Dil hai chchota sa , chchoti si aashaa…

It was a sort of upheaval in life, stoppage of monthly salary, loss of position and also my routine. Coinciding with the time when I was grappling with the empty nest syndrome, superannuation hit me like a double whammy. Initially, it was not easy to handle.

However, five years into my retirement, I am at ease with this phase of life. I have no big dreams, no great ambitions. I may sound unenthusiastic but the fact is I am contented, fully satisfied with my life. I have nothing but gratitude for all that I have. A beautiful family, no serious health issues and enough of resources, I couldn’t have asked for more. I don’t have a mansion to live in but have a house, my cozy home that gives me all the comforts. I may not be flush with funds but there is enough; in fact, more than I ever dreamt of.

I believe one is never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.  I dream, though my dreams are modest, seeped in reality. I do not aspire to touch the sky, to catch the sun and the moon but I seek small joys of life.  I have no lofty targets to achieve, but I set small goals for myself that keep me motivated. It may be walking ten thousand steps a day or completing a task. I am not in the mad race to attain more and more but that doesn’t stop me from striving for small accomplishments. Learning and doing something new gives me immense joy.

I may not have big dreams, but I do have a ‘choti si aashaa’, a wish to lead an active, reasonably busy life. As I speak about the need to stay engaged and occupied, I am reminded of the poem ‘Leisure’ by W H Davies, which famously begins “What is this life if, full of care,/We have no time to stand and stare.”

Well! Post-retirement, time is not an issue. I have all the time but I don’t want to just ‘stand and stare’. I want to remain busy and active as it is activity that keeps me pepped up and energized. Every morning there should be something to look forward to, some motivation to jump out of the bed. I must have a goal to constantly engage my mind, something creative to keep the spark ignited within. Of course, I do not want to be frantically busy, but love to be joyfully occupied. To remain busy without being over-ambitious is what I wish.

Also, I wish to be less critical, more accepting. I have come to realize that people don’t t always behave the way you want them to; situations are not as to your liking. It is better to ignore what you cannot change. Just chill, this ,I feel, is the best approach.

My mantra for a happy retired life is to remain busy, ignore what you can’t change and stay healthy.

‘Vyast raho , mast raho , swasth raho!

(Published in Hindustan Times on 27 January 2023 in Spice of life column )


20 Replies to “Dil hai chchota sa , chchoti si aashaa…”

  1. It’s Beautiful written, mam.
    It’s the hardest phase of life, i suppose. But handling it the way you are living it is what we can call as art of living and leading a contented life ❤️

  2. Very well scripted article n close to the heart of ones who are santusht n have sabr in life. No cribbing no expectation is the best way of leading a peaceful life. Most importantly having gratitude for what all we have. The way you are leading a humble life is worth following. Yes there should be some driving force to keep oneself busy n mentally occupied. Great n keep on sharing such inspiring n motivational write ups.

    1. Uma , how wonderfully you have summed up giving the gist of the article ! Thank you so much dear . Appreciation of my friends is very important for me.❤️

  3. So well expressed dear,one who gets this santushti n learns to do Shukrana,no ambition, no desire that means.you have attained the glorious path….n it reflects on your face dear.Your aura is so powerful. God bless you….keep writing and motivating us.

    1. Omg! This is humbling . Nothing much , I am just trying to imbibe these values of shukrana and santushti . Work in progress.

      And please, I am keen , curious to know the person who has posted this comment.
      In gratitude 🙏

  4. Madam,it is a very beautiful, soothing and soft article.I remember you a lot as an excellent teacher,who always love and emotionally attach to her students.
    This article is very close to me,contended and satisfied with life.
    This article was much awaited,came after a long gap.

    1. It is heartening that the article resonates with you . Garima, I can’t thank you enough for all your love.I humbly reciprocate. Sending you lots of love and hugs.

  5. Gratitude and contentment is definitely the key to happiness. Beautifully written article dear Rama! God bless you always.

    1. Thank you so much dear Mrs Dhawan. Can’t thank you enough for your encouragement and motivation not just today but always. 🙏

  6. Loved the article Rama So much of positivity is pouring in & so much of gratitude. Aptly titled Chhoti se Asha ..

  7. Small reachable goals, gratitude and chotti si asha are the keys to a happy contented life. Right you are Rama . I loved your article written in your signature fluid style. May your creative pen keep flowing

  8. Rama you have the rare knack of decoding the universal in the individual. In addition, appropriate choice of words and sentence structure give the composition flow and readability. Loved going through all the emotions.

    1. Vidula , I am bowled over . Frankly, I am not a literary person nor do I have the insight of an English teacher to analyse, I write what I feel. Thank you for decoding it so beautifully..

  9. Another beautiful piece from Rama. It is profound in its simplicity and honest feelings straight from the heart!
    Reminds me of Jim Stovall, who wrote
    Most of us do not realise that essence of happiness in life lies in_Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.
    You are indeed blessed and enlightened to have realised some great truths, the difference between ‘gold’ and ‘gilt’ and mastered, indeed, the art of life.
    Thanks for sharing this gift.

    1. Ma’am , feel blessed to read your enlightening comment. Thanks for quoting Jim Stovall regarding essence of happiness in life that lies in_Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to . A profound truth!
      Ma’am , please share the title of his book . I am eager to read his work.

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