The Passage of Time (Slice of Life)

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I have just finished reading Centennial by James Michener. It is a wonderful book. The story is set in what is now Colorado. I have read many of Michener’s books and have enjoyed all of them. In this book as in many others by him he begins the story with events which occurred millions of years ago. We learn about how the surface of the earth changed over eons. Mountains and valleys came into and went out of existence. The author writes, “The time required! The slow passage of years! the constant alterations! It is a poem of existence, this rock, not a lyric but a slow-moving epic whose beat has been set by eons of the world’s experience.” When I read these lines the thought kept coming to mind about what we are doing now to our planet. Mountains are being leveled, and valleys being filled, all in the name of ‘development’. This destruction is happening at an alarming rate. The passage of time is not at all slow.

Michener writes about the animals that roamed that part of the world. Many species were born, lived for many years and died off: a part of the natural course of events. But with the coming of man, animals, birds and nature’s bounty were destroyed, all for greed. A character in the novel says, “So long as the streams kept to the mountains they were pure and free; it was when they mingled with men that abuses began.” The same is happening now.

But, there is goodness also in the world. Yesterday I read in the newspaper about an organization called Pyas Foundation (Pyas means thirst in Hindi) They are helping to improve the situation in drought-hit areas in Belagavi (in the northern part of Karnataka) by rejuvenating lakes and conducting awareness programmes. There are many such people who are helping to save our planet.

(For sustainable solutions – deccanherald.com
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/630255/for-sustainable-solutio…
If you have been active on social media, you would not miss the buzz around the work of Pyaas Foundation of Belagavi and its most vocal founder, Dr Madhav Prabhu.)

The author takes us on a journey spanning millions of years up to the1970s. Life has changed so much through the passage of time. People have come and gone. My father-in-law is 92. He says that no one of his generation in their younger days dreamt about the kind of changes that would take place within their lifetime. A way of life which had not changed for generations underwent a drastic transformation. It is difficult for him to understand what is happening now. What of him? Even I am bemused by the changes that have happened over the last quarter century in our little town.

Looking back, life was good. But, with the passage of time, many of the changes, especially in technology, have become an integral part of our lives. It is difficult to imagine our days without technology. At the same time there is so much we wish had not taken place in our lives. But such things do happen, and we are left asking ourselves, “What are we leaving behind for the future generations?”

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” ―  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Manipal lake 2nd August (20)

The Passage of Time (Slice of Life)

 

 

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. The Covid has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.

4 comments

  1. I am glad that I lived before TV and before technology took over. It is easy for me to imagine life without those things, since I once lived without them. I enjoy the internet. It allows me this blog. But I enjoyed life when I wasn’t so easily reachable too.

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  2. I’ve read most of Michener’s books too. I loved Centennial but also Sayonara. If you are an avid reader, I’ve just started my readandwrite blog where I write a little about books I consider to be five out of five novels.

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  3. The only drawback to not having the technology and the science is that we all die young. Not counting ordinary infections, I would have died six or eight times over from the different problems I have had in the last 30 or so years. They were cured in most part by routine surgery.

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