With a perplexed look on her rather longish face, my little seven-year-old elder granddaughter posed a seemingly simple question the other day, “Grandpa, how many days has a week-end?”
“Two days, Saturday and Sunday, don’t you know that, dear?”, I responded in a loving but matter-of-fact tone.
It was then that without any intention and in all her youthful innocence, she dropped the mega-ton bombshell, “Then why is it that one week-day is much, much longer than a week-end which has two days?” Mouth open, eyes bulging, her mother stared at her. It was a classic case of the vibrant third generation, sipping the milk-shake, but dealing out a brain-shake to the fossilized first generation by-passing the wide-eyed second generation.
Obviously, a confidential closed-door chitchat among the honourable members of the Adults-only Think Tank is called for here before any watered-down version of something resembling an answer is offered on a silver platter for the little one to swallow hoping that she won’t choke, or drop another bomb-shell.
Time and tide may wait for no man, but man certainly has to wait for the sands of time to run through. “May be it’s because a watched-pot never boils”, you might respond, which of course is partly true. It also depends on the mood you are in and the matter at hand. If you are doing something you really enjoy doing and are totally absorbed in it, or are passing through a phase of seventh-heaven bliss, time flies faster than any speed you can over imagine. On the other hand, should you happen to be going through one of those depressingly miserable periods of your life, a month, even a single day seems like eternity; the month or the day never coming to an end, a never-ending story at its zenith.
Perhaps this concept of time also depends on the age of the person concerned. I’m sure we old folks recall that when we were children, prancing about like little horses for no reason, one school-year seemed so long that the summer holidays, the end of the school-year, never seemed to come. But now that we are in our twilight years and slowly but unwaveringly approaching the end of our tenure on this beautiful planet earth, a year, even a decade floats quickly by, like clouds on a windy day. Years pass by in quick succession like the scenery we see when taking a trip on a train; water buffaloes wallowing in the mud, lonely lean-to farm huts, little children shouting and waving, clumps and clumps of trees, white-washed pagodas on distant hillocks, all disappear in flashes, in short fleeting moments.
Come to think of it, it has come to seem that we are living from moment to moment, and day to day. Do you notice also that the days do not seem to be the same? The days when so many things happen appear shorter than those days when almost nothing whatsoever seem to take place. And the latter category of days are increasing slowly and steadily as we get older and older.
Like it or not, the time for the final curtain is approaching imperceptibly when we will be just a memory to those who love us, as well as to those who don’t. In the meantime, we must do our very best to be a good memory to them, both types, we keep reminding ourselves.
Any way, let’s rest our meandering moody meditations here. But what about the watered-down and simplified version of the answer of the honourable members of the Adults-only Think Tank, to my granddaughter’s simple little poser?