I live in a small town nestled in the hills. So it is natural for me to have grown up with hills and rivers all around me. Why, just walk up to the rear end of my house and look out. A small rivulet (calling it a river would not be fair) flows perennially and beyond it is a well rounded, green hill. I see it all the time when I am in Mandi. It’s a backdrop that does not change ever.
The hill that I see is rooted to its place firmly, moving neither forward nor backwards. The scene before it never changes. There is no risk, no fear of survival, since there is no change. It is like a ship secured safely and tightly in its harbour. It does not venture out in the ocean to discover new lands. It has been here for innumerable centuries now and will be here for many more centuries. Always frozen in time.
And then there is that small stream. If the hill is static, the rivulet is as dynamic as it can ever be. It is continuously moving forward. The water changes its hues according to the season. And never stays at one place. Sometimes, it runs deep and laps up all the stones and at other times, it runs so shallow, you can see to the very bottom. And finally, it drains itself in the might Beas. But not without enjoying the twist and turns of the journey. Not without running over the pointed, rough edged stones. Not without running over the tough terrains. It is a ship on a voyage, a ship with a mission.
With our lives also, we have these two options – we can choose either to be a hill or a river. And each choice will have its own consequences.
The life of a hill is safe. Well decided, pre meditated and going on a monotonous path. It is very much an ordinary life. The life that we all usually choose to live, unconsciously.
The other option is to be like a river. Adventurous, exciting, enthralling, mesmerising. This life holds risks. And greater the risk, greater the return. The only constant in this life is change and change is never ordinary. This is a life not many of us dare to choose. This is a life demanding sacrifices we are not ready to make. But those who have chosen it, have become legends. They are revered the world over.
A ship in the harbour is safe, but is that what ships are built for?
Life is definitely something that everyone should try at least once. Look. Listen. Choose. Act. And live a life that lasts forever …