[Spoiler alert : About Time is a movie directed by Richard Curtis and was released in 2013. This post will be discussing the plot of the movie and giving away its main theme. If you haven’t watched it yet then do your self a favor and go watch it. If you are one of those curious types that cant hold on and want to know why I did write a spoiler and what is in this post….. Wait for it….. ok.. read on :)!]
Lets say you have the ability to travel in time. Only to the past and not to the future since you haven’t yet seen what the future is. You can travel back to any place or moment in your life that you remember and have been there. You can still remember the things that have happened until your current life(which is the future for you since you have travelled to the past). And you can come back to the current life again(what an oxymoron!). The thing is if you dont disturb anything or change anything, your life will play out the same way until your current life. But if you change things then it might play out differently. The point here is what would you do if you have this ability.
Now I want you to close your eyes and think of some of those moments or places you would want to go is to imagine the places or people or the situations where you would time travel back to.
CLOSE your eyes!
You still havent??!! How do I know? because you are still reading this…
OK. Now, think about the places or situations that you went back to. IF there were happy situations or places which you wanted to relive again. Good for you.. you have so many happy things in your life that is worth going back in time for. But if you did go back to not so happy times. Situations that you wanted to handle differently like “maybe I would not have said that to her/him or I would npt do this…”. Situations in which you change things to make it better for the future. Do you have any of those? Ok have them for now. Lets talk about the movie.
The movie is about a ordinary guy,Tim, who has this extraordinary ability to travel back in time. The first time he hears about this ability from his father, his instant reaction was to use this ability to make more money. His father advises against it because his grandfather had done the same and died with no friends or family. His father says a quote which I paraphrase here.
I have never bumped into a genuinely happy rich person.
Tim uses it to get a girl friend, help his friends and sister and to relive many happy moments. There are these funny moments where he goes back to the same events multiple times because he doesn’t know how to handle women(sounds familiar?). Then comes those which act like markers in his life. Like having kids and his father’s death. Tim deals with these moments by going traveling in time and sometimes not. The whole movie is about how Tim deals with his ordinary life with this ability and the lessons he learns. The movie ends with Tim implementing a two part plan his father gave him about traveling back in time. The plan forms the core of the message for the viewers. The plan touched me and transform me(I like to think so) in a big way.
First part of the plan is to live this ordinary life, live it day by day just like anyone else. The movie shows scenes of Tim’s normal day filled with his daily emotions. A feeling of insecurity with his boss, his sense of triviality with the vendor girl over the counter, his hurriedness to the court room, his sad senses of relief and his frustration over a commuter playing loud music, wanting to be alone.. just a normal day in anyone’s life. A life full of tensions and worries that stop us from noticing how sweet the world can be. Then comes the second part of the plan – to travel back in time and to live those same moments again. Only this time noticing the same events and to see the beauty in it and taking the time to relish in living in all these moments. The scenes shows Tim traveling back in time and re living those moments but this time taking it lightly and with humor. He smiles a lot, makes fun of himself. Enjoys every moment of it. Smiles through each one of them and lives them as though it is his last day. Now comes the point in story that I really loved. Tim furthers his father’s plan and does one thing and shares his lessons from his travels in time. He doesn’t travel in time anymore and tries to live every day as if he has deliberately come back to this one day to enjoy it as if it was the final full day of his life. The first time I heard that some thing inside me melted. I was wondering how would life be if I could live everyday like Tim did. As if I have come back in time to relive this particular moment again. I went through a series of moments myself and saw how differently I would have handled them.
Some of you might be thinking that Tim, on second living moments, could do those things because he knew how the moments had played out the first time. That is true but in our lives don’t we see this pattern – same mundane things happening again and again and again. Would we really have to travel back in time to relive those moments or can we see these moments happening to us everyday only in different places and situations with different people? I will leave that to you to figure this out. There is this beautiful quote the movie ends with.
We are all traveling through this time together. All we can do is to do our best to relish this ride.
Now lets come back to our moments that we had collected at the start. These moments came back to you because you have attached a strong sense of emotions to it. It could be a happy emotion or a sad emotion. If it is a happy one then relish it without reliving it. IF you keep holding to these moments, it creates expectations in you and you are going to compare all the moments that are lying in front of you with this particular one and in the process loose the beauty in it. If it was a sad one, the moment is in the past and if you are lucky, you will be given a chance to correct it. When your chance comes, go through it as though you have traveled back in time to live this all over again. Only this time you are not going to feel those sad emotions again. Keep practicing this.
Live every moment of your life like as though you have traveled back in time to relive it again. You will see that Life is beautiful in ways you have not noticed before.