As I was entering the security frisking area of the Metro station an announcement echoed through the public address system of the station, “Person named Raju please approach the main counter at first floor, your wife is waiting for you here”. As I crossed the entry gate and rushed towards the platform the announcement was again repeated. I reached the platform and stood in the queue waiting for my train when the public address system again came live announcing, “Passengers travelling through Metro to take extra care of their belongings, but not that extra care that they leave behind their family members”. This announcement brought some strings of laughter and smiles around, but apart from a pun the announcement was a good message propagated across to thinking minds.

Sometimes we take so much care of our extrinsic belongings that we forget or miss taking care of our intrinsic belongings which are core to our existence. In our daily life we start running after obtaining those things which are perishable in short term instead of those satisfactions which are eternal or will be long standing. We prioritize those things which are secondary while something which we neglect may be the ones which are primary to our natural existence. We run after our promotions in job while neglecting school functions of our children; promotions we can run for next time also if failed once, but our child’s performance in school is once in a lifetime event.

We spend so much time working on things which are important but usually compromise our health over that achievement. Once we are ill how much we yearn for getting fit again and at that time the only thing that seems important is getting fit, then we put all other important work behind and focus on getting fit. If the same focus on health is put on priority while doing our regular work then maybe we need not fall ill. Work is something we can catch up later even if we are a little late in it but the personal health is something which cannot be compromised and needs to be taken care now.

Amassing of worldly pleasures takes so much of our time and effort which we happily devote but the same time and effort devoted in self-development is something we always postpone. The gaining of knowledge, the development of our thinking, the peace which need to be accompanied with our development is always pushed back to be done at some other time. Efforts are channelized away from those activities which help develop our own self. The meditation, reading of philosophical literature, self-healing yogic practices, listening soothing music, talking to our children all are replaced by watching fictions plays on television, exhausting ourselves on social media, loose talking in groups, forming and giving views on false political issues.

Our social standing is more emphasized upon rather than our own standing in our family and within self. This is what is termed as “Maya” in Hindu philosophy when we run after fictious things rather than taking care of our real things which matter us the most. The question is how to identify the real things from those that are termed as Maya. In my view the accounting concept of revenue and Capital works here also. Whatever is there for immediate consumption is a Maya and whatever is for long term use is real, but the definition of long term will be quite ambiguous here not in terms of any defined period. A long term can be a few seconds of smile or even a lifelong peace of mind. It will all depend on the type of transaction that we enter into in our life. What actually matters is not worldly things but those items which can withstand time and may be a life as a whole.

The only thing we need to understand is what is it that we need to actually take care of, whiling rushing through a station to catch the train, is it our bag and suitcase or our wife and children? What should we take extra care of, our belongings or those who belong to us? We need to keep our ears open to hear the nature call our name to bring back our priority to that which is more important. Just be open to differentiate between what is it that we want and what is it that is actually needed. Let us hear the call of nature timely before others laugh out on our loss.