Thursday, June 19, 2014

White Canvas

This is a real incident, which forced me to pen down this post. I had taken my daughter to the park in our residential society. I sat and watched the children play while my daughter was on the jungle gym.

One of the boys, hefty little fellow (let’s call him Sunny) was playing at the swing for a long time and was not allowing others a chance. The kids had this method of making a line and swing for five minutes. After much cajoling and pleading Sunny got off the swing and went to slide.

Apparently sliding was not fun for our Sunny, so he came back to his mother and complained about the long line for the swing. To my surprise she told him to go and stand first in the line and ignore everyone. Sunny’s mind, like white canvas, absorbed his mother’s instructions and followed them.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ancient Wisdom

Amma was a formidable lady in her white starched sari, always in control and in-charge. I had never seen her frazzled, angry or upset with anyone or anything. Was there some ancient mantra she practiced? I thought.

She played various roles of an adviser, companion, friend, or she was sometimes an adversary for my aunts or simply a responsibility for my uncles. Though she was my maternal grandmother, she became my amma or mother, after my parents passed away long time back.

‘Why is aunt always thinking about my cousins and not me, she never tells me to study or scolds me?’ I asked amma one day. 

She looked at me thoughtfully and smiled, but remained silent. 

That day amma didn’t call me for dinner! This was the first time in thirteen years, she ate without me.

I was upset, close to crying and didn’t speak to her. I sat, sulking, under the banyan tree in the courtyard the next day. Suddenly, I felt something moist touching my feet; it was a small brown Labrador pup licking my toes. Overjoyed I squealed and picked it up. Amma was standing smiling at my delight.

‘Why amma, is this an apology?’ I asked in my superior tone cuddling the pup.

‘No child, it’s time you learn a lesson,’ she said and sat beside me. ‘When you expected I will have dinner with you and I didn’t. You were hurt and sad. Today you got a gift without any expectations, it brought you pleasure.’ She lovingly stroked my hair. ‘While having expectations from someone close to you is healthy, but having hopes from everyone will bring you pain and disappointment.’ 

I sat there nodding my head, absorbing her wisdom mantra.

‘But, promise me you will never have dinner without me, ever.’

She chuckled, ‘Never.’