“Good old times” is a refrain that all of us use quite commonly, especially as we grow in age. It’s said that after certain age, nostalgia is the most prominent feeling that far outweighs the dreams for future! You would have noticed certain posts doing rounds on social media that perfectly fuel this nostalgic feeling – signature opening tunes of All India Radio and Doordarshan, theme songs and music of the first of the popular Hindi serials on Doordarshan Hum Log, print and TV ads of brands like Erasmic ( remember the popular shaving blade and cream brand), Afghan Snow, Signal etc.
However, while seeing a stand up comedy show by an American performer, I got an entirely new perspective of this feeling. The performer, a black migrant to US from Malawi, doesn’t want the old times to come or remember about them. As he jokingly mentions, “there was no Wi fi in olden days and what’s life without Wi fi” but on a more serious note, in wry humour, he mentions about old days when he’d have been standing in auction to be bid by a rich white man for slavery! We lament about disintegration of joint families, loss of values, our preoccupation with gadgets instead of relationships, cut throat competition, inflation, pollution as some of the banes of the modern times that make us indulge in nostalgia about yore. But do we remember tradition of sati ( widow being burnt along side husband), child marriage, dowry, caste system, extreme poverty, no food security, no medical facilities, lack of communication, woes of partitions ( our elders who went through the trauma and travail of partition would never like to go back to the past) that are all only news for us!
Our scriptures also tell us that we should live in present. While the past is gone forever and never comes back, future remains a mystery and neither any one knows about it or can control it. We should live in present, now, living the moment! We can control our actions as also feelings and decide how we live our present rather than regretting ( not in the sense of having sinned but good times generating nostalgia ) the past or worrying about the future.
An occasional indulgence into nostalgia is alright, but not everything of the past was good and not everything going to happen in future will be bad! Instead of yearning for “good old days” or craving for “great bright future”, let’s enjoy the “best blessed present”.