Gopi Nair

My five most regrets in life!

THE FIVE THINGS IN LIFE That I Regret the Most!

  1. My first and foremost regret is that Queen Elizabeth was not my mother. I was not born in Buckingham Palace.
  2. I did not get a PhD. from Harvard University.
  3. I did not become a Billionaire!
  4. I did not marry Hema Malini, the dream girl of India in the Sixties.
  5. I was not handsome like Farooq Engineer, the famous Indian Cricketer in the Sixties.

After writing down all my major regrets in life, I began to dissect them and analyze them to make any sense or nonsense out of them. I also wanted to see if my ambitions were fulfilled, and how would have my life changed. Let us look at my findings:

1. Queen Elizabeth was not my mother.

My mother was a very ordinary woman with a Fifth-grade formal schooling and did not appear to have any royal lineage. But being a village mother, she followed the tradition and breastfed me till I was four years old, maybe a privilege of being the youngest child. It could also explain the reason for my good health, and calm manners, and emotional balance for over three-quarters of a century.

I do not think Queen Elizabeth had the time to breastfeed her children during her very important royal responsibility of heading the British Empire! I would have been raised by a royal nanny while the Queen was traveling to far-off parts of her kingdom. My mother had the time and patience to raise me with her love and warmth, and she let me sleep with her till I was sixteen. Being the youngest had its own privileges in a middle-class family in a remote village in Kerala, India.

I was not born in the Buckingham Palace and the royalty did not greet me everyday morning. I did not have anybody watching me over, let alone a bunch of pistol-wearing royal guards. Being a small village boy, I had the pleasure of eating ordinary food and playing with my ordinary friends, without being closely monitored by any palace cameras and guards. While growing up in a small village, my mother fed me all the time. Many of my aunts took turns feeding me when my mother was sick or otherwise unable to attend to me. Though they had no royal blood in their veins, they treated me with loving compassion. They also showed royal kindness to allow me to eat tapioca a topical edible root, as it was one of my favorite food while growing up. Even now the very thought of this boiled tapioca with tongue-tingling red chilly sauce, salivates me taking me back in time more than sixty plus years. Even in my wildest dream, I can imagine tapioca appearing on my royal dinner plate, had I been born in Buckingham Palace!

2. I did not get a PhD. from Harvard.

For that matter, I did not get a Ph.D. from any University. I finished a Masters’s Degree from the University of Bombay. If I had a Ph.D. from Harvard, it would have probably kept me in the ivory tower for the rest of my life as a tenured professor!

Of course, there is nothing wrong with that! But I chose to explore the world of books, as a freelancer. I am still very hungry for knowledge and whet my academic appetite every day by reading and writing as a curious student of life. I am not ashamed of my earning capacity with a Masters’s Degree from Bombay University. It exceeded my wildest dream, and at Seventy-Five, I am still whetting my appetite to enhance my earning power!

3. I could not marry Hema Malini, the dream girl of India in the Sixties!

Really I could not marry Hema Malini, the dream girl of India. But I had the fortune of marrying a girl whom I loved, and she is still with me as my wife. She was beautiful, but may not be as beautiful as the dream girl of India. Maybe I had to make appointments to have an audience with the great actress if she had become my wife. I might have been even contended by the food cooked by one of the many maids of my famous actress, had my dream manifested by sheer luck!

I am very fortunate to have daily home-cooked food from my wife and not from a maid, as we have none! My wife happened to be a very good culinary expert in south Indian cooking. Many of our friends, having tasted her delicious food called her “the best cook on this side of the Atlantic in South Indian culinary art”!

Though I could not marry Hema Malini, my wife had the time and patience to raise our three boys. She is a highly devoted mother, who was never interrupted by her acting commitments and social engagements. Of course, no offense to the great actress, but my wife also had the time and patience to breastfeed our three children.