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Seize The Moment
Text by Suma Varughese and Painting by Apet Pramod
Published: Volume 15, Issue 1, January, 2007

Life is full of unexpected possibilities. Explore them to enrich your routine and add freshness and joy to your days, advises Suma Varughese

I have a friend whom I deeply admire for her ability to create newness around her all the time. Whenever I go to her house, it looks different, fresh and exciting. Either the arrangement has been turned around, or a piece of furniture or decorative item has been added on or the way the curtains are hung has been changed. Her tiny house always looks refreshing and charming because it has never settled into stagnancy. She continuously responds to the winds of change. She is always learning innovative things (flamenco dancing is her latest project), making new friends, finding novel causes to espouse, without giving up any of the old passions. She is a great blend of constancy and novelty. Her secret, I believe, is her innate capability to seize and embrace new possibilities.

Grasp the unknown
Life is full of possibilities. If we learn to judiciously see and use them, our lives will be greatly enriched. Think about it this way. There are different ways of brewing tea or making toast. There are innumerable things to do in a day. There are countless things we can learn like bonsai cultivation, speaking Japanese, ice sculpture, gourmet cooking, crochet, organising a charity event and so on. There are so many friends to be made in the course of a day. Ever really got to know your watchman, liftman, vegetable vendor or grocer?

There are so many alternative lives that we can lead. If we keep ourselves alive to the possibilities of the moment, we will bring so much freshness and joy to our lives, that boredom, ennui and depression will flee. Indeed, it is this ability that distinguishes the artist and sage from the rest of us. The artist, the truly great one, never sees with a jaded eye. Whatever she sees, be it a flower, a stone, a cloud formation or a tree, she sees as if for the first time. That is how inspiration springs freshly into her work. And so it is for all of us!

I remember hearing this from M.F. Husain many years ago and I realised that no matter how eccentric this gentleman may be in his execution of art, it is probably this approach that has made him merit the title of being a great artist. Sages and realised people too are remarkable for their ability to be in the moment, and to be constantly creating new projects and plans. Spiritual gurus, for instance, are constantly meeting people for about 20 hours of the day/night, and yet each new person they meet gets the benefit of their wisdom.