End of Summer, Beginning of Memories

Today is Labor Day, a US federal holiday with a significance similar to May Day in India. But for many of us here including me it is the symbolic end of the summer season.The past 3 months have been amazing with beautiful, long, sunny days translating to a steady pace of research work, many weekends of hiking & traveling and also a good amount of lazing around. All of this was topped by a long-due holiday back home to India in August. Now, September is here and summer is gone. The wooly sweaters will soon be out and the Fall colors will come out blazing.

Summer in Cape Cod, MA
As I reflect on the time gone past during this transition period, I realize how many memories I have made this summer which will hopefully keep me going till the next one arrives. Speaking of memories, it is very easy to undermine their importance. I, for one look at it as a source of inspiration, something I can learn from and also something which keeps me grounded to my roots by reminding me of my starting point. It is also a kind of comfort zone where my restless mind can take a holiday of it’s own whenever it wants to. All I need to do is close my eyes and drift away into it.  While dreaming and being caged in memories is definitely not the solution to the problems of the present and might even be detrimental to moving on to better things in the future; they can serve as a constant reminder to the simple pleasures of life which are otherwise conveniently lost in the complicated, busy lives we lead. Good times with family and friends make you realize that at any point of time in your life even when everything falls apart you will still have these people by your side. In this context, the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’ can also be considered apt. It is imperative that we seize the day, live every moment to the fullest because no one knows what lies ahead tomorrow or when that tomorrow will come. I am fully aware that the lines above may seem like another cliched paraphrase of life’s lessons dished out all over again. But somehow these things I had only read about or being told by others all my life suddenly makes so much more sense now when I am experiencing it myself.

Personally, I have always tried to do/say whatever I have really felt like doing without thinking twice about it because the alternative to such an approach usually has the burden of regret tagging along. Trust me, the regret of not having made the most of a moment in the past is very painful. Everyone who has seen ‘Inception’ knows one of the things that hurts Leonardo Di Caprio is the fact that in the last few moments when he was leaving his home, he could only get a glimpse of his children’s backs not their faces. He wishes he had atleast one more moment to change that scenario and later it is this thought of completing this unfinished memory which drives him to the end.

Still from the movie 'Inception' in context

Although in this example, the regret he had about not seeing his kids faces was more because of circumstances beyond his control and not his own choice, the idea I wish to convey is the pain regret can inflict on a soul which is already troubled and lonely otherwise.

Anyway, as many of you may have guessed already, a lot of the stuff I have said in this post stems from recent personal experiences of mine back home in India coupled with a slight bit of homesickness. I am hoping this phase passes soon and research work keeps my mind steadily occupied as the Fall approaches. Cheers to a great Summer 2011, good times & offcourse memories 🙂 .

Nikhil

Reunion of the 'gang' after a year

Parents & Bro

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