Different times. Different lives.

Amidst the hum of the dryer running overhead, I sat back on the recliner, my shiny new laptop resting comfortably on my lap. A couple of chat windows blinked. Alternating between them, an innocuous answer threw me off track. How are your parents? I queried. Well. Getting old came the response. The conversation lasted less than a minute and I went on to finish my chores before I logged back in.

It struck me that one day I would be someone who my niece called to with questions. Someone who had home remedies to share. Someone who knew just how to make that pulikachal. A generation ahead of me was slowly vanishing. Often I stop in my tracks wondering if my life is off course. If this is all there is to life. If I should be striving for more. A sudden sense of urgency visits me.

Then I go back to the times when my mom was my age. I wonder about what occupied her thoughts as she went about cooking, cleaning and keeping home. Did she stare up the broad leaves of the almond trees she pondered her life? Did she look out the screened window onto the road while her mind debated the state of our personal finances? Did the slapping of clothes against the flat stone as she washed give her company as she mulled her future and that of her progeny? Did she look back to her mother’s times to prepare for the future? Or perhaps she just lived in the moment letting it consume her?

Each time I ruminate on the state of my life, I look back wistfully on what seemed to be simpler times and realize perhaps it was not. We just live different lives in different times. And that we are different people.

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