Be useful. Make each day of your Life memorable!

Age doesn’t matter. Seriously it doesn’t. What matters is what do you want to do in Life!
John Pontin 
We met an enterprising, energetic, committed and alive 78-year-old last evening. He’s John Pontin, a British millionaire, who ran a design and build company that has been engaged in socially enlightened property development for over half a century now. But what keeps John awake at nights, and awakened, is his monomaniacal focus and commitment to leave our planet a better place. His work is currently focused around a charity he helped launch a few years ago called The Converging World with a seed fund of 2 million British Pounds. One of its objects is to fund and build renewable sources of energy, such as wind turbines, in India. In 2008 The Converging World project installed two large turbines in Tamil Nadu. Since then, and a few smaller turbines later, several million units of electricity have been delivered to the Tamil Nadu State grid. Ask John why is he doing what he’s doing and he says, with a twinkle in his eye, “I am driven by this hunger, this sense of urgency, to make a change. To do something. I can’t wait. What has to be done, has to be done.”
Talking to John his like getting yourself a shot of inspiration. He looks 78. But he’s got the energy of an 18-year-old. “I know I am not getting any younger biologically. But I couldn’t have felt younger or better. I am living the best years of my Life. I am creative, naïve and am getting cheeky. Maybe that’s what’s making me do stuff or get stuff done faster which normally takes a long, long time getting done,” he explains.
John and his team at The Converging World are no doubt doing great service. That they will make significant contributions in the years to come is for sure – that alone is not something that will be counted as John’s legacy. What John is teaching us all is this: Age is a mere number. Be useful. Make every day of your Life memorable and make it count!

I wish all of us snap out of our comfort zones and complaining-sprees. I wish we stopped existing and merely earning a living. I wish we borrowed a leaf from John’s book, rolled up our sleeves and went down to work on making a difference. John reminds us that our time here is ticking away. And that the best gift we can give our children is a better world that’s greener, beautiful and bountiful. Even if we don’t want to be a conservationist or sustainability champion like John, we may just want to be useful to the human race instead of putting up our feet and gloating over how successful our material lives and careers have been. Hearing John speak last evening, I was certain about one more thing – there is no better time to get started on living and serving than now.

Remember: you too have come with an expiry date. So, live, don’t exist!

“The wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop, the leaves of Life keep falling one by one!” – wrote Omar Khayyam, (1048~1131), the Persian poet, in his classic ‘The Rubaiyat’.
Today our son Aashirwad turns 25. Suddenly a quarter of a century seems to have flown past. A quarter of a century!!?!! That’s a third of a lifetime, if you can hope to be at least 75! These are the 25 years that I have grown up from being a boy to a young adult to being a lover, a husband and a father, to being an entrepreneur to going bankrupt – and resultantly penniless – to being a student of Life. It is when I was ready and willing, as any good student should be, to learn,  that Life, the teacher, appeared before me and taught me this invaluable lesson – that we are all perishable. Each moment is perishing even as we are going through it. Everything around us is perishing and everything – and everyone – we knew has perished. You, me, all of us will perish too. The learning I have from Life is that the opportunity of this lifetime must be utilized within the lifetime of the opportunity. Life is a limited period offer. Period. Enjoy it as long as it lasts! Indeed, sometimes, you may only be in a position to endure Life. But if you understand Life and its impermanence, you will learn to accept, and therefore even enjoy, what you are enduring! So, as the famous song from the Hindi film, Golmaal(1979, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, R.D.Burman, Gulzar, Kishore Kumar) goes: “Aane Wala Pal, Jaane Wala Hai, Ho Sake To Isme Zindagi Bita Do, Pal Yeh Jo Jaane Wala Hai…”It means exactly what Omar Khayyam wants us to realize: “Each moment – and Life – is passing us by. If possible, seize the lifetime in the moment, because it too will be gone soon.”
Realize the value of each moment. At least from now on, go do what you love doing. Don’t think. Don’t analyze. Just do it! Also, please make time for your family and children today. Because even before you realize it, time would have flown, the birds too would have flown, leaving your nest empty. What you will be left with are just memories. Those are funny things, these memories. The stuff you laughed about will make you cry and what you cried over, you will laugh about when you look back! Work hard without doubt. Earn money, that’s important. But with advancing age, decreasing efficiency, and limited time left on this planet, what you will be left holding are only memories. Make sure they are happy ones, of happy times, of memorable moments that you want to relive. Not of times of which you have no memories because you merely existed back then! Someone wisely said, we don’t remember days, we remember moments. Ensure each of yours from now on are worth living for and remembering happily later!
We all have come with an expiry date. Except we don’t know what that date is. So, when you don’t know how much time you have left here, won’t you want to make each day, each moment, count?