or pm?) and often bring the wrong kid from the school. I am reminded of a friend who took his daughter for a school competition for 3rd STD students and came back home with a startling revelation that his daughter was in 2nd STD. An executive today will fiddle his laptop while fixing a deal over his mobile and eat a sandwich in between. Despite all the gadgets to lighten his work, he leaves his office with a dull and desiccated mind. He gets choked in his work and shuns to have a whiff of oxygen to alert his numb senses. He knows all the right buttons in his job except the pause button.

Taking a pause or break from this breath-taking race can bring you a new lease of life. Simple pauses in your daily life can cheer you up in your daily frustrations. I, for one, do some cooking to give a break to my wife at home and of course to eat better food! I tell her 'Have a break and have a Kitkat! '. Do a bit of exercising, sing a song, read a poem, watch a sunrise or water your garden. Have an afternoon nap in your reclining chair if you are in office. Try meditation for a few minutes and have a walk inside yourself. Taking short pauses or breaks can help you to reorganize your priorities and recharge your batteries. It can prevent you from boredom and burnout. Your mind gets unwound and uncluttered in moments of fun and moments of solitude. Your soul gets washed in fresh air and that will help you to look at problems with a new clarity and in a new perspective. You will then start enjoying life's most imperceptible fragrances to the full enormous taste of its heaviest fruits.

When I was a boy, in the summer afternoons, my grandfather used to take me along with him for our usual home errands to a vegetable vendor in our village. He was a wealthy man who thrived in his business by the dint of his hard work and was a friend of my grandfather. As soon as we reach the shop, he would come out of the shop, however busy he might be, and he would then pull out a bench and ask us to sit on it. The warm, earthy smell of freshly picked vegetables used to pervade the whole atmosphere. He would then pick up a big watermelon that had just been in from the field, crack it open and scoop out a big piece for each of us. We would only eat the heart of watermelon ' the reddest, juiciest, most perfect ' and he would then throw the rest away.

My grandfather was not very rich. In fact he raised all his children teaching them to clean their plates and not to waste food. I thought that my grandfather admired the vendor because he was rich and was a success in business. I realized only later in my life that my grandfather admired his 'richness' because he knew how to stop work in the middle of a summer afternoon, take a pause, sit down with his friends and spend the time eating the heart of watermelon. 

Being rich is not about money. Being rich is a state of mind. Some of us, no matter how much money we have, will not have the time to pause and eat the heart of watermelon. And some of us will be rich without ever being more than a pay cheque ahead of the game. 

From my personal standpoint, that is what it's all about'

Never stop enjoying your life
Never run like a cheetah in your pursuits 
If you take a big pace, you will then leave a big space
Capture and savor your moments and do not create deserts in your memory of time 
Take lots of breaks in your race to avoid breakdowns
And eat the heart of watermelon
You will then see the mulberry leaves turning into silk   


More by :  P. G. R. Nair

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