23 July, 2014 / Ramazan 24, 1435

As good as it gets

Published Aug 17, 2012 11:03am

Should we have a bucket list for the present as well as the future? Many, such as myself get entrapped in future nostalgia that we tend to forget how lucky we are to have the tactile present within our reach. I feel the spirit of Ramazan exemplifies this idea almost too perfectly – we get an entire month for introspection and more so, to reflect on life’s many facets. Speaking of appreciation, I hope in due time you guys will come to appreciate my writing style which takes the form of a descriptive rant on an informal platform, and appreciate that there is more to me than my supposedly superb dictionary-opening skills!

U-turn commencing and now back to my original point – It was probably some out-of-work, doe-eyed moron at some point when he/she just moved to a big city from hicksville with stars in his/her eyes who coined the phrase ‘live every day like it’s your last’, a mantra preached by the self-deluded or the elite due to its unrealistic nature that falls short of encompassing our daily grind. But now I figure that that impractical living-for-the-moment nut had a point.

Didn’t Coco Chanel or someone say something about dressing everyday like you’re going to die in that outfit? Well, actually in that case, I’d probably be wearing pajamas and a big, old t-shirt every day of my sorry existence. But my point is, we as a race are very aware of death because we are constantly living as a verb, whether trudging through it or skipping along giddily. But we never really get hit on the head so hard that little canaries circle our skulls until an epic event, no matter how minuscule or gigantic in size, causes a subconscious ripple effect in the spongy craters of our brains.

We all pray for what we want the future to hold but what many of us don’t appreciate is how lucky we are to be where we are now. I sometimes check myself by wondering what if I had been given a realistic deadline for how many breaths I had left. How would my perception of the world change when I am constantly reminded of my mortality with the tick tick tick of the jarring hands of the Big Ben-sized time-bomb that could at any moment stop pumping blood and desert me? And the revelatory answer is … I have not a clue.

The first thing that usually comes to our minds (well, at least to my mind) is how many ambitions we still need to accomplish, while simultaneously having the startling realisation that we have already been storing so many fulfilled dreams to appreciate on a rainy day. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the race we run on a daily basis is primarily with ourselves and we need to stop, and actually live in the now, rather than using the expectant future as a balm to heal our aches and pains.

So I guess I’m lucky enough to not really understand what ‘live everyday like it’s your last’ means and anyone who is not on a terminal stopwatch ever will, no matter how many quotes about the meaning of life they share on Facebook. But what I can appreciate as the insanely lucky spectator is the saying ‘this is as good as its going to get’ because the truth is, we never really know what the future holds no matter how much we daydream and plan and pray or send out good thoughts so the Universe will work in our favour.

[audio http://i.dawn.com/2012/08/podcast-link-id.mp3]

The only thing we have is the tactile present, each second that passes is another one we have lived and can recognise it for what it was which then gets sealed in the airtight hourglass of our lives. By worrying about what’s ahead as much as we do, majority of us blessed ones tend to forget how lucky we are to actually have the option to not worry about what’s to come because we don’t have to … and that … is as good as it ever gets …

Eid Mubarak!

 


The writer is philosophy major turned journalist turned wanderlust writer and aspiring film-maker with a penchant for going off on a tangent … metaphysically and metaphorically.  She can be reached at achundrigar@gmail.com

 


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (14) (Closed)


Uzair
Aug 17, 2012 03:43pm
Living should be day-to-day however plans or as Ayesha calls a Bucket List (sounds better) of to-do-things or setting goals for yourself in near future should be made too. I do have a Wish-List but guess thats just what it is...a Wish-List. Got to stop day-dreaming and get realistic goals for myself. I thank The Almighty everyday for the things I have though have the human failing of coveting more. Good writing Ayesha!
shazia
Aug 17, 2012 04:27pm
Good article Ayesha. A friend at work had told me of your blog. I live everyday to the best I can and thank The Almighty for all His blessings
alia
Aug 18, 2012 03:39pm
Ayesha, kudos on a well written article. raika45 fyi even the poor and unfortunate have a bucket list. All humans dream and want. I had seen Ayesha's earlier article too and if memory serves me right you had made some rather rude comments about that too. raika45 surely you are educated enough to read the writer's name. Suggest atleast basic etiquette be followed when writing in a public forum. And to write under your real name. Why hide?
Sohail Qureshi
Aug 17, 2012 02:11pm
superb dictionary-opening skills ! -- Loved it, plus the Exclaimation, tells me the writer knows she is Awesome. NOTE : Wish Politicains in Pakistan were living with the belief " Live everyday like it's yor last ", so many people can think of Living and having Dreams, instead of just getting quashed through the Wringer.
raika45
Aug 17, 2012 02:06pm
Lady, ever asked the poor and the unfortunate what their bucket list is about? Get down from your Philosophical grand stand and go see what real Pakistan is all about. Sitting in your secure bird nest and setting your grammatical superiority may impress some.But the some do not make the whole of the nation.Unless you are aiming towards the arty type. My apologies to the well educated.No offence meant.
Minza
Aug 17, 2012 11:50am
Listened to the audio and Bucket List!!! Thats it...I have to make one for myself soonest
Shah
Aug 17, 2012 11:47am
I believe it was the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius the originator of "live everyday like it's your last".
Minza
Aug 17, 2012 11:47am
This is 'as good as it gets'! Living in the present! Well written Ayesha.
KM1
Aug 17, 2012 11:42am
the article is not well written though you were not able to make your point
Hamza Humayun
Aug 17, 2012 08:10pm
What about the Hereafter sister Ayesha ?
Noor
Aug 18, 2012 12:39am
good article !
Arjob Mukherjee
Aug 18, 2012 07:39am
Very good article..god, I was thinking the same..may be I like millions of others are fed up of this way of life, where growth is the manta and calmness is criticized..you know one thing I have came to realize, that you cannot teach people this way of life, it can only be realized from within.. This Eid, I pray to god, not to give me a ticket to a better future, but for nothing. I feel grateful to be alive, when 5000 people die of hunger each day around the world. It is hard to put my feeling to words, but I exactly get this article, I know what it feels like to be grateful and let god be god, not a Santa Claus. Eid mubarak to every one.
alia
Aug 20, 2012 04:40am
Have started liking your 'rants' Ayesha. Keep writing!. And Eid Mubarak
irfan ali
Aug 19, 2012 06:59am
Like it. the narrative gives food for thought.