The sky was deep blue that day. A kite was flying swiftly as the wind was just sufficient to give it a good flight. It reached to a great height and was cynosure for the other kite runners.
Suddenly a thought struck to the kite that she could reach to even greater heights and could touch the zenith. But the string to which she was attached was just hindering its progress and limiting her aspiration. She wanted freedom from it, she wanted liberation.
A gust of wind helped her cause. She got liberated from the string, she was put under no restriction. A free flow movement across the landscapes and beyond the river made her feel euphoric.
But soon she fell on ground, became dirty and got defaced under the boots of by passers in the alley of a suburb.
Just think which freedom you desire? Not all limitations are limiting you, some helps you to stay at top.
Today’s morning was very fine here in my city and it became even more gorgeous when I had a south Indian meal in breakfast at one of my friend’s home. 😛 Knowing my likings, he had invited me on several occasions, but somehow or the other I kept delaying it. But today was the day. I love South Indian cuisine, especially the Dosas and Uthapam along with the Sambhar and Chatani.
To tell you the fact, my friend is not from South India. Yet the taste of Dosa was so delicious and sumptuous that I can bet that any South Indian cook would be proud of it. I had the breakfast as in the manner that I am having lunch. One after another, I devoured three Dosas one by one, partly due to the reason that I like it and partly due to the immense pressure from his family especially from his granny.
After having breakfast, I chatted for some time with his family members. His family is having same place of origin as I am having and we both speak same beautiful language “Maithili”. I find his family very decent and everybody in my surrounding having a word of praise for them. I spoke with uncle but the best part during my conversation was with his granny. She would be around mid 70s. She is quite religious and very soft spoken. She speaks in so humble way with me that sometime I wonder how someone can be so modest. Every time I talk with her, I get some life lesson.
As I had some other engagements later in the morning, so I asked permission from them to leave. They all seemed to be very happy that I came there and so was I. When I was leaving, out of respect I bent down to touch the granny’s feet, but she moved backward with a shudder and said “No, no, no, no….don’t dare touch my feet. Do you want that I commit sin?”
I said with anguish, “Why you never let me touch your feet Dadi and what sin are you talking about? Don’t you want to bless me?” Her response was “ You are bigger than me”. I said “Wow! How could that happen! Do I look older than you?” She said smilingly “Beta! You are Brahmins and we are not suppose to let you touch my feet, it’s considered as one of the great sins, which has been taught to us by my ancestors and I am not going to disobey them like your uncle”. I was shocked, ashamed. Uncle never resisted me from touching his feet. Her statement was probably a dig at him. Since I was running out of time I did not plead much and with folded hand I said Namaste and returned back to home.
On returning home, I got to know that my further engagement which I had, got cancelled. So I had free time. The sound of the granny “you are bigger than me” reverberated in my ears. I was forced to contemplate about the caste systems in India among Hindus. I never experienced this divide in recent times and unheard of this untill this moment. Yet the response of granny was shocking to me. I thought in those old days this divide must be very rigid, as much so that it had an indelible imprints on her mind.
I find this cast system as one of the reasons why foreign powers and their culture attacked us from centuries. It was one of the most debilitating factors of backwardness of our society. It is the phenomena which militated against the dignity of the humans.
And I find this caste system in today’s context as pernicious as it was ever before. Some political outfits are using this divide to gain their political leverage. Some netas, like Britishers, believe in the philosophy of “divide and rule”. They want that whole population should be divided on the cast line so that they could not stand together on the developmental issues. With this they are able to maximize their interest. Now is the time when we should relinquish all our identities and should stand for the cause of building a more secular, tolerant and accommodating society and nation.
Although the Constitution of India guarantees that there should be no discrimination of the basis of caste, gender, religion, place of birth etc. but these things has to be dealt on the societal level, and cannot be completely enforced by law alone. The onus is on current generation, we should thrive for a society where no elder should feel blessing the younger as sin and prevents touching feet.
So, I am continuing from where I have left it yesterday, as some event prompted me to write it again. If you haven’t read, and willing to do so, you can check it out @ भोर की खोज..
Today also I woke up early. It was dark outside. But a hope was there that sun will emerge soon out of this darkness. I prepared myself for the morning walk. At 05:00 hrs I left home. Outside, season was tantalizing as usual in Feb. Cold breeze was blowing. Aroma of mango flowers (we call it Manjari in Hindi), conspicuous in this month, were enchanting.
I plugged in my ear phones and played the same Song (Bhajan) which I have mentioned in my last blog भोर की खोज... The volume was at maximum. Contemplating on each words of the song and appreciating the classical music of India and the way Pt. Bhim Sen Joshi has sung, I was marching towards the river.
It was still dark yet the street lights were glowing. Some other people were also strolling on the street. I was completely observed in the song then suddenly someone hold my hand. I experienced how fast our mind could be. Before I could turn back, numerous bizarre thought came. Who it could be?
A ghost!!!! Oh it’s Valentine Day, how can I forget the atmosphere which has been created since past week for 14th February, especially on WP. Someone hold my hand in the very morning. Thought, Saint Valentine must be very kind on me.
But when I turned around, all my imaginations were shattered in seconds :P. I saw an old man in his 50s. His face was frightened. I asked “चचा !! क्या हुआ ??” (Uncle! What happened?) He was telling something, but since the music was playing at maximum volume, I couldn’t hear him. I plugged out my ear phone. Then heard asynchronous and horrific sound of woof.. woof.. woof.. Nearly 5-6 stray dogs were behind him. He said, “साले ! कुत्ते पीछे हैं ” (Dogs are behind me). I said “वो तो देख रहा हूँ , आप घबराओ मत, मेरे पीछे आ जाओ ” (That I am seeing, don’t panic just stay behind me). Then I stayed calm and scarred the dog by pretending to throw pebbles at them, when there was no stones around. Somehow dogs got scarred and ran away.
I smiled at uncle and ask jokingly, “क्या चचा!!! वैलेंटाइन डे के दिन आज मैं ही मिला था सुबह सुबह हाथ पकड़ने को 🙂“(Uncle! on this valentine day you only found me to hold hand ) . As it turned out, uncle was more humorous, he replied “बेटा , खैर मनाओ बजरंग दल से हूँ मैं , जान नहीं बचायी होती तो वैलेंटाइन डे के दिन, दिन भर तुम्हारे पीछे अपने आदमियों को छोड़ता ” (Son! you are lucky, I am from Bajrang Dal, if you haven’t saved my life today, then for taking the name of Valentine, I would have sent my men to have a watch on you for the entire day). I said jokingly, “ये पराक्रम कुत्तो पर क्यों नहीं दिखाया” (Why don’t you displayed your valor to the dogs). He replied more wittingly, “कुत्ते थोड़े ही न वैलेंटाइन डे मानते हैं ” (Dogs never celebrate Valentine Day).
I burst in to laughter, he followed me too. I said “Namste” to him and marched forward towards the river. He replied “Thank You“. On reaching there, I removed my shoes off and dipped my feet in to the water. Water was colder than the wind. Someone has just rang the temple bell. Birds were taking flights towards their destination. I was smiling……
After reading the topic/heading of my today’s post you might have an inkling that I may discuss some philosophical aspect of life in this write up. But, to tell you the truth, it’s not a philosophical article, rather a narration based on some events.
Old age is a truth of Life. But when we remain young, we hardly grant our thought towards this immutable reality. Especially the influence of western culture, prominence of nuclear family, new modes of entertainments, introduction of Old Age Homes etc keeps the old away from the youth and children, in turn, keeps away one aspect of life that most of us has to go through.
I am blessed to have my grandfather with me. But the sad part is that he is now ailing from past few months and his condition is deteriorating as the time progresses. “Old age in itself is a disease” once I have heard this term, now experiencing through him. He is unable to perform his regular activity not even to take his meal by himself. Though, he is in sound mind with full consciousness and memory, yet physically challenged due to perils of old age.
Yesterday night when I was lifting him from the bed and supporting in a way that he can take his dinner and medicine, he narrated a story that compelled my eyes to go wet. He told me to keep his head in my lap, I obliged. He started.
My Grandpa to me….
“You know, when you were around 4-5 years old, you had a habit of harassing someone who was going outside the home. You just started crying, shouting to carry you wherever any one goes out, so that you can accompany him and enjoy the outing.
One evening, I was the victim. I was going towards the market to purchase some groceries, and you, as usual, started crying to come with me. Your mom persuaded, papa coerced, but in front of your determination every one gave up, including me. But I made a commitment out of you, that in the course of journey you will walk yourself and never ask me to carry you in my lap or on my shoulder. You readily agreed on these terms and conditions, which I knew, you din’t have any intention to obey it.
We started walking towards market place. Barely 50 steps we have taken, you said, with utter innocence, “Baba Godi” (Grandpa please carry me in your lap while walking). I smiled, but shouted “don’t you remember your promise and if you will not walk then we will return home.Then you reverberated, “Yes, I do remember that but……” and started walking with heavy feat.
Just after nearly 30 steps we have marched forward, you again came back to the same agenda..”Baba Godi!! now I am extremely tired”.
But I was testing your patience and enjoying the expression you were giving, which was just like as a true artist. Then suddenly you spoke something which touched my core of the heart. You said, “baba, don’t you know how little I am, my legs becomes tired after a long walk, so please carry me in your arms/lap. I promise you when I will become young I will also carry you in my lap”.
His narration was over. His head was still in my lap. His eyes were wet. He pronounced. I am looking now “You are fulfilling your promise”.
I was speechless. Pretended to be tough. Gave him the medicine, which was prescribed for him for the night. Requested him to chant and remember the name of the Lord and said good night.
I was in quagmire about to share the event, but thought that many of the readers, once they will read, can relish and find their sweet memory associated with their grandfather/mother.
Life is just emotions. How you perceive emotions. How you respond to the emotions. A special trait, which differentiates the Livings with the Dead.