November 08, 2013

An Unusual Outpour

Last Sunday, our village team at Karma Yoga* had organized a special science session for kids. We reached the village and as usual kids came running towards us. They assembled in the church, waiting for us to start the session. But I was waiting for Gautam, who was absent that day.

Gautam is a 12 year old kid who stays in the village with his family. His father is a farmer in the village. He has got 2 younger sisters. I have been teaching around 12 children including Gautam for the last 6 consecutive Sundays. There is something unique about this kid, which got me interested in him. There is a particular spark on his face with bright eyes.  He listens carefully to every word that I speak, understands things, and shows his eagerness to learn. He seems more mature than his age. He is quite versatile in his interests – studies, games, general knowledge, and cartoons. He is a bright child and can go a long way in life.

After the studies, I used to take him for a daily stroll on the village streets. We spoke all kinds of things. I inquired of him on what’s happening at school and how the usual things are at home. His English is weak and can hardly talk. It is more of telepathy that works between us. As the weeks went by, seeing his enthusiastic nature for learning, I started thinking of more new things and ways to teach him in particular. It brought out the teacher in me and I started giving him challenging homework. He used to take it very seriously and it has never happened that he hasn’t done a thing that I have asked him to do. I didn’t realize that our bond became so strong until that day when he didn’t turn up for class.

 My eyes were fixed at the door and I wanted to defer the session till he came. Eventually we had to start the session without him. There were 11 other usual children who were eagerly listening to what we were telling and trying to absorb the tacit knowledge. 15 min later Gautam came with his bag. He was limping and I could see his right leg injured. I left the book that I had in my hand, ran towards him, and picked him on my arms. All students and children stared at me with the confusion to see my outpour of feelings towards Gautam. I myself didn’t realize how much I missed him that day. He told me that he got hurt while playing at school.

On my ride back to college I was looking out of the window and sinking the moments that had happened. Holding the little boy gave me immense satisfaction – something words fail to describe. I just got another reason to continue my village visits. It was amazing to see how much I got attached to the kid whom I met just 6 times. I realized that I want to do something more for Gautam. I don’t know to what extent I can empower him or whether I can help him in a substantial way. All I know is that I want to see that kid break the shackles of his present, and find success in future. I know he has talent and I seriously hope destiny is with him. 

*Karma Yoga - Karma Yoga is a leadership experiential project which is part of our MBA program in which, we the students visit the villages in order to empower the villagers so that they can lead a better life. 

April 21, 2013

Someone Else....

I saw you and wanted to see you more,
And then I realized you just wanted to see someone else!

I thought I might impress you,
But I forgot you were already impressed by someone else

I liked your words coming out of your mouth and the charm in each sentence you spoke…
And then I noticed it all speaks of someone else

The curly hair that kept drifting back at your face – your natural beauty
Oh damn, it just belonged to someone else!

Those big eyes, and the big smile on your face…
…that just grew bigger when you saw some else.

There was so much love in your voice,
But it just exhibited when you spoke to someone else

I wanted you to look into my eyes just once…
Alas, you couldn't keep them off someone else!

My heart thumps loud when I see you
But you are too busy to listen to someone else…

Neither the board meetings, nor the steep targets – it’s you who makes me nervous
My bad, you just cared for someone else

You shook my hand, and I wanted to hold it tight…
Shit, it just wanted to slip into the hands of someone else!

I hope to see you again and tell you how I feel for you,
Just so that you know - there's always someone else…

April 07, 2013

Wave Talk

Not too long back, I went to Mumbai and happened to visit Juhu Beach. I was standing at the shore when a wave came and touched my feet. I don’t know if it was a different feeling than the experience that I had before of Miramar Beach of Goa. Within a second I heard a voice:

How are you Mohit?

Me: I am fine. Who are you?
Wave: I am a wave.
Me: What do you want?
Wave: I want to speak to you.
Me: Tell me.
Wave: I want to speak to you because at some point of time I was just like you.
Me: I don’t understand.
Wave: All waves have characteristics just like humans. When I see you, it reminds me of my past.
Me: Ohhkk. So?
Wave: Mohit, what do you think of yourself? What type of person you are?
Me: I am nice person.
Wave: How can you say so?
Me: I think I don’t do wrong to anyone. I am well-wisher. I have the opinion that the people who know me think in the same way too.
Wave: Why do you think your friends love you?
Me: Because, I am their true friend.
Wave: I think they just empathize to you and your problems.
Me: I don’t agree.
Wave: Why do you have to take yourself so seriously? Why can’t you be free and live life like no one did?
Me: I can’t help. That’s the way I am. You see, I have some responsibilities and I find myself surrounded by them always.
Wave: Who does not have responsibilities? Who does not care for their family and support them?
Me: Ya, I know.
Wave: Do you know what life wants from you?
Me: No, tell me.
Wave: Life wants you to live freely. Not like an underdog. Rise above that level for heaven sake. That’s your biggest problem. Some things are not in your hands. Leave it to God. He will take care of them. You can do great. Trust me.
Me: How do you know that?
Wave: I told you, I was just like you. I have always been a weak wave. But see today, I have crossed everything, came so far and touched you. I never thought that I will be able to do it.  
Me: I see.
Wave: Mohit, I want to tell you that you are lucky to have such caring family and friends. You deserved it. But do something in your life for which people remember you, even several years after you pass away. You have the opportunity to make it count. Don’t kill time in non-fruitful activities.
Me: Can you tell me what exactly I need to do?
Wave: You already know the answer Mohit. Don’t you?

Then the wave went back and got mixed with other waves leaving me in all kinds of thoughts.  

February 09, 2013

At 60! Feeling Helpless?

Life is strange. As children we are dependent on our parents for most of the things. We respect them, love them, care for them as our universe starts from them and ends at them. We grow up, start working, earning and become independent. We no longer have to plead them to eat an ice-cream. Slowly, we imagine ourselves as the supreme leader in the family and forget the sacrifices that they have done to bring us up.

A week ago, I was travelling from Bareilly to Rudrapur by a UP transport bus. An old lady (60+) was sitting with me. We were about to reach Rudrapur. She tried to call her son couple of times so that he could come to the bus-stand to receive her, but she could not. She asked me to help her. I called and gave the phone to her. She put the phone on “Loudspeaker” to listen clearly. Her daughter-in-law picked up the phone and asked her to come on her own. Her husband in the background told the same to her. Old lady pleaded to send her son as she was carrying 3 bags with her and it was already 11 at night. She refused and cut the phone call. Everyone in the bus could hear the conversation. I saw her face. She was tensed, frightened, dejected and could cry at any moment. I felt for the lady. In this cold, temperature below 8, it was difficult to even put your hands out of the pocket.

We reached the bus-stand. I took her bags and helped her, get down the bus. I called a rickshaw for her. She sat and I paid the money. The lady moved her hand over my head in order to give her blessings. She left and I took another rickshaw to my hotel.

I had mixed feelings. I felt bad for what the lady has to go through and felt good that I did nice gesture by helping her. I wonder how children change their feelings towards their parents. We can see many such cases in our neighborhood, where the children abandon their parents or exploit them daily. A lot of introspection is required about how our societies are moving. With the economic growth, the life expectancy in India is also increasing. We all need to secure our future so that we don’t land up in such situations.

Some of the things that we can do are: inculcate good family values to our children. Make them understand that they too will become parents one day. Do not name your assets- land or property after them in advance. Try old-age shelters if nothing works. Do not waste your pension. Try saving some part of it. It is for your benefit only. Children are already losing a lot by not taking their parents’ guidance, which they don’t understand. At the same time government needs to take initiatives for the old age people.

All I can say is let’s be strong to face such adversity in life. Do not expect much. And I hope none of us have to see such a day in our lives.