Life as We Know it.....

March 24, 2011

Do we really know anything about Life?

This question reminded me of a story, which I thought of sharing with you readers.

I work for a small company where I get to meet people from different parts of the world, of different age groups, different religions etc, and the only thing common between us is that we are all human.

I knew one gentleman, Andres, who comes from Hungary, which also tells me that he is always "hungry". Hungary lies in central Europe; thanks to the geography I studied, I still know the locations of some countries, even though I don’t know the location of my aunt’s place in Mangalore. This is today’s generation - we give more importance to geography than relationships. Anyway, back to Andres, he is in his mid-50’s, to be precise, 56 years old.

Let’s go back in time, Andres was in his mid-20’s when he graduated from a well-reputed petroleum engineering college, a rank holder in his days. At that age, a handsome, charming, intelligent guy would definitely have a girlfriend and he too had one, named Maria, she in her 18th year, a beautiful girl who had finished her schooling.

He was a smart lad and got a break in a service company where he worked as a tool service hand, assembling tools, and then sending it to Rig for usage. He progressed in work, and as for life, he delayed his marriage, as he and Maria wanted to enjoy their youthful days and were in a live-in relation. He moved from one job to another, getting promotion after promotion, with his salary package increasing every year, and so also his desires.

He loved Maria very much and wanted to keep her happy. And he thought happiness is all about material satisfaction. He built a 5 BHK apartment, bought a brand new Mazda Sport limited edition car, and every other luxury for Maria.
17 years into live-in relationship, they finally decided to get married, at the age of 40. In the meantime, he got a job as a field specialist engineer, 5-5 rotation-based.

(To those who don’t understand rotation, it means an employee will be on duty 24X7 for five weeks and the rest five weeks he will be off at home. During the five weeks when he works he will receive a daily bonus of 150 dolllars along with his base salary).
Andres was excited in the beginning - new package and more money, so more happiness. In the meantime, he decided that it was the right time to start a family; his wife became pregnant and the time came for her delivery, but he couldn’t make it as he was on duty 24X7, 5 weeks, making 150 dollars, thinking he was buying happiness for his family but missing the most memorable moment of his life, the birth of his first son and being a father.

Life went on and so did he. In no time, his son was in first standard, and at the same time his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Sad, but true. That's life - the moment you think you are driving along a smooth road in a beautiful weather, the tyre turns flat. You have the smooth road you have the beautiful weather but you are stuck with your punctured car.

So was he. He was in a dilemma whether to quit his job and stay home with his ailing wife and kid or stick to his job, so that he can provide the necessary treatment for his wife and good schooling for his kid. He was at work not because he had insufficient amount of money for treating his wife or sending his kid to school, but because he was worried about the future. What if the money runs out, how will he treat his wife and provide education for his kid?
He chose the latter, did his job and the off for 5 weeks, sat with his wife and spent some quality time with his kid. Deep down in his heart, he had regretted not getting married early, of not having a family early. Looking at his wife he lost courage but his son was his hope. One fine day, Maria said to Andres, "Can't you quit your job and stay with me for this year?" Andres replied, "Maria, I promise this will be my last year at work, from next year we will stay as a happy family, I will be at home cooking food for you, giving u medicine and personally taking tuitions for my child. I promise. "
Promise is a word which has a lot of meaning, but it's better in dictionary than being used or said. Andres couldn’t keep his promise, not because he didn’t quit his job after a year but because Maria didn’t live long enough to make him keep the promise. She died in two month's time, and Andres was called back from work on emergency leave.

Life moves on, friends, and now, it’s going to be almost a year since Maria died. The reason for sharing this story is, two weeks back, I met Andres. He has reduced in weight, very lean, smoking cigarette after cigarette. I was sitting in the canteen and I decided to take a seat beside him. He smiled at me, I didn’t know what to say. I looked at him with a sad face and said, "Sad to know about your wife’s death." And he looked at me and said, "You know what, my friend, I have done everything in life - I have a beautiful house, bank balance, good education, a nice job, a dear girlfriend who turned to be my lovely wife, a cute obedient kid - I had every luxury in life, But I forgot to do one thing.

Came the reply with tears in his eyes - "I FORGOT TO LIVE MY LIFE WITH MY FAMILY,"

That’s what we do in our life. We go for everything, more desires, more wants, we get everything in our life but in the end we forget to live our life.
Today, whenever I see him, it reminds me of an engineer having accomplished everything in life, but still has nothing. How many of us are like him? Who knows, some day this same story may repeat in our lives.
I thought it worth sharing, and by the way, it’s a true story.

By Lawrence Pereira
Lawrence Pereira was born in Belman and did his BE from Visveswariah University, Belgaum. He is presently working in Doha, Qatar.
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Comment on this article

  • shruthi ashok pai, Mangalore

    Wed, May 18 2011

    Awesum!!! its a lesson to one n all..i read this story daily.!!

  • Fredrick Tauro, Bantwal

    Thu, Mar 31 2011

    The biggest casualty in this rat race is children who look upon their father as a pipeline supplying notes(bills),devoid of finer aspects of life.They say,enjoy life.But living meaningfully is something unknown.The doting father returns with cartload of money only to occupy his bed as immobility slowly sets in.He cannot sign a cheque.Therefore the money is not his.Somebody takes his thumb impression and hits a jackpot.Most of us were happy during our lean years with frugal subsistence because we did not see beyond, so we did not aspire.Now the status has soared beyond belief but has brought more misery than happiness.

  • ashenoy, mangloor

    Tue, Mar 29 2011

    Modern living and lifesyle is full of Andres. Today what people forget is "to live" everyday rather they "make a living to live". In this process they live everday without knowing the "meaning of living".
    Money, material and mansions is not living. In fact this takes away our whole life, a life lost for the sake of modern day living.
    I wish we all understand.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Tue, Mar 29 2011

    Perhaps, the best lesson that
    everybody has learnt due to the recession is the balance in between the priorities
    of life.

    Real Estate in the U.S. was the
    hot item, majority of the people
    were running after hoarding more
    real estate as a solid and
    infallible investment. The more
    everybody has in posssession, they
    are crying the most. Now, gold is
    going to loose the glitter.

    Nobody gets any of them without
    hard work and spending time. The
    time and engergy were taken from
    the family and children to build
    up the material empire.

    Let us all make a detour in life
    and keep a proper blance in
    life, so that we need not have to
    regret later in life about the
    wasted years in a futile adventure
    of life.

  • Dolfred, Mangalore/UK

    Tue, Mar 29 2011

    If you want love, give unconditional love. “The love of a family is life's greatest blessing”. Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back. Don't expect love in return, just wait for it to grow in their hearts but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours. Remember that what goes around comes around. But in this case always with a large interest. The quickest way to receive love is to give love. The fastest way to lose love is to hold on too tightly, and the best way to keep love is to give it wings. Love follows a simple rule- “ Do to others what you will like others to do to you”. So give LOVE to receive it. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug - Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few s on yourself. It's not enough to reach for love unless I care enough to give it. There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy. Why can't we be like a Lotus, unfolding its petals when the Sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it? You may act lovingly towards your family, this is your Dharmaduty, consequently you will reap love from your relatives and you will evolve spiritually.

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Tue, Mar 29 2011

    In my opinion in this present world one can spend only quality time for their families, spending quantity time is very difficult in this modern world. Mr.Andres's worries are quite obvious, when he is the only bread earner of the family and his wife needed expensive treatment,child is still small it is not easy to take the decision to give up the job at very young age.When his child's whole future is ahead of him,and if his child is not getting proper education it is very difficult for the child to survive in this competitive world, child's upkeep and education is very expensive so one cannot stay jobless relying on the saved amount, because day by day the expense and prices are rising up and the worries are increasing. Nowadays parents have to save huge amount for childrens future education, higher education is very expensive and this is only possible if one earns decent salary.

    It is tough to take decision to give up the job at very young age when their long future is ahead of them. If Mr. Andres spent his quality time with his wife then he is done the right thing, and need not to feel guilty about not spending quantity time with her, he has done right thing by taking responsibilities of her treatment and providing her all the required necessities when she was alive and also he spent qulity time with her because he worked on 5-5 rotation based.

  • Shammi Dsouza, M'lor / U.K

    Mon, Mar 28 2011

    Its very true...most of them are behind money... when the money comes in hand nothing will remain... keep writing lawrence may life will change .

  • shan Pinto, Managlore

    Mon, Mar 28 2011

    True Said Lawrence,
    This story reminds of the short speech given by former Coca-cola CEO Bryan Dyson
    “Imagine life as a Game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. They are work, Family, Health, Friend and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air
    You will soon understand that work is rubber ball. If you it, it will bounce back. But the other balls –Family, health, friends and Spirit are made of glass. If you one of these: they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked damaged or even shattered .they will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it “
    Work efficiently during the office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends & have proper rest

  • Zeena, Mangalore/Muscat

    Mon, Mar 28 2011

    Hey Lawrence...Very nice article..!!!!!!really a eye opener..i was almost into tears...Keep up the good work of opening people's life..

  • KMD, Belman

    Sun, Mar 27 2011

    A Heart touching story.. Good work buddy..
    Continue writing more.. A story can change anyones life!
    inspiring story.. Thanks buddy...


    Sun, Mar 27 2011

    Thank you everyone for your encouraging comments...

    God Bless all

  • Prema Monteiro, M'lore / Qatar

    Sun, Mar 27 2011

    Nice article, Its eye opener!!! at times we take relationships for granted. Love your loved ones abundantly…. cause we never know if tomorrow will ever come...Thanks Lawrence. keep writing!

  • Hisham Ahmed, Mangalore

    Sun, Mar 27 2011

    Very well narrated true face of life. Its really a matter of ing or choosing priorities. In my opinion the first and foremost priority should be understanding this life tennure. How long we live and what is in the purpose. Everyone knows purpose is to achieve success life after death. Once that is done everything falls in place around purpose. Rest is simple, be happy what you earn legally, be with family and parents if thats is reachable, if not convince them and stay in touch in regular intervals, meet them as many times as possible. Most people who do not have enough income cannot afford to be with family as we witness these days, moreover they dont have any source of income and job offers in native places.
    This is right when you have enough money to support the family and parents. Sometimes we have our families together but ouraged parents are away from us. How much we miss them and they need us at their old age. That hurts really so bad if no one is available to take care of them.
    Our struggle should be to achieve success hereafter and we have to knit our priorities around it.
    Excuse me if i sound boring.
    Br Lawrence real life story is well written.

  • stany, stan/mangalore

    Sat, Mar 26 2011

    hi larry it nice artical keep it up,its remember me a lot in my lfe

  • Stanly D'almeida, Pakshikere/Mulund,Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 26 2011

    Very nice article Lawrence.Very well written. Many thanks and GOD bless u.We fully forget/sacrifice today for tomorrow and tomorrow????. Keep writing such articles.
    - Stanly.

  • Preetham, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 26 2011

    Gud one Lawrence

    This reminds me of so many such facts where children are far away from their parents , and their parents are all alone at their old age.

    But todays life has forced us to think of our "BRIGHT" future.

    Lucky are those who live together with their family and share both their happiness and sorrows.

  • Shekar Moily padebettu, Padebettu/Udipi

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Hats off to Mr.Lawrence for your heart touching article.It is quite true that what you have narrated.People may pass the comments,show sympathy,sob for a while but these are all temporary and sarcastic.In practical big Zero.It is always easy to said than done.In today's materialstic world everybody want material comforts/needs,life.Hungry for money,property,bank balance etc.Moral ethics have been lost their value and can not be retrieved also.No respect,no love,no gratitude,no moral,no parents,no loved ones.Everybody
    is running after money,money,money including me.Who has understood the meaning of real life in deep.Life is god given is his property.We are doing only our duties/karmas.For each and every action there is an equal and opposit reaction.God is great and he is supreme power.We are only his children performing duties as directed by him like remote control of electronic gadget.Thanks once again Mr.Lawrence for bringing this issue to public knowledge
    Shekar Moily padebettu

  • Prisha Mascarenhas, Kirem,mangalore

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Eye opener true story, very well narrated by the writer. There are many Andres in Gulf and many Marias live in India. I too feel we should focus on our needs and not in our wants. What about other side of the coin! Several men who live in Gulf to earn their daily bread leaving their loved ones back home, not only wife & kids but parents who are longing for love. They are not Andres but worse than that - once they make their basic necessities like shelter, food and a moderate living and then when he decides to come home to unite with his family, he loses family bond and relations

  • Divya, Mangalore

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    heart touching, i got goose pimples for a while....

  • S Hegde, Karkala

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Very true and common issue in Today's material centric, competetive world.

  • Asha, Mangalore/Canada

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Hi Lawrence,

    Very rarely i read Articles. But whenever i read i always ended up in TEARS. Today i went for Chemo, i was tied and sad i thought let me read this article Do we really know anything about Life? I felt i am one more Maria..only difference i am still living......Thanks & God Bless you for your short and sweet article which has deep meaning.......

  • L. Fernandes, Melbourne

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Good on you Lawrence, Your article is an eye opener to many of us who chase money,carrier,status and comforts. The bottom line is prioritize your needs in life than the wants. Create a balance between your family life and career. Your happiness at home is more important than everything else.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Good and an eye opening article.
    Millions of people have the same
    sad confession of life "I forgot
    to live my life with my family"
    but never tell it openly.

    I know several Indian parents
    who are working double time to
    create big bank balance for their
    children, and the rest of the time
    for other entertainment and social
    activities but hardly spend any
    time with the children. When the
    children are in the wrong side
    with the bad crowd, the parents
    will be forced to confess the
    same broken song of tears.

    In our lives, if we failed to keep
    a balance in between the pull of
    materialism on the one hand and family life on the other hand,
    has to face a big question mark
    one day.


    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    what a realistic thought which is really needed in todays life to live realistically.....hats off to you....

  • John L. D'souza, Mangalore

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Nice One dude..I liked it.

  • Avinash Saldanha, Belman/Dubai

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Very good article Lawrence & well written too. Keep it up.

  • Antony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney,Australia

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Quite common life experience that we come across, and moral of the story is that one should always balance work and money earning activity with home, children and the family. One should not get too bogged down with work and earning money, as Andre did, but side by side, look after the family and enjoy the life as well. After all, there could be no end to chasing the money and the materialistic wealth - the more you earn, the more you want. Some people get so busy with their work, they tend to neglect their family altogether, and one day sadly realise that they have lost so much, and then it will be too late to make up.

  • michael gregory tauro Afghanistan, karnataka moodbidri

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    beautyful article,very nice mr Lawrence Pereira, thank you very much sharing with all Daijiworld news readers.

  • Prashant Crasta, Bangalore

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Nice article Lawrence...
    very well narrated...
    keep it up...

  • Roshan, Dubai

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Hey Lawrence, A well said reality.

  • Avil Fernandes, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    Dear Lawrence, thanks for nice article.Its true and happening around us. Yes!Now a days people give more importance to money and otherthings but least bothered about family and relations.Sometimes People think if they have money they will get everything but not in reality..

  • Theresa D'Souza, Mahim/Melbourne, Australia

    Fri, Mar 25 2011

    A Nice reminder on priorities, success and relationships which is such an eye opener

    What greater way than that to illustrate our life's true purpose!

    One thing to take away from Andres’ true personal story is Money in itself does not create Happiness.

  • Jimmy Noronha, Bellore, Lucknow

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Thanks for the true story. I,too have experienced similar incidents during the course of my stay in the Gulf and when I quit the job when, understandably some criticized me but now looking back, I know I did the right thing and am very happy you wrote this lovely true story.

  • Lesly , Udyavar

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Hey Lawrence, nice article about life. Your article has touched the most important part of this human life, i am sure it will make many of us to think about it ...keep writing.

  • prakash, mangalore

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    I am moved by the story and its narration.
    Its true and happening in and around us.

  • preethi, mlore

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Gud 1..... u can becum a gud writer :)

  • Fr. Tony Andrade, Barkur/USA

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Dear. Lawrance wish you were a priest!!! what a beautiful eye opening story. keep up your writing skills. and God bless you with good health, peace of mind as you journey in faith in this Holy Season of Lent
    Fr. Andrade

  • Stephanie, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    A really good article. Its an eye-opener in today's world where everyone just blindly run after materialistic things, not realising that these wont help LIVE a life. What could be more precious than those little moments you spend with the ones you love and care for?

  • Shanun D'souza, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Nice article...liked it a lot..

  • Elveena, dubai

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    its very true...most of them are behind money... when the money comes in hand nothing will remains...

  • Saritha, Kuwait

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Nice article. Most of us forget to live our life coz present life is very hectic and then when we realize it’s too late.

  • Sannu, Belman/Qatar

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Good article! Not a story its reality

    As some one commented….there are many Mr. Andres in & around our society. I am also Andres, I have a beautiful & sincere wife, good job, obedient kids, bank balance, land etc…but I don’t have happiness in my life. In our absence, my aged mom lives alone in a village, relying on others. She sacrificed her whole life to educate us. Here I am running after increment, promotion and grades. What should I do? Should I resign and go back? I am helpless. That’s life as we know it…..

  • Liza, Karnataka, India

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Thank you for sharing with us a good true story. Keep writing. Wishing you all the best.

  • Reena Rego, Alangar / Kuwait

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Good Article..

  • Queene, Ferar/Kuwait

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Very well said and written. The outcome of this article is according balance your life between your work and family. Equal importance to both is required for a family to sustain and lead a happy life.

    Well done..Keep writing more.

  • Julie, M'lore' / Doha

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    A very good Article. Keep up the good work Lawrence. Best of Luck.

  • Tasse, Goa-Kuwait

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Thanks for the lovely article. Working in Gulf I have come across so many Anders here some lost their lives before they decided to go back to be with their families after working for decades here and some lost their spouse before they could think about living together as family. Your article is a good eye opener for many.

  • Tasse, Goa-Kuwait

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Thanks for the lovely article. Working in Gulf I have come across so many Anders here some lost their lives before they decided to go back to be with their families after working for decades here and some lost their spouse before they could think about living together as family. Your article is a good eye opener for many.

  • Prashanth, Belman\Makaysia

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Hi Lawrence, good story and good write up indeed.

    There are many Andres in our soceity but you can see majority of the people choose to live with the family. You see now a days girls demand to stay togeather with thier husband not to follow what happened in thier parents case after marriage. Most of them settle abroad but stay togeather and bring up thier kids.

    Well in india people get married early either with own will or family compulsion we dont see this kind of trend much. But i have seen many cases where the guys willing to have girl friends but dont get married untill they plan to have kids. I call this is a dangerous trend of the modern society.

  • Sabir, Shirva / Bangkok

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Thats the truth of Today,s Life.....Thanks for sharing this Article

  • Teena Tauro, Dubai

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Very Well Written!!!

  • christofer, Belman/Qatar

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Hey Bro, Nice article and thanks for sharing.Keep it up

  • Mamtha D'souza, Rosario / Dubai

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Beautiful Article. Very Touching and very true. Life life to the fullest as tomorrow all we will do is sit and regret.

  • Leo Sequeira, Udupi

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Nice Article, as the auther said about the geography, I remind him that Indian geography is quite different. Maojrity of the population is poor, lower middle class, upper middle class. depending on each IQ people have different type of thinking. Staying together doesn't mean that it is a happy family. All aspect in life are equally important than other. It is part of life. everyone cannot be rich. this is my openion.

  • Arun Joy, dubai

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    good one re lawrence:) keep it up man:)lawrence ki jai ho:) and if u have a girlfriend please get married soon:) dont wait till 40:)

  • Vivian, Dubai

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Nice Article.......Keep it up.....

  • Reena Loren, Jeppu /Dubai

    Thu, Mar 24 2011

    Hi Lawrence nice one.. it's so true sometimes we forget to live. Out of 1000 if at least 1 can change his mind will be "great" thank u 4 sharing.

  • Nancy, Belman

    Wed, Mar 23 2011

    Present life is so occupied, you cant help it without working hard..

    Current prices, giving good education- all these things keeping in mind, we forget to live our life.

    But This is Naked Truth of TODAYS Life and some people cant help it....

    and have to work hard to give/to have better tomorrow, becasue no one knows what is there in store for us in future...

  • Darel, Duabi

    Wed, Mar 23 2011

    Hey Lawrence,nice article. thanks for sharing.

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Title: Life as We Know it.....

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