Thursday, 23 February 2012

What can you do?Can you is not the question but Will you is an option.

Well friends,
Today I want to share one of the most life touching incidents with you,its a very short incident but very significant in my life,It so happened that one day I boarded a public transport for going to my college.As soon as I got a seat I started rehearsing my talk which  I had to speak at a seminar held by my college.I had dressed to my best on that day.As the public transport was a 4 seater on each side,we were four passengers in it,two on my side and two on the other.We had traveled only a short distance and the vehicle halted to board two more passengers.This time it was a poor rag picker woman and her young daughter about four years old.As she was boarding the vehicle clad in her tattered saree and rag with her daughter whose hands and body were dirty beyond imagination and clad  in a torn piece of frock,the driver of the vehicle demanded whether she had money to travel or not to which she politely and in an embarrassed tone replied,yes,being very cautious of all the well dressed people sitting in the vehicle,she managed to sit across me on the other seat,while her daughter watched her mom sitting and the seat being filled she turned towards our seat where there were only two people sitting.As she was going to sit besides me,her mom ordered her to sit at the floor of the vehicle realizing how well dressed and neat and clean I and the lady next to me was.She followed her mother's instruction obediently  and sat at the floor of the vehicle.Oh my God,that discrimination took away all the attention from my memorizing the lines of the seminar topic towards that child sitting at my and other passenger's feet who tried to push herself away from that little one's touch lest she be stained.I was totally blanked out watching what was happening,I noticed how her mother was looking at me with appreciation in her eyes for being dressed up so well neat,clean and carrying an educated look.Suddenly,something diverted my attention from the mother to my feet which I  felt was being slightly touched by something,to my amazement it was not the breeze,but I stealthily watched the young girl touching the edge of my silken saree and feeling happy about the feeling it gave to her.This fearful (of not to be caught )yet pleasing touch to the girl,filled my heart with tears,empathy and regret,regret because what was I waiting for, what am I doing,watching a mother who wanted her child to sit on the seat I was  sitting to only be instructed to sit on the floor because she was dirty and a rag picker.No,this can't be what I had to be a part of.I took a lot of time and hesitation in taking my first step towards doing something for them like we all do in such situations or even don't.I leaped over all my emotions,hesitation and confusion and reached out for the child at my feet and made her sit besides me,yes,holding her arms ignoring they were stained.Her mother shockingly intervened and said no its okay you will get dirty let her sit down which I out rightly rejected,all through the rest 15 minutes of my journey I could see how happy the child was to be a part of us,to be able to look out of the window seat and enjoy the breeze,she kept looking back at me and smiling,I could see the immense joy in her eyes for being seated besides the ones whose filth she carried along with her mother daily morning from homes.I could also see the wet eyes of her mother wet with pride that her daughter was also sitting with us and was a part of us now and wet with gratitude for me.She was speechless, but I could see the contentment in her eyes.The other people looked at me in amazement for doing this action,it left me wondering about what were they amazed about,wasn't she one of us.The lady besides me said to come and sit near her and away from the girl next to me as was evident from her face on how can I sit besides the soiled girl,and her dirty rag.This action of hers was aptly questioned by me that how on Navratras (The Hindu festival of 9 days wherein worshiping Goddess Durga and feeding young girls on 9th day is considered a blessing as the young girls signify the Goddess herself ) did she feed the young girls like her?To this she said, the girl was dirty and that she smelled to which I replied she might look dirty but  her soul isn't.Anyways, I wasn't there to change people's opinion , I did what my heart couldn't accept and this deed left me with immense pride not for doing a great deed in other people's eyes,but that I was not one among them who discriminated the well efficient ones with those who are unprivileged.While getting down at my destination , I also made it a point to pay for the poor lady's and her daughter's fare.As the vehicle was leaving I could see her mother turn back and smile at me while her daughter waved her hand at me.Initially,I thought of sanitizing my hands but then I realized that the stain on my palms was more precious than any other thing that day as it was the gift from my young friend who had only this to offer,a touch of love.Friends,this incident happened with me in 2008 and for a duration of half an hour,but I can still feel the joy of sharing my journey with them and it still motivates me to do more of such deeds for those like us.Like us? Yes,because they are poor in want of materialistic resources and we poor in want of empathy towards them.So aren't we the same,Instead I think,we are poorer than them.Go ahead,don't wait for such a situation to pass away,don't jut keep watching and hesitating,reach out to them,to them who are old and holding heavy bags of grocery,by offering them a lift or carrying their articles to their home,visiting any govt hospital and funding some poor man's cataract operation,donating a blanket to those who are shivering out in the cold,funding the school fee of an underprivileged child,offering your seat to an old person in a public transport or to be a part of the little change in situations like I had brought in that vehicle the other day.You must be amazed to know but for five years I regularly watched at early morning while leaving for college, two men one at the back and the other at the front of the cart,pulling the heavily loaded cart with hay for the cattle to a far away destination wherein they would be paid to carry the load.It took four years from my side to muster the courage to offer them my help.You must be thinking me to be foolish enough to be a part of such a laborious work,but I knew I couldn't do much but at least I asked for helping them,that was sufficient,you must be wondering what reward this action of mine must have brought to me,to me it brought a passing smile by the two workers from the next day while I saw them passing by.Trust me,when I say wealth and all the accomplishments you have attained will not bring the joy to you as such an act of kindness would : Trust me,it does and remember : " Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned."

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Well friends,
Today,I got nostalgic about the magical moments of receiving chocolates from my dad,you must be wondering what can be magical in this,so,let me relate the magic to you.As a young girl,when I was old enough to know the craze of toffees and making a demand for them,these incidences go as far as back then.I remember holding my dad's little finger in his big palm with my tiny palm walking besides him accompanying him to a small shop nearby where while he smoked off he purchased a toffee for me,yes just one and always asked me which one do you want,coconut one or Eclairs or orange toffee and I always greedily asked for all but you see dad's are always there to discipline us,so was my dad and finally he purchased only one for me lest I should disease my teeth,and then time passed by slowly and I grew up to be an adolescent,wherein the receiving of a toffee changed to receiving a chocolate and that too the big one Dairy milk if I performed well at tests otherwise a Five star was always on the monthly list of my mom's list of items to be purchased from canteen which my dad purchased from and brought home.As soon as he laid the bag full of household items on the table we both sisters rushed to find our Five stars and immediately opened it up,gave a bit of each to our parents and then had it, but then you see,as I was not very good at maths,I used to usually fail my tests and as a result must be expecting that my dad would not have brought the monthly chocolate for me but no, he still brought it as he always did,but having a sense of guilt to have failed in my exam,I wouldn't rush along with my sister to grab it.But, by the end of the day my mom would ask,Divya you must have forgotten(which she knew I didn't) to take your chocolate,so I have kept it in fridge,you can have it later only to let me know that look little girl,dad might be upset with you,but he still loves you and not punished you by not bringing your share of chocolate,my dad never would come and ask me :Divya,take your five star,as it was his favourite subject I failed in,but then I still rememeber one day overhearing my dad asking my mom while opening fridge,Divya dint have her chocolate still,tell her to eat it and do better next time,which I never did I guess.....this way he kept the tradition of getting us chocolates.Soon time passed by and we both sisters started earning salaries of their own,we could afford even bigger chocolates than what our dad brought us monthly, but no, till then we sisters were thrilled in  looking for our chocolates into a bag full of teabags,washing powder,hair oil etc.But yes, from a bit of a sharing our chocolates with our parents it became a block of half chocolate being shared.Time passed by and I got married to a boy of my choice,only with my parents permission which came to my rescue at the very last moment.This decision of mine always made me feel the fear of not getting the same amount or kind of love that I received when a daughter.With this fear I visited my home all  three years of my marriage and you know what,apart from all the greetings and watching and getting involved with my mom and dad in their daily routine activity at home,the first day of my visit made me feel all was the same and they haven't changed for me,but something was missing,I dint knew what but then all of a sudden there was my dad unexpectedly leaving from home be it night,scorching day or wintery nights every day and then he would be back in a span of 15 minutes at the home gate with a tiny little packet,handing it to me and saying:That's for you,and then when I wondered what was in it,he opened it and there I saw lying among a packed plate of noodles or samosas or cream roll (all my other favourites) was my chocolate........not the big one but still that Fivestar.Time seemed to have stopped for my dad who all these three years still thinks me as his little girl who craves for Fivestar,knowing the fact that I have all the brands of chocolate preserved in my fridge almost everyday.I told him one day,daddy,why do you bring one everyday for me,I eat many when back in Singapore(Swiss ones,turkey ones and what not)but then he would say,but not "This One" Divya,"This one"I knew what he meant : I can get all varieties I want to,but, what I need only my dad can give and has been giving : My Five star.Last year,at the end of my visit and bidding my family goodbye,I reached home along with my husband,but I was surprised to find only my mom.Where was my dad?My mom said,he has gone out on his routine walk will be back soon,but that annoyed me and I asked my mom, he knows I am leaving tonight and in an hour,he should have been here,couldn't he break his routine one day for me and I called up my dad and shouted at him : Daddy,when are you coming home,I want you right away,daddy,I am leaving,please comeback,I want to spend some time with you.He would say:I am coming in another 15 minutes and going by his word,he arrived at the end of 15 minutes,my husband opened door for him,I rushed to attack him with my complaints but then when I saw him,my dad,grey haired,frail still holding on to the same but new tiny little packet : I was speechless,but, I said,dad today also you have brought all my favorite eatables,I don't need them, I needed you,but,then he said : Divya,my child,this is what has kept me connected to you since you were a baby in my lap to a lady today standing before me:Giving you these each day,makes me feel you are still my little one,holding onto my little finger asking for a toffee.....and I was just left speechless with all the years of my receiving my share of chocolates from my childhood to womanhood pass by me in a flash.I still have Swiss,Turkish,almonds,peanuts and mostly all kinds of chocolates stacked up in my fridge,but,the thrill of looking for a chocolate in a bag filled with other items,the pride in receiving it,the happiness of opening the wrapper is missing.....and that has made Five star my favourite chocolate but only the one which my dad brings for me,you might feel it strange but it tastes better than other chocolates and I guess now you know why :)
"Dad, if I have ever asked for the greatest gift from God,I got it in form of you."Dad,I love you :)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A priceless gift :)

Well friends,it was just yesterday that people around the globe celebrated Valentine's day in some way or the other.we too celebrated this special day with preferring each others company at home exchanging gifts that each of us thought would suit the best for here I was gifting my husband a customized fridge magnet with our picture on it and a card which exactly suited him word by word and then he handed over his gift for me.I could see the smile,the pleasing,slightly excited smile,slightly nervous smile of what my reaction would be and then I took out the gift off the gift bag and there It was a dark green handwoven cotton dress from a shop which I resisted to enter noticing its price and here was my husband entering that shop,looking at each piece and choosing the right kind for me,he preferring formal colors with no designs was there looking something for me of my kind ,colorful with colorful embroidery and then he found it hanging among all the other dull colored n his favorite colors.He passed by all the dull choices,his choices and grabbed the one which would look best on me and got it packed in a special bag and carried it home,well what can I say friends I have tears in my eyes as I cant put in words the priceless expression he carried while handing it over to me and I was so thrilled to receive it,when I took it out I found it pleasing but when looked at the price tag,I was shocked 
 129 $,I thought was he joking 129 dollars for a handwoven plain green cotton simple embroided dress,no ways I tried it on me and initially told him it was good to please him but then I had to be honest,and there I was questioning him,what did you see in this dress which was worth 129 $,the shopkeeper must have befooled you,what did you see in this dress,its all plain and loose from behind,I said I would have to pin it from back n wear it ,I also confirmed is there an exchange policy and my hubby just kept saying Divya,look this is the shop (surfing internet) from where you never took,but I took for you,dont put a pin at its back,it would spoli it and I said how can i wear this and hung wrapped the dress and packed it in the bag and still kept on my bed , kept it to get exchanged for a better choice, my choice.But then you know today when he is at office working hard for me and our future I realised how low I was behaving yesterday when I received his gift.I kept thinking is that what you are Divya,once a teacher who cherished in handmade cards more than printed ones by her students,today,when has many choices to choose from and high prices I can afford,I have lost the value attached to the heart of gift and valuing its color and print and pattern,no tht's not me ,ofcourse not,I got swayed away far far away from the feelings attached behind this gift and just measured the gift.My husband,his taking out time to get this for me,his choosing one which suits me and his innocence in receiving a cherished smile in return from me after receiving it was more valuable than my expecting something of my choice as so much price was attached to it,well, I just wanted to choose the dress which would go by the price and look worth 129 $ but then I realized I can get one but from where will I bring the feelings which were attached with the previous dress,feelings of valentine,feeling of giving,loving,happiness,valuing I couldn't get it even at the price of 129 $ as what is still lying on my bed in the gift wrap is the dress my husband gifted me.Just now , I have removed it from the bag and hung it in my wardrobe and all of a sudden looking at it among all the other dresses of mine , my choices hanging there,it looks the most beautiful,graceful,and the best one hanging among others , may be I am exaggerating,but you see that's the reflection of love that has beautified it all together even more : I am sorry my hubby,I got a little selfish.I forgot that atleast I am lucky that you are besides me on this Valentine day,gifting me this and there are ones like those little street children selling balloons on this day to lovers so that they can manage a day's meal for themselves or someone sitting in front of the garlanded picture of their lover,remembering and looking at the letters once written by him to her,no no no,this is what i have seen and has made me realize the significance of the person more than any gift given by him or her,as friends,gifts are mortal but feelings carried by the person holding the gift is immortal:Hold on to the one holding or even not holding a gift which he thinks you would like.Value the person,his feelings,his commitment ,his loyalty ,nothing else matters : Really , I can at least assure this if not to you at least to myself :)
For now and forever,I can say what is the greatest gift to me on Valentine is a portion of you,Brijesh,my husband:I love you and now and forever this will remain unconditional darling :)"