Postcard from Arvind Balagopalan at Taikee by Peel-Works

Thinking of what to write about, two incidents came to mind. Both of
which have influenced me to a great extent.

The first was during my engineering days. We used to host an
inter-college sports meet every year, where the finest athletes from Delhi
and surrounding areas regularly took part. For most of it, our participation
was limited to the first round in all sports and then that of the audience,
cheering on all the visitors to campus. It was in this scenario that I led a
non-descript bunch of ‘padhne waale bachche’ against some of the more
athletically inclined colleges of Delhi to a famous victory during the
football finals. The realization that teamwork and hard work can trump
talent and raw power was an eye opener for all of us on the ground that

The second incident was a far more sobering one. A couple of years ago, a
sudden health condition turned my life upside down in a matter of hours.
From a regular, well settled, happy family existence, I was suddenly faced
with the need to go through major surgery asap. The doctor would not
share a prognosis. As I was wheeled down a long, dimly lit corridor
towards the operating theatre, the reality of it hit me. Why me, would I see
my family again – the whirlwind of events over the previous few days
meant that I did not even get a chance to talk to them. Those few days
were possibly the longest I have ever been through.

Coming back from hospital was almost a rebirth for me. It made me
realise how blessed I was, how I had gotten a second chance in some
ways. The biggest lesson that I took away from that incident was
‘gratitude’. For the people around me, family and friends, their support
and for having been given the opportunity to bounce back.

The last few months has been a harrowing time for millions around the
globe. Whether it is those suffering from illness, people losing loved ones,
or closer home, the millions of migrants struggling to survive. News no
longer seem to evoke the same reactions as earlier. The impending
economic crisis, locusts, earthquakes, cyclones and folks suffering mental
health issues have become mainstream news in this extremely trying

However, the rest of us have – roofs over our heads, 3 square meals a day
and family to be with; there is a lot to be grateful for. We are definitely
blessed and have the opportunity of a second chance. It is up to us what
we make of it. As someone once said – ‘we realise the value of what we
have, only when we lose it’.

This is our time – our time to make a difference. Carpe diem!