What does it mean to retire ?!?
Sunil Gavaskar’s retirement was the first retirement that i had to come to terms with in my life. And there was something said like, ‘its better to retire when everyone is asking, ‘why retire’, than retire when everyone is asking ‘why not retire’ ! That comment stayed.
Some months back, amma retired. Then appa retired. And it left me with some basic questions. How does it feel to walk away from what you have been doing for ages. For most parts of your life. How would it feel to just fade away from the scene ? To see all the striving of a lifetime come to a day in life, when life changes from the next day onwards.
The thought appears scary. With the only background on retirement coming from context provided by being a son of just retired parents, i attempt to think through. Perhaps the most fulfilled retirement years are for those who left an imprint by being who they are. An imprint in the minds of people, that will stay permanently etched in the DNA of those that knew & worked with them!
To retire with grace and happiness, to me, seems to be a result of ‘working with love’ when it was time to work! And as Khalil Gibran says….
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.
Every rail track tells the tale of a coming train. If only you put a ear to the track, the rumble runs through the ear ! A tale which the eyes cannot see ! But the train and its hurtling are indeed reality ! And the train does appear, faster than one can get to spell ‘retirement’ without doubt !
And when a captain hangs up his boot & the world takes a bow, you realise that he has lived his life, by leaving a mark. More often than not, the mark is not a result of a herculean special effort but more by being himself. Living with passion. Striving for perfection & a love of work thats best complimented by simplicity of thought and execution !
When such captains retire, you stand by the sidelines and clap hard. And just as the sound of the clap reaches the world and your own ear, you relalise that your zest for work and making a difference, grows.
What more can be a true tribute !
This post is written just as a captain & a gentleman that i have only known from afar, retires. today. He left a mark. On many.
On me too.