No, no – this is not a regret-rant, Mi! Just wishing, you know? “I wish…” – this phrase goes through my head every single day in some context or other. Can’t blame me, right? Of course, there are plenty of things I wish I had done and I cannot list them all here, so I’ll just pick 12 random ones.

12 things I wish I had done

  1. taken more photos of us together
  2. recorded you singing and reciting slokas
  3. made you narrate your life story and written it in your own words or at least recorded an audio
  4. compiled your recipe book and published it
  5. started that creche / playschool we always dreamed of
  6. traveled more together, indulged more in those simple things instead of saving up for life’s emergencies
  7. shifted the kitchen to the south corner as we planned
  8. tiled the bathrooms when you were alive
  9. made that collage of Vidur in his fancy dress ​costumes
  10. taken you abroad, to another country, at least once​
  11. implemented the “library” idea in your room with wall-to-wall bookshelves – covered, of course.​
  12. encouraged you to eat more and enjoy the things you liked.

​I can only actually turn some of these into reality, you know? Since all of these are related to you, without your presence, how can I act on them? I suppose I could pretend you are here – not tough, since I do that most of the time, except when I just end up feeling overwhelmed and crying.

“If only” is something we all have to live with. In some sense, it helps us become more conscious about taking action on our wishes. Why wait until an auspicious moment to do something, only to find that it is no longer meaningful when we delay it? Or worse still, if it involved a person, that person has ceased to exist?

Whenever I think of this, I can only remember that Tsunami in 2004. As we watched the horror unfold before our eyes on TV, I remember how we pledged not to procrastinate when it came to appreciating someone, saying our i love yous, enjoying something, forgiving, doing those little things we always tended to put off. It was a life-changing wake up call. Suddenly we were shocked into awareness about how transient life can be.

Lesson learned? To an extent, yes. Because eventually, we are just human beings who can’t help putting off things.

But I am glad I listened to you, Mi, most of the time. You kept teasing me about how the 11th hour was my best friend, yet, you, more than anyone, knew that I was usually prepared and only left the final action to that 11th hour. It always benefited us, thank heavens.
Even today, I often believe that when there are obstacles in the path to doing something, it is a sign. I never ignore it, even though I don’t totally go by it, either. I try to sit on the fence – on one side prepared and on the other, waiting for the moment when I can no longer put off action.

I miss how you completely understood me and was never judgmental and always encouraging.