Loneliness of long distance runners-
Feb 24, 2010
Loneliness of long distance runners-
When your companion is no longer there to accompany you!
For a change let us discuss a different topic. Quite away from politics,
science, technology spiritualism, USA or India and what not. Still it
encloses all of these. Who are long distance runners?
Aren't we all? Running in time instead of space!
We run a really long-long distance. Only thing is our distance and innings are not in space but in time and society. We indeed generally live very long and often feel lonely.
Enjoy every moment of loneliness. How?
I always feel, best path is to enjoy the loneliness whenever you feel lonely. Any thing, any sentiment once you accept with happiness "Oh! It is part of me. It will remain with me for some time," should immediately create an eternal pleasure with a bliss, a light (Sanskrit/Hindi word "ananda" conveys meaning better). Some times you do feel a little tinchie "Oh! this is not what I was looking for. I am a nice, friendly, popular guy".
Very few people realize that these are the feelings of every one and even the most popular celebrities, leaders, presidents prime ministers, heroes, heroines, professors, spiritual preachers, who are surrounded by people for all days and nights are just like them and have their lives full of moments overwhelmed by loneliness. Every one is just like us, no one is a different human being in this respect.
What matters is how much you are ready to enjoy each of these moments lonely or not. But there can be other paths too. Or even while enjoying these lonely continuous moments you can walk on several paths.
My cousin, his previous wife and current wife - A nice charming
Loneliness when your life partner is no longer with you, must be unbearable. One of my cousins visited me recently with his wife. His son and daughter also were with him. They had come for a big marriage celebration in our family. Let me first describe them.
My cousin's duaghter
My cousin must be now around 70. His son and daughter are from previous wife who died when my cousin was about 55. We knew him and his previous wife very well. Both me and my wife liked them a lot. In 80's, we lived for about two years in a city in North India, where his daughter also used to live with her husband. She was then a teen ager, just about 19, newly married. She was very refreshing and charming- learning intricacies of married life (Sanskrit/Hindi word "grahasth jeevan" conveys meaning better) and running of her own house hold. She was and still is a very friendly and pleasantly talkative person. Her husband was a little opposite type, very calm and quiet but quite charming. It was pleasure to see them and feel like teenager with them. After that I saw them only last week. Now she has a 16 years old son. I was pleased to see that even though physically she now looks different with more weight etc. (any way very few can remain teenage slim). But her face and style still has the same teen age type freshness, innocence, eagerness and enthusiasm. I wondered how she feels about her step mother. She looked quite comfortable, she came with them. But she is also a person who can make herself comfortable in any circumstances.
My cousin is an all rounder, an engineering graduate from one of the top institutes. He is also a born writer. Just you sit with him and almost every word in Hindi or English he will twist and break it into pieces and combine back with very different meaning and way it will get changed you will immediately have a hearty laugh. Prose or poetry, such twists just occurr to him instantly and naturally. He initially worked for government. But later he gave up his job and started his own business and is now quite rich. This change occurred while his first wife was still alive. His son is following him and is a successful businessman.
My cousin's first wife
My cousin's first wife was a very charming person. She was an exceptionally well organized person. She was a house wife. People often neglect this work or think of it as nothing. I feel opposite. It is indeed a very hard work and one of the most constructive one. I used to admire when I visited them how nicely she handles all affairs and has been responsible for smooth sailing life for all four of them.
Once we were back in Mumbai, we rarely saw them again. Then once while visiting USA, we heard the sad news that his wife died. When my cousin had got married again almost with in a year of death of his previous wife both his children were perhaps around 25. I remember even I and my wife were a little surprised because we had seen how he and his previous wife loved each other quite a lot and were sort of made for each other. I remember that I had debated about it myself. Is this the right path he should have taken. I felt a little sad also. But at the same time both me and my wife felt, well he has right to decide what is best for him. I also argued may be a person feels a need for a companion and this is the way he finds one.
My cousin's wife
Some how we never saw his wife till last week. But we had heard from others that she is a nice person and she takes care of him and his parents etc. really well. When we saw them, it was pleasure to see that they enjoyed each other's company. My cousin told me that during last few years they traveled together a lot and have been to all continents, taken many tourist trips, cruises, excursions etc. With his business running well, he looked quite relaxed and has developed financial capacity to do just what ever he liked. He and his wife are taking full advantage of it. It was pleasure to see them and their family. I do not have much idea how his children feel. But all looked happy in their own lives.
An American Professor
It reminds me of an American professor. He and his wife who had migrated from Europe when they were child, were a very charming couple. They were much older than me. His wife died when perhaps he was more than 85. He married again. I remember at that time during a party, conversation started about his marriage. Some of my colleagues and their wives were skeptical about it. They had felt he has gone a little crazy. But I had felt that in USA life can be very hard for an old guy and may be that is what he is looking for, a companion who can always be with him at this old age and for whom he feels like doing some thing.
Though at that time I had felt India is different. In India I have seen several persons whose spouse died at very early stage but who I imagine would not even entertain a thought of marrying again. They were happy with their life and were quite mingled in their family or families of their nephews or nieces. Families in India were not nuclear until recently. So generally parents lived with children.
Changing style in India
Just a few weeks back one of our relatives arranged a marriage for their young daughter-in-law whose husband died suddenly, a few months back, due to heart attack. The couple had a daughter. The new husband of the girl has also two children. Both the families took care for a few months that children become familiar with each other and two families. Such alliance and efforts by parents -in -law would have been unthinkable in Indian style life just a few years back. It is pleasure to see that with families becoming nuclear, people are adopting in India to a new style to suit the changing society scene.
Some people do a lot more- Kumar Deshpande
Here is one very inspiring example (see link below). I thought of writing this article seeing this news about a very inspiring person Kumar Deshpande. Kumar Deshpande felt that his father is lonely. He used to ask his father to marry again. His father would not entertain such a thought. But then suddenly he agreed. Kumar did not stop just at this. He has started a sort of NGO which helps senior people in Mumbai to find companions or marriage partner etc. Those interested may contact Kumar Deshpande on 9819549899/9821999899. Read full story in link from Mumbai mirror given below . A great job indeed.
Not every one is looking for marriage partner only. Some people just want a companion. I remember one of our family friend an old man, whose wife had died some time ago. His daughter narrated this story to me. They had a neighbor, whose husband had died. The wife had started living in another near by city. Initially just for sympathy and to help a lady, living alone our family friend used to visit her. Both liked company of each other. Their daughter sort of suggested about marriage. But both did not like the idea at all. For years it went on like this they had friendly relationship. Very recently they decided to live together but just as friends.
Loneliness may remain with you. Just enjoy it alone or with some body, what ever suits you!
(photos taken from Internet sources)
More by this Author
June 19, 2010 For a change I want to write a few articles on life style and philosophies in average Indian life. It is much more pleasant to talk about these ideas than reactions on political events. Since I have...
4th May 2011 I wrote some time back first part of an article A New Dark age. I have to still write second part. But events of last few weeks indeed give a new perspective to all these affairs. I will rather wait a...
August 9, 2009 Basic ideas from Ancient Indian Philosophy-Duel of Brahman and Maya I continue with cultural and philosophical discussions. I want to describe some of the basic ideas from ancient Indian philosophies....