Tomorrow Never Comes!

“Hello,” Lulu, my parrot called out for me. He was perched on window, his favourite place. “Good that you returned from Bhubaneshwar in time. The cyclone ‘Hudhud’ hit eastern shores at Vizag just an hour after you landed in Mumbai.”
“Lucky I was. I was afraid that my flight would get cancelled. But fortunately it did not. It was a very bumpy ride though for a good time after take-off.” I replied as I unpacked my bag.
“People around Vizag must have had a frightening experience.”
“Yes. Some of them must have had a near death experience. Oh! That reminds me. Exactly a year ago – on October 12th last year, I was hospitalised. Oh, how time flies!”
“Yes, I remember. You had had a massive heart attack. Myocardial infarction! Are you okay now? Feeling fit?”
“Fit as a fiddle. Thanks.” I helped myself with a sip of single malt. Take it from me - single malts always bring some memories. Ethyl alcohol when called single malt behaves differently from other varieties of liquor. Something like what happens to men when they wear uniform and get a ‘title.’ Don’t simple men behave differently when they wear uniform and become a Dentist, or a Lieutenant or even a Bus conductor? Memories come back with a sip of this great rejuvenating brew. I remembered my darling wife coming to see me in the ICCU. She looked like a frightened chicken.

“What way life is different now – after the heart attack?” Trust Lulu to ask searching and deep questions that rattle you. Those questions send you in deep thought.
“Well, that’s a difficult question to answer. ‘What way life is different now.’ Frankly not much has changed. I want to change a lot of things, but not much has changed.” I continued brooding over the question.
“Do you remember Amita who had had a near death experience?”
“Yes of course.”
“You had told her that people who had a ‘near-death-experience’ must think why they survived – there must be a bigger purpose and reason. Something that HE wants them to achieve.”
“Right, I did say that to her.”
“You had one such experience last year. What’s your answer to that question?”
“Hmmm….. I really don’t know what HE had in mind, but I guess he has allowed time for me to complete my wish list – things which I always wanted to do but had not done till then.”
“So what’s the score? Have you managed to finish a good many of those things?”
“Nah! I kept doing what I did earlier. But you made me realise that I must change my priorities now. I must spend quality time with my darling wife.”
“Great. I am proud of you.”
“And I must finish my book.”
“Wonderful.”
“I have to do so much of painting!”
“Go man, go! Do it!!”
“I want to teach music to my grand-daughter.”
“A perfect gift to the sweet little girl. So? What is the next step?”
“I will begin tomorrow.”
“Shut up. Tomorrow never comes!” Lulu looked at me angrily and nibbled at chillies.
Vivek Patwardhan

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