We live, we learn, we grow old,
And much like anything and everything
That lives, we fold.
Some measure their time
In dollars earned or spent;
Others, through fame, because
Unlike the Shakespearean verse,
There is something to building a name.
Perhaps, recounting the countries, cities and towns visited
For the foreign air is a joyous affair.
Speaking of myths of the past,
Romeos measure by maidens bedded.
Perhaps marriages, children and others bound by blood,
And don’t forget,
The recipients of your letters, calls or texts,
Depending on your historical context.
The value of life, once lived and soon to be,
Can be measured,
Through all these measures.
But I choose differently,
I choose to call back
The first time
I remember recognising myself;
Then finding myself amidst the laughter of children, then friends;
The love of my parents;
The heartbreak from lovers;
The career that made me smile and frown from ear to ear;
The children I had;
Their first bite, fight and giggle;
The wife who held my I hand through every strife;
The home we built;
The tears we spilt;
All these moments in time,
Aging like fine wine.
Today I am not just a man,
But a sum of my memories.
And because I have a lot to remember,
I have lived a good life
That I don’t need to measure.
By Anirudh Dalmia
Painting by Donna Ducker