Just few weeks before New Year, finally there was a reply from one of the inflight magazine’s editor. I knew it will be a positive response, considering my travel essay set in their popular destination, besides being topical for the chosen month.

But as I hurriedly opened, it was unfortunately a note of rejection. The reason was genuine: “Though we had plans to carry your piece on New Year celebrations in Sydney but we decided to drop it as there have been reports that the event won’t be held this year in the light of the recent fires in New South Wales which caused a lot of damage besides just pollution.”

The moment I finished reading, I went thanking my Canberra based friend PreetinderSandhu who did not let me postpone my trip to Australia to this December. Hence I was in Sydney last December, where we admired being part of that magical fireworks night on December 31 to welcome 2019. Had I postponed to this December as I wanted to, I would have missed the world famous New Year celebrations of Sydney.

Ironically, I was delaying the trip despite I was able to materialise the trip last December itself. Minutes later, I thought it was not just me but most of us, who have an eccentric habit of pushing most of our plans for the future, forgetting what the famous poet and saint – Kabir once rightly said from his experiences, “Jo kalkar so aaj, joaajkar so aab” (what you want to do tomorrow, do it today and what you want to do today, do it now).

As we try dragging almost everything for the time to come, we fail to value the ongoing time. The time in our hands, the circumstances that support it is like an opportunity and most opportunities knock just once, which is why we often meet people who keep denouncing for the opportunities they missed. By the way, who knows about the future and the kind of situations it will bring along?

Never Put Off Till Tomorrow

This reminds me of an uncle of mine. Whenever he listens to any of my travel experiences, he never forgets to echo the same view of his: “I will also see the world, once I retire” but I respond as always, asking him why not now, adding, “Will your health favour you then as it favours now for travel?” I know he is one of many those who forget to enjoy the ongoing journey of life and most importantly valuing the fruitful concept of ‘now or never’!

Sometimes, it is also our lackadaisical attitude that makes us throw certain tasks to the future: “not this week but next week” and when this goes on, it may give birth to circumstances that may not stand with us. How can I ever forget that day at Zurich Airport, when I had to fly to India after the completion of my degree? After all, I had postponed all my formalities for the last day and this got me so late to the airport that I reached the airline check in desk at the eleventh hour, with tons of stress planted in me.

However, as the check in official suggested me to balance the excess weight by adding it in the handbag, I mistakenly placed my passport in the bag I had to give for check in. Ironically, I learnt about it when it was already sent to the plane but thankfully it was brought to the boarding gate for me. The airline officials raced me towards it and once having grabbed it, I was taken back to the immigration desk for departure stamp and I eventually entered the plane-red faced. I realised, if I had not postponed my tasks to the last day, I would have not encountered all this hassle.

That’s why a late 14th century adage in my oxford dictionary of proverbs has this one, clearly on the lines of Kabir: “Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do today.” And considering my Zurich Airport experience, I can’t agree more with this late 16th century adage that reads, “Delays are dangerous”.

How true!