“What is life?” my 5 year old daughter asked me with her usual innocent expression. I struggled mentally on how to answer this insightful query. Shall I answer her philosophically, metaphysically or just practically? Life, as I know it, is like a river and you a raft in it. It starts on a high note, with strong, determined currents, raging and thrusting, making the raft struggle along the course. The raft stumbles, sometimes tumbles or topples only to revert to a stable position. Sometimes it gets washed offshore and finds the much needed rest. Sometimes it gets stuck under water or in a whirlpool of currents and struggles to free itself and gain control once again. As it courses forward with time, it may find itself slippery, battered, wet and covered with silt or muck. Sometimes it may just sail around in silent water. It may even provide itself as a life saver and save someone from drowning. Often several rafts may join together and form a more stable form in river. This can be a boat, yacht or can even a small part of ship. It is actually an equivalent to family, friends and acquaintances. But every beginning has an end; it is inevitable. The raft ultimately flows to its end……..but the river goes on and on before it merges with a vast water body. So ever wondered what kind of raft are you? Who is the driver of your raft? Do you maneuver your own raft or you let the course and currents of river monitor your progress?
Well, I got a little philosophical here. Life, as we all know it, is more adventurous, mysterious, meandering and fulfilling than the river. But the question still remains unanswered for my little daughter. Well my dear honey….this is for you. “Live your life fully; cherish every moment, whether good or bad and do not be a stoic. In course of time, you’ll understand what life is.
A special mention of a famous poem “Ulysses” by Lord Tennyson where he mentions to live life to the lees is quite apt.