Saturday, September 25, 2010

Love For Life

It was well past midnight. Mostly all her fellow passengers were fast asleep . Lolita generally could not enjoy a sound sleep on a train. She didnt mind it much because she loved looking out at the world passing by so swiftly. As it was dark outside she sat on her berth glancing now and then at any activity happenning in the compartment.
The young man ,from the berth on top of her came down and tucked the sheet gently around his wife ,who was fast asleep on the berth opposite them. Lolita smiled at the warm love on the man's face as he tucked his wife.He turned and met Lolita's eyes and he smiled. She smiled back . Hesitantly he then asked if he could sit on her berth for a while as he was not getting any sleep. Why would she have any objection? She had been watching the couple all day . At her age of seventy, you tend to see all your relations in the people you meet.
She had noticed the wife doing most of the talking of whatever talking took place. The boy was generally quiet.Both spent their time reading or sleeping. Lolita wondered why do people not talk? In today's time when everybody is struggling to manage their different roles in time ,a train journey can do such wonders. One can just talk ,talk and talk. She smiled at her thoughts for all her life she had always been very fond of talking,sharing thoughts ,views.. why should she judge everybody by her parameters?
It is so strange that at times it seems the most natural thing to talk and that exactly happened now. The seventy year old Lolita and the forty year old Anmol just got talking. To her surprise she kept listening to the man who she had seen to be so silent and immersed within self, the whole day. He spoke about his family ,his work and that he and his wife were returning home after a short holiday.
Suddenly Anmol realised that he had been doing a lot of talking so looked embaressed.
''Can I ask you something,if you dont mind?''Lolita said.
''Sure'' pat came his reply.
''I did not find the two of you talking much the whole day . I am very pleasantly surprised at how good you are to converse with. So why this contradictary behaviour?''
''Aunty I think over a period of time both of us have withdrawn ourselves from conversations,unless necessary, to avoid problems.''said Anmol sheepishly.
Lolita was not shocked. She had seen many such people all her life. She felt sad like she always felt looking at people who had given up in life.
She could see the love between these two, it was evident in various actions of both the people but probably like so many around ,they also did not want to live life fully.
To live a full life you need to love life. Only then will you give in your everything to make it fuller and more beautiful.
But Lolita knew that you can not tell others to love life.
Sad ,but even at this age ,with all her share of trifles and tribulations, she is still looking for more colours to paint the canvass of Life for she has not yet come across the reason to stop loving Life.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Praise Or Not To Praise

''My grand parents always loved my sister more than me'' quipped in Ritu.

''That is not true''protested Rahul,''Father loved both you sisters equally and so did mother . Both of you were so very very dear to them.''

''No ,Ria has always been their favourite. They only had things to talk about her. She was the best ...she did this ....she did that ...'' and Ritu stomped out of the room with moist eyes .

Rahul and Roli sat bewildered looking at each other. Memories of Rahul's parents with their daughters flashed by on their mind screen. How they doted on these grand daughters !How did Ritu come up with such wrong thoughts?

Roli remembered an incident of the past. She had attended a family wedding shortly after her own marriage. She had gone there without her in laws. She had had a great time as she could use the occassion to gel with a big chunk of her new family at one shot. She enjoyed every moment of it and returned with many new warm relations in her heart.

After a while ,her mom in law received a letter from one of Rahul's aunt, praising Roli and showering her with blessings for her reaching out to the family ,at the wedding and congratulating her to have such a loving bahu. Roli saw her mom in law beam ,reading the letter ,then passed it to Roli to read too. Roli remembered mumbling something at such unexpected shower of praise. Suddenly she was shocked . Her mom in law had torn the letter and threw it in the dust bin.Roli did nt understand this.Generally mother would keep the letters on the dining table for all her four sons and bahus to read . Why then had she torn away this letter?

Roli noticed that there was no mention of the letter at the dinner table too. She was feeling uncomfortable. At night she narrated the incident to Rahul . Rahul drew her in his arms and said ,''Dont worry ,mother loves you a lot, but she did not want any ill feelings in any body's mind against you so she tore away the letter.''

''Why ill feelings against me?''Roli was aghast.

''Because you are noticed and praised for things that may be, are not valued as much by others or some in the house. Things that you will be loved for by others may point out the very lack of the same in some ,leading to seeds of jealousy.Mother does not want such feelings in the family and I feel she is right too.''Rahu said smilingly.''We all choose to value different things in life and are known through them. People who value the same things ,will be sort of alike and would be noticed in a similar manner ,but people who do not value the same things do so probably for their own reasons. They will never like to be pointed out this difference through some one else .''

Now Roli could understand Ritu's outburst better. Ritu and Ria had always been so different by nature.Where Ritu was the one who would be immersed in her self most of the time Ria would entwine herself around people effortlessly. Roli remembered her in laws talking of so many things that Ria would do when they would go visiting her and her husband.Small things ,small actions that would shower her grandparents with feelings of love ,want ,need and joy.

Roli realised that probably all that ,over a period of time conveyed more love for Ria than Ritu in the later's mind. Sadly she could do nothing to change this false belief from her own daughter's mind .

We must always appreciate goodness...the right things that a person does ..but we should be careful not to present that in a sense of contrast between others closely around.

Actually people do not intend to do so . Sometimes they do it to applaud goodness, sometimes they express their joy on finding their values in their loved ones and sometimes also with the intention of showing the sweet rewards of goodness but it is treading on dangerous grounds.

Who knows what seedling gets planted in whose heart which grows into a tree to show it's undesired fruits, ironically without you having any role to play in it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Teacher's Day

Teacher's day is celebrated in the memory of the great scholar and teacher the Late Dr. Radhakrishnan.It is a day where we talk about the teachers in our country.We talk about it being a noble profession. We talk about the teachers who are different as they touch the lives of many. The teachers ,it is said ,have the power to shape a nation.
We all have had teachers in our lives and it is for each one of us to claim the role they have played in shaping our lives.We grow up and our children are sent to be shaped up in the hands of people, called'' Teachers.''

Who are these ''teacher's'' for us?
They are -
people who will change our children from what ever we have made them, to the best.

they are magicians who will keep on working at our children,relentlessly,to make them unlearn everything that we keep on feeding our children with relentlessly, in order to teach them the basic pre-requisites to education ,the first of them being-Respecting the teacher.
We teach our children to criticise our teachers for we ourselves ,have no respect for them .

Without respect there is no faith and so no learning.
Teachers are expected to somehow make the children marks churning machines- there is no quest for knowledge.

It is like treating an uneven barren land with more and more chemical fertilizers and pesticides for more and more produce.
Without working on the land,any amount of fertilizer and pesticide will not yield the desired produce-in fact it would cause much far reaching damage than can be thought of.

Then the capabilities of the teachers are questioned. The nobility of the profession is questioned?
Why is it that only the Teachers are supposed to be 'Noble'

Do the teachers not come out of our society itself?
A noble society will have noble people and so noble teachers.

Yes Teachers do have the power to guide the youth , to shape the nation,but only if it starts with the quest to learn on the part of the children and before that the want in the parents to be clear as to what do they want their children to learn?
The parents should want their children to learn goodness. They should want their children to learn to differentiate the right from the wrong ...they should want to learn to shape up their own lives....
There is no age for learning. It is a continous process.

Unfortunately ,at any age , we do not want to learn.
At any age , we believe we know better than what is being taught to us.
This humility of the need to learn is disappearing rapidly from within us and sadly , has swept down to even our children at such formative age.

We feel we do not need to learn so they too believe the same.
We should never let the feeling of knowing too much ,harbour in our minds.
Eager learners always find life beautiful.
To have people who we can trust with knowledge and our welfare ,is one of the greatest boons of life.
Let us all remain eager students for life that will feel warmly protected by our teachers.
Teachers? Any body we respect and trust is our Teacher.
Let us all remember that anything valued by us will only be valuable to us.
Let us value our teachers to add value to our lives.
Then there will be no dearth of teachers like the one being faced today in so many fields in our country.
The western world already has been facing this problem for a long time ,but INDIA ? Dearth of teachers?
A land of knowledge...known for the great teachers for centuries....
Let us stop this downfall and value our Teachers.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Smart Good

Rohan,a young army captain,could not wait for the journey to end. It already was long enough and he was dying to meet his Mumli and Dadu...his grandparents , to whom he was going to, after almost 5 years. He loved them dearly and his postings had kept him away from them for so long. His grandparents lived in a small village . He just had to cross the river and he would be there.It was a surprise visit so he could not help smiling ,thinking of their faces when they would see him.

As he was to set his foot on the bridge to cross the river ,he saw a fairly old man bending over the river,trying to pull something. He looked down to see exactly what the man was up to . The saffron clothes made him some sadhu. Rohan saw the sadhu trying to help a scorpion that was struggling to come out of the water. The sadhu picked up the scorpion by his hand and was about to drop it on land when the scorpion stung the sadhu on his finger . The pain shook the sadhu's hand and the scorpion fell in the water again,this time slightly farther away from the shore.

To his surprise, Rohan saw the sadhu wading through the water and reaching out to the scorpion ,picking it up again and on returning to the shore ,when he was just about to drop it ,the scorpion stung hard again.The burning pain involuntarily shook the sadhu's hand again carrying the scorpion even farther away in the river water.

On seeing the sadhu setting off to rescue the creature again,Rohan called out to him. The sadhu stopped in the water and waited for Rohan to come down . Rohan ran down and on reaching the sadhu asked him,''You are trying to save this creature maharaj, that has stung you twice? Will it not sting again?''

The sadhu answered with a smile,''It is the nature of the scorpion to sting but it is my nature to help. How can I let go of my nature that I have nurtured over the years with such dedication for a lowly nature?''saying this the sadhu turned to move towards the struggling scorpion.

Rohan said,''Maharaj, just a minute please.''

Saying this he broke a long twig from a tree close by,got down into the river ,stretching his arm pulled the scorpion with the twig and swirled it away to the neighboring bush.

Rohan looked at the sadhu smilingly,came out of the water and set out to finish his journey.

It always pays to be Smart,when we use it to be Good.

We can always retain our characteristics that we have nurtured by choice .

It is foolish to throw away our strentgh for other's weaknesses.