As I recollect , an incident my mom mentioned to me, which occurred during her early childhood and left a mark on her, and not only on her, it passed on to us too, as being her children, she firmly instilled in us, this special quality of discretion, bestowed to mankind to be used by man during stormy times.
Today being one such weather, I recall this little incident and wish to present it to you.
My mother being the eldest daughter, lived with her widowed mother Leela, and her two younger sisters, in Pune, with one of Leela’s many brothers.
They were all refugees from Karachi where my mother’s maternal grandfather had a sprawling mansion, and when they reached Bombay port, all of them including Leela, her 5 brothers, their parents and all their families lived in a refugee camp at Bombay Central, before diversifying to different cities, Bombay, Pune and Hyderabad in India.
My mother Pushpa was around 10 then and along with her mother and two sisters had a pretty adventurous, though rugged and tough life ahead, shuttling every few years from one uncle’s house to the other.
Since Leela had a very huge family, after she was widowed at the age of 27, she shuttled between their homes, as in those good old days, staying all alone with 3 small daughters, was simply unheard of.
Anyway to get to the point, at that given point when this incident occurred, mom and family lived with one brother at Pune, and her grandfather lived with another brother. It so happened that both the brothers were out of town with their families and on one fateful rainy night during this period, her grandfather fell very ill, and was breathless requiring a certain medicine urgently.
Leela, acted fast, and did not think twice before sending 10 year old Pushpa at night, in the rains to deliver the medicine to her ailing grandfather.
Her Grandfather was alone at one end of town, and to reach to him she would have to cross over the now known famous Rajiv Gandhi Bridge. Pushpa cycled fearlessly and fiercely across , her only focus was to reach her grandfather safely and deliver the medicine to him to release his suffering. She reached her breathless grandfather well at the nick of time, and administered him the medicine.
As she sat down with him, she noticed his eyes were moist with tears, he was overwhelmed, and kissed her forehead, patting her and saying “Shabhash, my Pushu Rani, as he fondly called her.
Then to her utmost surprise, he put his hands in the pocket of his kurta and fished out a fistful of notes and coin and thrust them in her hands, blessing her all along.
She was astounded but tremendously pleased with herself ,it was indeed a memorable night for her, and even more memorable as she realised, that neither rain nor storm nor the dark night, once deterred her from braving it out .
Her only focus was the need of the hour, fear and negative thoughts were all out then . It was a do and die situation.
I still remember the way she described it to me one day when I took my freedom for granted, during those teenage days, when I would cycle to school, and while coming home in the evening, would stop by visiting friends and staying back late at school, taking extra liberties.
That is when she sat me down to explain this incident, and as she told me this story she added on ” You never get into an accident if you do what you are required to, no matter how dangerous it may seem”.
However, if you go out of your way to do things you are not required to, you may fall into trouble as accidents then come your way.
Nature keeps its balance, and allows you to get away with what you are meant to do.
However the day you surpass its kindness and destroy it by mutilating it, by your deeds and actions, bringing in unnecessary desires, and labelling them as needs, then dear friends watch out, it will furiously lash out.
So today as we are on the verge of slowly opening up, after nature locked us down for what we should consider as its wrath, for our uncanny ways, lets understand, that before we open up and enter its space are we sure we know what we are doing?
Do we know why we are opening up again?
No nature again warns ,I’m not done, but I want to give you another chance, to put your head on your shoulders, and your heart within.
This is a chance for those of you, who can survive, without coming out of your homes, then do the needful “Please for heaven’s sake stay in.”
For those of you, who need to work outside your homes a chance to do so, please come out and do your necessary work .
For those of you who need a breather, a chance to take one, but only one,
Leave the other for the other one, and patiently await your turn for a second .
For those of you who have bread , butter and cheese everyday, have the cheese every alternate day,
For those of you who have cheese every alternate day, have it every third day.
For those of you who want sweet after every meal skip it once in a while.
These are your chances to give back to an ever giving environment.
For as we do so , not only will we learn what we need and what we can actually go without, but we will also go a long way in helping fulfil that someone out there’s need.
The only chance we have is this.
Come on gather up dear friends, pull yourself together, conserve your energy and do your bit by just knowing what you need and what you don’t.
So the next time you pick up or do something, pause, assess and then go ahead.
If you find any of this difficult, then remember the days you enjoyed loitering out on the streets without a break, traversed and ate the best to your heart’s content, come on know and remember you did it all and a lot of it, so then you can and will willingly hand over the next six months to sitting at home, or doing your designated job only as per the need of the hour.
For those who have to go out to work, to enable an economy from becoming disabled, and for those who need to be out to help the ones sick in need of care, the need of the hour tells them to go out and do only that.
NO SPLURGING PLEASE. IT IS NOT THE NEED NOW FOR ANYONE PLEASE.
The ones at home can succeed in breaking the chain of the virus, as they will enable space and social distancing to be maintained for those who have to be out of their homes, thus enabling nature to come back to its natural fertility traits, providing an abundance of all to all, excepting the abundance of ill health, and tragic circumstances..
Lets all in turn , do our turn and together will turn around the whole equation from Corona infested to Corona divested.
It indeed is a challenge. Lets fight the restlessness from within, and stand tall, to do our bit, as each of our bits will sum up to reach out far and wide, making your bit the largest you could do as mankind for humankind.