Dear Life,
We really have seen it all, have we not?

The 90's came and went and as my turbulent teens came to pass, I thought we had it all figured out, our first love appearing before our eyes every time we tried to focus on the geography and biology within our texts as our audio cassettes of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge serenaded us. Awaiting my turn in the Ferris-wheel of destiny so that I could reach the top, I knew I was going to conquer the world... I just could not grow up fast enough.

The new century brought with it its own hoops and trapdoors. Studying in a hospital exposed to me to all the things that you  slyly chose not to tell me - saving lives and losing them; the joy of love and the scar of a broken heart, hours of endless nights studying bearing fruition and yes, even the pain of failing. And while I hated you for failing me without preparing me for the lesson, I am glad too because it gave me the chance to be a lighthouse later on, did it not, helping others so that they do not fail where I did.

I am flawed because of you, life. And it makes for a funny conundrum, does it not? If my 15 year old self were to see me now two decades later, would he be proud of the direction we have walked? I know he would be shocked by some of the scars we have suffered and how far we are from what he envisioned of us... but I also know that he would be proud of all that I have achieved.

I became what I set out to be, a specialist doctor. Me, whose Pac-Man kept dying at Round 3, now resuscitates hearts that have stopped beating.
I still follow my passion, writing short stories.
I still smile at strangers and hold the door open to allow others to pass.
I have held on to friends who matter and made new lasting ones in a world where people are often alone in a crowd.
And yes, when meeting strangers, I do tend to gravitate towards the pets more than their owners but I think 15 year old me always knew I was going to do that!

Yes, the goalposts have changed, my dreams have evolved and the journey will undoubtedly have many a twist waiting for me... but I am ready now. At 15, I was sure of what my life would be. I knew exactly what I wanted. At 35, I find I am far less certain and cannot even decide a pizza topping without weighing the pros and cons for half an hour. And it is okay.

Because that was the first lesson I had to learn the hard way, was it not? That life is not all about conquering the world and winning, is it?

It is about the journey; the memories we create and the life lessons we hold on, the pain that feels like a burning coal until we let go of it and hope that refuels us.

But above all, I have not given up, life.
I still believe - in spite of everything - in the good that exists within people. That, in the darkness, even a single candle can light the lives of hundreds. And if no one else is willing to, then even someone like me - unknown, insignificant me - can be that candle for others.
Thank you for the scars and the hugs. I would not be who I am today had it not been for the lessons you silently allowed me to learn the hard way.
I know you have a lot still in store for me #DearZindagi and guess what? I am looking forward to it.

Dr Roshan

Authors note:
I am writing a letter to life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda


Jaibala Rao said…
Life has a strange way of teaching us the lessons we need to learn, and most of the times they are unexpected lessons that take us by surprise and on others it is something we realise after having run 12 Kms to ponder over the very lesson. The best thing we can do is embrace life with open arms and live.

PS: Everyone is significant and relevant in some way. And you Doc are a great friend. No conditions attached.

Kala Ravi said…
Inspiring and heartfelt post doc! Life springs so many surprises doesn't it, some good, some not so good, but all these experiences mold us to be the humans we are. Being the candle to light someone's dark path is something so noble! Stay blessed and rock it like you always do :)
Indeed, life isn't about winning, it is about the memories we make, and the lessons we learn through our experiences, good or bad. Being a candle in darkness is a wonderful thought! If we are able to touch even one life positively, it would be a life well lived.

Shubhangi @ Ground Coffee Bean
Vasantha Vivek said…
Lovely letter to your life, Roshan. You are loved inspite of your age, qualification, job, wealth. That matters most than anything else.
Atulmaharaj said…
A great post Doc. Life is wonderful and I'm sure all of us are living every moment to the fullest. Thanks for sharing !
True. All of us passed trough a pace in life. Most have broken heart lost dear ones but still we keep moving keep both truma and happenes as lesson and memories
Ls said…
If only we knew how we would turn out, maybe we would have been bit more relaxed in life. Loved this post.
Yes. It does take time to learn to these lessons and sadly, we can't avoid the hard ones too.
Thanks Kala... yes. these experiences - good or bad - are what shape us, making us different even if we live in the same house as our siblings.
That last line... if we can affect even one person positively, I think we can set in motion a 'Pay it Forward' ripple effect
Thanks Vasantha :)
Thanks Atul :)
We tend to falter when we stumble, scared to run at the same pace again. That mental block needs to stop...
True Dr Umesh... we need to accept both as part of our lives.
Sigh... that is the ultimate truth, is it not? If we just knew the direction and pitfalls in advance...
Parul said…
What a lovely post, Roshan. You are right that is about the journey and the memories we make along. I also believe in that philosophy. While the goals will change, the journey makes it more exciting and worth living.
When you think about it, I am sure that the younger teen version of you had way different ideas about what succeeding in life meant. That's the thing... the goal changes. And we can either be sad about that or accept the new goals. Enjoying the journey is the key.
Aathira said…
Thanks for writing this. I could relate to it so well. It's not always about the plans working out and that's okay.
I think that realization dawns very late on us, does it not?
jaish_vats said…
Beautiful Roshan.....You are absolutely right there....The journey matters more than anything else and its the little things thats makes life life!! LOvely piece of writing!
Thanks Jaish... long time no see :)
vishal bheeroo said…
Love your take Doc on Dear Zindagi and the way you look at life. It makes you a winner. Love the lines, 'It is about the journey; the memories we create and the life lessons we hold on, the pain that feels like a burning coal until we let go of it and hope that refuels us. But above all, I have not given up, life.'
Thanks man.. its contributed both plenty of gray hair and wisdom in the gray matter along the way, this zindagi :D
Farida Rizwan said…
Me, whose Pac-Man kept dying at Round 3, now resuscitates hearts that have stopped beating. I loved this post... especially that sentence made me laugh out loud.
Afshan Shaik said…
Your post reminded me of that famous line by Dumbledore- Happiness can be found in darkest of the times, only if one remembers to switch on the light :) A feel good post Roshan

It is about the journey; the memories we create and the life lessons we hold on, the pain that feels like a burning coal until we let go of it and hope that refuels us. ---- Loved these lines
sunaina sharma said…
Beautiful letter to life Roshan.....had it not been for the scars, life would miss many significant lessons and experiences. Good or bad, they have filled our life to the brim right.... Your letter expresses all the highs and lows so perfectly.
Hahaha.. thanks :)
True... I don't remember the Dumbledore line but it perfectly suits what I feel.
Thanks Sunaina... yes, I learned a lot from my scars.. it made me who I am today. That is for sure.