I have always loved theater, and when a British friend who lives in Mumbai, asked me to join a few others for a play at the theater near my Mumbai home, I was delighted. The play was Tuesdays with Morrie. This was a best selling book that I had always meant to read and with a 15 hour flight to India ahead of me, I thought, here’s my chance. This is not a very long book and so for the first couple of hours I settled into to this very moving and inspiring true story of a young man’s relationship with his favorite college professor and all the wisdom he gained, especially in the last months of Morrie’s life when he began to pay a visit every Tuesday.
We saw Tuesdays with Morrie on a Friday. The Experimental Theatre was packed with Mumbaikars with a few ex-pats sprinkled through the audience. I was curious to see how Indian actors would play a young sportswriter from Detroit and a Jewish professor from Massachusetts. Within the first 15 minutes I totally forgot they were Indian actors and felt like I was sitting in on a very private and personal conversation between two old friends. One of my favorite lines was when Morrie quoted poet W.H. Auden: “We must love one another or die.” I think this sums up perfectly what is needed in the world in these tumultuous times. Later on in the play, Morrie cries out, “Love or perish!” The main thing he emphasized to his student, Mitch, over and over, was to love more, to pay more attention to those we love, to feel more and sometimes, to cry. By the end, as Morrie was dying, Mitch was crying along with a lot of us in the audience. What a gift to share this experience with new friends and my Mumbai family – a slice of life up close and personal on a stage in a theater, but yet, it brought some poignant messages about the sacredness of each moment. We are here to enjoy life fully, to not miss a moment. I learned the hard way that life can be over at the snap of a bullet. Morrie and W.H.Auden are right – we must love or die. If we do not love, we will not truly live. Without love we may as well be dead. The good news is that it is never too late. Each new moment brings another opportunity to love. Thank you, Mitch Albom, for sharing Morrie with us. Thank you, Morrie,for being so open, wise and lovable. And thank you, Nigel, for arranging the tickets!