Breaking Shackles in the Year of Sheep

“Hello!” Lulu, my parrot, called me out. There are some good things about parrots as friends. Parrots have a different perspective. Not necessarily good or hmmm….. agreeable, but different, yes different.
“Hello,” I noticed Lulu was perched on a very high on a branch of Gulmohur tree. “Hello, it is so difficult to spot you in that foliage. What are you doing up there?” But I knew the answer. Parrots when they put on their thinking cap, they go to the top of the tree. “Thinking something, eh? Are you reviewing the last year’s events? That’s what everybody is doing.”
“I can see that you wish to do it.”
“It was an important year. I had not-so-good-health in October 2013. So springing back to normal life in 2014 itself was an achievement.”
“That was a rather a bad time. How does it feel now?”
“Like waiters in a restaurant starting to place breakfast settings on the surrounding tables while one is still having dinner, these intimations of mortality plainly communicate the message: Your time is up, it’s time to move on.”

“If you quote from a book, you must mention it, that’s the right etiquette. I asked how it feels. Answer that, don’t give me intellectual stuff.”
“That time is short, in a nutshell. Acutely feeling it now. More than ever before.”
“I understand.”
“And I am very unhappy about one thing - the ‘bucket list’ is as long as ever. Hardly any item got struck off as yet.”
“I know what you mean. Rabindranath Tagore has put it beautifully.”  
“Tagore? What?”
“Rabindranath Tagore said 'I have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.'” Lulu winked at me.
“You are pulling my leg, Lulu. Are you trying to convey something, what’s it?”
“It is time to stop doing certain things. Decide what you are NOT going to do as a New Year resolution.”
“You are frittering away your time. Once you stop doing those things, you will find time to work on the Bucket list. Agreed? What are you going to stop doing?”
“I feel it is time to stop working. Consulting I mean. I have really nothing new to say to the audience. And training too. I am losing interest in those activities. I feel I should stop these activities.”
“That will give you considerable time on hand. But why are you not discontinuing?”
“I find it difficult to say NO. And I also feel that some money must be earned to keep the home fires burning.”
“What happens to the fire within? Didn’t you talk about waiter setting breakfast table while you are having dinner and the message of mortality…? Eh?”
“I see your point. There is never the right time to do what you always wanted to do in life. In the coming days I must focus on many things, together with my wife.”
“Overdue! And what else?” Lulu flew down through my window and sat on the table lamp.
“Old man! Make a clean cut from the past. Stop doing what you have been doing. Break away from the past. It is important to take bearings again. Do what you wanted to do and have not done. New Year is a good time to make up one’s mind and do it.”
“Gather courage. You are behaving like a lamb, going where circumstances and time is taking you.” 

“Ha, ha! Coincidentally, the year 2015, the next year is the Chinese Year of the Sheep.”
“So it is your year! Ha, ha!!” Lulu laughed sarcastically as he flew away.
Vivek Patwardhan
"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.

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