We use these words often in our daily life. They are used in a light vein to express something we are doing for the fun of it. When we watch a movie that is a pure entertainer we say it is ‘good time-pass’. We do not say the same about serious movies. A few years ago we were in Rajasthan travelling in a local bus. At one of the stops a hawker climbed in calling out “time-pass, time-pass”. We wondered what he was selling. We asked him and he showed us roasted groundnuts. They are lip-smackingly tasty and very good time-pass. I was hearing this description of groundnuts for the first time and it seemed apt.

These days I have been hearing the words time-pass used in a different way. I hear many of the older generation speak about their interests in an apologetic tone. They say there is no work to do. Whether they read a book or listen to music or do anything else, it is to pass the time. “What else is there to do? We have to pass time”. When I hear these words I feel sad and a little irritated. When we are young, all our hobbies and interests are what we do because we enjoy doing them. They are not performed to fill the minutes and hours. I think that those who say that they have to do something to make time pass are actually killing precious moments. Why can we not pursue our interests and learn new things simply because we are interested in what life has to offer? Long back I had read somewhere that when we think that we getting old to do something, we should do the same immediately. We are never too old to experience something new.

My father worked in the Indian Railways. Sometime in the late sixties, when computers were new in India, there was a computer section in his office. In those days the machines were as big as a large room. My father was one of the first persons to learn how to operate one. He took us to see the machine, and we were filled with wonder. But we never really understood what it was. Fifty years later we cannot imagine life without the internet or the computer or mobile phone. Life has changed so much, and we have to make these changes a part of our everyday life. People who say that they have to find things to fill time have actually not changed with the passing years and developed new interests. I don’t believe what we are doing in this later stage of life is just to pass time, but it is to make the passing time more meaningful, fun and interesting.

“For ourselves,
Time that is just ours
To do what we want to do
Adds more meaning to everyday life.
Green, blue and white, the colours around, become one with us.”
(Sidlak Poetry)

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