Thursday, 15 January 2015

SHE OWES IT TO HIM


This is the story of a man and a little girl. A story which is not uncommon yet beautiful.

              Let’s get started. This little girl grew up at his place. The ‘home’ was a heaven; tall trees-mango, neem and pomegranate surrounded it. A large courtyard with roses, jasmine, hibiscus and some wild flowers. Inside; bedrooms with beautiful windows.  Every morning sunlight came streaming in, waking everyone up. A big cupboard with books- Dickens, Tolstoy, Twain, The Bronte Sisters and countless other authors. The terrace was always the place for any sleepover.
             The school was just a 10 minute walk. After school hours, she would spend the whole day playing with him- he was the student and she was the teacher (with a stick in her hand!!!).  In reality, he taught her. Everything which is immensely useful, practical and enjoyable. He taught her the Indian mythology and how to be polyglot. He taught her how to speak fearlessly in every language he knew. He introduced her to the amazing world of books, read out stories and encouraged her to do the same. He bought her brain teasers and puzzles. He introduced her to the world of politics, and taught her The Indian Constitution when she was 8 years old.
             He took her to temples and churches, and made her believe there was one God. Even now, she can only imagine God as a light of great intensity. She learnt to appreciate things- simple things like a flower in full bloom or a starry night. Or the smell of the earth after the first rain.

The girl loved him and adored him with all her heart. He was the force behind her. The positive boost for any new venture of hers.  She found in him a source of courage and inspiration. And she could never imagine a life without him. As fate would have it, he died a week before her 11th birthday. She was shattered, smashed and broken. She was in denial. That was the first time she had come face to face with a tragedy and he wasn’t there to help her. She didn’t believe the fact that she is never going to see him again; or live without his love and guidance. Her life changed radically after that. She could live her entire life with those memories. But she knew he would have wanted her to move ahead in life. So she moved on.    

That girl is a young adult now, and co-incidentally she is also the one writing this. That little girl was me and the man was none other than my grandfather. He is the person who made me; the reason I am here. I don’t know how many kids still have that kind of a bond with their grandparents, but I am convinced that you can never have a complete childhood without them. It seems like they are preparing you for life. And while 11 years is a very short time, it was filled with joy and laughter.  Of course there are moments when I miss him so much that I would trade the world for him, but I am also thankful for having him with me in my constructive years.

 This is a tribute to him, and a reminder to myself that he will always be watching over me. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

WHO PACKS YOUR PARACHUTE?

So here it is. My first post. And a baby step towards a bigger dream.
Let me start by sharing my favorite story. Don't ask me where I read it or heard it; I don't remember. But the message has continued to stay with me. 

There was once a Captain in the American Air Force who was quite brave and valiant. He was known for his courage and his ability to take calculated risks. Once, during the Vietnam War he was flying his chopper and took a risk which went horribly wrong. The chopper was shot at and if it was not for his parachute he would never have survived. He was captured by the Vietnamese. Eventually he escaped. He was lauded as a hero on his return and went on to win many medals. 


Years later, he had retired from his service as a distinguished officer and was dining at a restaurant when this man, almost his age, walked upto him and said "You are the Vietnam War hero, I know all about you, the crash; you shouldn't have made that turn........" The soldier got confused and asked, "i'm sorry, but do I know you?" To this the other man silently replied- "I was the guy who packed your parachute that day". 


So it is with our lives. We become so engrossed in winning the race of life that we never pause for a second and think about our support team-our family and friends. Truth be told, it is impossible to survive all alone in the world. Our family and friends are always there for us, forming a cushion in case we ever fall down. They are the ones who always wish the best for us and are prepared for the worst. As we take on the world, it is they who pack our parachutes. To whom we can always go back. 



 

So seize the day. Tell your loved ones how much you care for them. Be grateful for all they have done, even it was just their mere presence in your lives.Go tell them that you are thankful for the safety net they provide. Don't be like the soldier- he won the war.....but lost the ultimate battle of life.