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Man and the Tree

It was a usual evening in the monsoon season. Wind was blowing slowly, sun was playing hide and seek between the clouds. An old man who had come for his usual evening walk, sat on the bench which was put below an ancient tree. Even for that tree, it had become a usual routine to see the old man sitting lonely on the bench. Even though everything was usual about that evening, one unusual thing happened. Both man and the tree started thinking about each other.

Look at this tree, what not god has given to it?  It has huge branches to protect itself from the sun and rain. It can stand still with its strong trunk. Its roots can spread miles inside the earth to fetch whatever it think needed.  It can stand happily wherever without any struggle for life. But for a man like me, all these years I had to struggle for food, shelter and whatever things needed for me. Wish even I could have born as a huge tree like this. Along with all god given gifts and happy life, I could have given shadow and shelter to tired people. I could also have the family who all live together to take care of me. Even if I die, people make idols, furniture’s out of me.  They worship, they appreciate the beauty and texture. Isn’t it a great life? Look at me now, nobody is concerned about me. If I die today, family and friends mourn one day and next day they forget about me. With all these thoughts, old man started analyzing the tree carefully.

Look at this old man how lucky he is. God has given him leg to walk wherever he needs to go. Hand to do his work. He can think extraordinary things with his brain. He can see the beauty of the world with his eyes. He can move from one place to another if he gets bored. Isn’t his life is great? Look at my boring life. I can’t even move. Wish I could have born as a man like that. I could have seen this whole amazing world. I could have thought extra ordinary things. Ah what life it could have been! Look at me now, if I die today, people make furniture’s and whatever they think out of me. Nobody cares what happens to me.  If that old man dies, his family and friends pay homage, they remember him. All these thoughts came across the ancient tree.

Suddenly, strong wind started blowing from all directions. Heavy monsoon rain started adding to the fury of the wind. Branches of the tree started moving wildly. Tree was getting prepared to stand strong against the wind. Old man with no other option, started to run towards his home nearby.

After reaching home, old man thought, how difficult it would be for that tree in this wild wind. I have home to shelter but for that tree, it has to withstand the fury of wind and heavy rain. Even though it has strong trunk, huge branches, long roots, its nothing compared to the fury of that wind!!

Tree told to itself. Look how strong I am. I have the power to withstand even the wildest wind and heavy rain. Poor old man, how feeble compared to me. He can’t even withstand the weakest wind. What is the use even if he has legs, hands, eyes and brain to think extraordinary!!

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Silent Warrior

Can a battle be fought silently?

Even before battle starts, without anyone’s notice can battle be won?

Can there be a ‘silent warrior’ who is Dexter in this battle?

A battle can be the challenges, problems in anyone’s day to day life or it can be the fight between the nations. Perception about battle is not peaceful or silent but it is always explicit hatred. If we go back to history also, battle always thought of as the hatred or some kind of cruelty, loss.

In between this, there exist a ‘silent warrior’ who knows the implicit meaning of battle. He appears silent, peaceful. He anticipates the battle even before it happens.  He silently at the same time carefully analyses the battle field and waits for the right time to attack. He fights whole battle alone in his mind. Nobody knows he has won that battle because they are not even aware there was a battle. There is no hatred attached to his battle. He is always known for his win not for his hatred. He is always loved, respected even by his enemies who are not aware that battle is won against them.

But the bigger question is does such  ‘silent warrior’ really exist?

If we analyze carefully around us or may be the observation of the histories, stories that we have come across in different perspective, we must be able to find many such ‘silent warriors’ who has won many such battles.

Story of a Raindrop

Monsoon was about to start. Sun was in full fury. Wind was blowing in frustration of hot summer and was bringing black clouds with full of water drops from far away to cover the white clouds, which was reflecting the furious sunshine all around the place. Wind seemed to be determined for rain out of these black clouds and get some relief from the fury of sun.

The first drop of rain just started floating on hot air with all the joy. The drop looked around and thought ‘this whole big world belong to me, I will fly this whole world at my will. No one can stop me’. But suddenly drop started shouting ‘somebody puling me down, I can’t fly Help! Help! Drop started falling faster and faster without any control. Drop could also see many of its friends coming out to enjoy the hot wind that is pushing their house all around. For all the drops in the house it was the time of joy. After long struggle of holding together in the hot intolerant sun, it was the time for some fresh air. Every drop wanted to jump in to the blowing wind and fly for infinite. The first drop which already jumped in to the wind started shouting from below ‘don’t jump there is someone hiding in the wind and pulling us down’. Nobody was listening, within few minutes, many of its friends started jumping. Everyone wanted to fly but none of them could do so.

First drop could see it’s beneath many red-faced devils, holding together with their mouth wide open to swallow anything that comes on their way. They seemed like going to die anytime soon because of dehydration. Sometimes wind was playing with them blowing them all around the places. Only few of them could escape from nasty wind hiding in safer places.

First drop thought this is my end of  journey. I will be swallowed by those red-faced lifeless devils. It tried to resist the pulling by clinging to the leaves of the big tree. By the time it gets some hope for survival, a furious wind shook the entire tree as if it has some old rivalry with the tree. Drop again started falling towards the mouth of the red-faced devils. Drop was pleading ‘I want to fly, please leave me alone’. But no one seemed to be listening to it. Within a matter of minute, whole place was surrounded by the sound of shouting and pleading for help. But no one worried about it. For many of them it was the sound to cherish.

Missing Identity

Dattu was very excited about the upcoming village volleyball tournament. This year he never missed single tournament happened around the village even missing his high school. Even though nobody was knew how people got interest in the volleyball, it was popular event around the village. Even some high school going students setup their own cricket team, eventually they had to move towards volleyball since it was more supported and had got more opportunity. Whatever may be the reason for the popularity of the volleyball, village was setting up for its most awaited tournament.  At the same time, Dattu was more excited than ever for upcoming tournament.

Final village meeting was held to take decision on the final set of preparations. Even though there were usual disagreements, they arrived at final decision and different responsibilities are divided among the villagers they have identified themselves as the responsible people.  A team was setup to visit different villages for inviting and collecting donations for the tournament. Some people took the responsibility of cleaning the village school ground for the tournament which was cleaned once during last tournament. They also persuaded many school children for volunteering by luring them with chocolates and other eatables available during tournament. Only the decision on chief guest took some time because of huge disagreement among villagers. Final decision on chief guest was taken on who donates more money to tournament among the probable chief guests. All these things happening in the village for the tournament, Dattu was not interested in any of these. He had other plans in mind.

Tournament started in big way. School ground was decorated for the opening ceremony in the evening. High voltage light bulbs were setup for the night. Generator was switched on, songs played with full volume from the mikes put on the top of the school roof was audible from neighboring villages. As soon as the chief guest who is a local politician arrived little late, villagers prepared for starting the tournament. After little confusion in welcome ceremony, tournament started by the chief guest by serving the new volleyball. By the time volunteer catch hold of the served ball, it was turned completely red to the color of the ground. Even though chief guest started his speech with intolerable sound of kerosene generator in the background, everybody was chatting themselves, eating, drinking, walking all around the school ground. By the time chief guest finished his speech, it was night and first match was about to start in the light setup with the high voltage bulbs. Even though there were initial misunderstandings about starting the kerosene generator, it was managed with some initial disturbances in light.

Most awaited match between local village and rival neighboring village started by burning crackers. School ground was almost full with the villagers. Many people were even standing just in front of the volleyball court lines. Whole court was completely surrounded by the shouting excited villagers. It was real hard time for the school volunteers for controlling these people. Some more strong young villagers took the responsibility of managing these people. Match was about to start. Local commentator was announcing the names of the donator for the tournament in mike. Both teams arrived at the court, running commentary for the match was started by the most popular commentator in the village with maximum volume. Everyone was on their feet to watch this match.  Dattu thought this is the right moment for him, and silently moved towards the nearby village heads farm.

Dattu managed to pull as many things in the farm and put whatever things he got in to his school bag.  But he could not manage to pick his most aspired mangos from his farm. He tried for many attempts in considering the fact the ‘nothing is impossible’.  But all his attempts were in vain since mango tree was at much more height than he had anticipated. After some unsuccessful attempts Dattu escaped silently from farm and hide his bag inside some bush near school and walked back to the school ground as nothing happened.

Next morning while going to his high school Dattu suddenly realized that he has left his towel in farm which had tied to his neck for protecting himself from winter. Even he thought nobody can catch him with that towel over there, he sensed the small amount of fear as he imagined the village heads big infamous dog. He had seen many films where dog can find the person with the smell of the cloth. He once again sneaked in to the farm. Fortunately no one was there. He managed to pick up his towel which was fallen under the mango tree.  Dattu once again blamed himself for miscalculating the height of the mango tree. All of a sudden he heard the sound of the barking dog. Dattu ran for his life. Even if he managed to escape without anyone’s notice, he fell while running and wounded himself.

As soon as Dattu reached his high school, a surprise was awaited for everyone. High School Inspector had visited the school all of a sudden without any notice. Everyone was expected to be in their uniform with their high school identity card. Everyone stood in line for check up from the head master. Head master arrived at Dattu and shouted, “Where is your ID card? Why your uniform is dirty?”  Dattu immediately realized what must have happened to his ID card and requested in frightened lowered voice “I will bring it Sir”.

Dattu once again ran with all his energy.

In Search Of Happiness

As usual, week day city bus was jam-packed. I somehow managed to find the place to stand near the last seat of the bus, holding tightly the steel rod near the back seat. People around me were busy in their own way. Some of them were chatting loudly, some were half asleep, some of them were pushing each other for finding proper place for themselves, and some were listening to music with their ear phone without a sense of what is happening beside them. Even though all these things happening around me along with evening busy hour traffic noise, I was driven to the totally different world by the sudden new wave of thoughts from the deep of my mind.

Is I am happy? Have I got the things that I deserve? Have I showered with right opportunities? All these questions were bombarding on my inner surface of the mind. But I could not think of proper answers for any of these questions. In the midst of this, somebody tapped on my back from behind. When I turned back, an old man sitting on the corner of the back seat was waving his hand towards me. I suddenly remembered meeting him few months back on the same back seat in the crowded bus. It was just a casual meeting, but to my surprise he was still remembering me. He was smiling all the time when I looked at him with his mouth full of chewed ‘supari’. When last time I first met him, remembered him saying how hard he fought to get the job for his living in his youth time. He was very proud while he was explaining his struggle in his life. I was little confused that time, why this stranger is telling his life story to me in this crowded bus. But he was happy in his own way. He had not much money to spend, did not get proper opportunity, still he was happy in his own way. Compared to his life, I got more opportunities. But still I am not satisfied at least as much as him.

With all these things happening around me, I remembered one of the stories from the book ‘The Alchemist’ that I read sometime back.

A young man goes to a wise sage to learn the secret of happiness.

Wise man suggested that the young man take a stroll around his palace and come back in two hours’ time. “However, I want to ask you a favor,” he added, handling the young man a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil. “While you walk, carry this spoon and don’t let the oil spill.”

The young man began to climb up and down the palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of the wise man.

“So,” asked the sage, “did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“So, go back and see the wonders of my world,” said the wise man. “You can’t trust a man if you don’t know his house.”

Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and strolled again through the palace, this time paying attention to all the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, the delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work of art was placed in its niche. Returning to the sage, he reported in detail all that he had seen.

“But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?” asked the sage.

Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had spilled the oil.

“Well, that is the only advice I have to give you,” said the sage of sages. “The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

 

By this time my bus was nearing my place to get down. Again that old man called me and reminded my place to get down and did not forget to smile. I smiled back at him and pushed some people in front of me to make myself way to the bus door.

Even after got down from the bus I was confused to apply my self to those two drops of oil and the wonders of the world around me!!

The Last Laugh

 

Subbanna was sitting on the bench of ‘Shri Venkateshwara’ hotel, giving usual free speech about his political knowledge. Even though it was the only hotel in the village, there used to be few people in the hotel. As usual, it was raining heavily in the village in the month of July, which was on the edge of ’western ghat’ region. Some villagers just started plough their land, but many of the people owned areca nut plantations. This season, may be because of little more than heavy rain, some sort of plant disease was spreading on the areca nut trees. People were busy with discussing how to control this disease. Each one had different solutions but no one agreed to each other.

But in Venkateshwara hotel, which was half built with mud walls with combination of coconut leaves and plastic cover as roof, day was unusual. Hotel was full of people. All half-broken benches of the hotel were occupied by the villagers. Some managed to sit spreading their towel on the floor. Others did not care to sit on the wet floor. Hotel owner Ramu was confused not because of many villagers at the same time in his hotel, but what to do for the tea and snacks. He had milk and snacks only for five to six people. He whispered to his wife sitting behind him washing tea glasses “put some more water”. Without any second thought, his wife mixed more water to already half boiled tea-pot kept on the noisy kerosene stove.  Ramu managed tea for all of them. Snacks he had already prepared and kept, so he left with no other option than serving few villagers

In the midst of all these, regular customer of the hotel subbanna was in full excitement. Even though many people did not know his exact name, everybody used to call him by that name. He thought this is the right time to make publicity about him for the upcoming village election. He stood up from his seat and started giving speech in his usual style. Many people found it funny but interesting. Few people who disliked him for some reason, ignored him as if already they knew what he is going to talk.

Subbanna started his speech with how heavily raining in the village this time. He extended that to giving examples of many cities that villagers never heard of, with explaining how people are affected over there by rain and floods. Slowly he moved his topic to areca nut plantation disease.  He tried to explain how disease spreads with some complicated scientific names that he had read some days before in the newspaper.  Even though he mispronounced most of the words, many villagers listening to him admired his knowledge. Subbanna answered like a matured politician for the questions asked in between his speech. He also explained how people do farming in Japan and America even though he had no idea about them. Speech continued for more than fifteen minutes and most of the people convinced that everyone should adapt to scientific farming. Some people still had a gut feeling that their method of farming is more superior to anybody.  Villagers started discussion about what is good, what is bad. Subbanna was very happy inside that he had impressed villagers. Subbanna again started “Hello everybody I have a solution, why can’t we go to town and consult agriculture office over there and find out the scientific method for our problem? What you people say ham?” Some of them agreed to this but many of them thought ‘who will go in this heavy rain, better wait for some time’.  But Subbanna was in no mood to miss this opportunity. He somehow convinced many people by paying some of their tea and snacks bills, giving promise to pay their bus fares.

Everybody decided to leave for the town in the next day morning bus. By the time they reach the town agriculture office by old government bus, it was midday. They entered old building of the agriculture office with Subbanna in the front. As usual office was leaking in many parts. Office wall was completely covered with the dry marks and wet patches of leaked rain water, which appeared as if decorated by the skillful painter. Floor was not cleaned for months together.  Villagers never mind for all these because it was the common condition for them.  They enquired about the agriculture officer over there. Office boy told them that officer has just left from home and he will be reaching soon. After half an hour, officer entered the office amazed. He had never seen that many people in his office. He somehow managed to give pesticides already prescribed by the government for that disease. Everybody got enough pesticides because no one was taking away those things. Office boy distributed it from smelling and leaking store-room. Villagers were happy and they appreciated Subbanna like never before. They went back to village and put enough pesticides to trees.

Meanwhile news about new medicinal ash invented by Bira was spreading in the village.  Bira was areca nut plantation worker, many people in the village including Subbanna, considered him expert in his field. Bira made some ash by combining some plants and herbs and distributed that with practical proofs. He visited villagers home and gave some free service. Villagers tried this also.

Disease to areca nut plantation reduced considerably. Subbanna was very happy. He explained villagers many scientific and many more things about how to increase yield. He had gut feeling that he had impressed villagers and they are very happy about him. He imagined himself sitting on the village chairman’s seat.

One month later village election held in full swing. Subbanna was started already behaving like a chairman. On election result day, Subbanna went to village school little late in brand new Lungi with matching shirt, holding his long umbrella. He entered straight inside the counting room and asked “What is the lead? “ Officer replied “you lost sir”. Startled Subbanna asked “who won?”

Officer replied “Bira sir”.

Tale of the ‘WATER’ !

Many times I wonder, why some of us including me think things around us always happens in a predefined way. Why we are adhering to fixed set of thoughts or things in each and every day. This is like water in a pond.  Whether that water is present in a pond or continuously flowing river, water is water. But point here is the way its life cycle is or what things happening around it. Life cycle of one is stand still, same things every day, no considerable changes. At the same time, flowing river which is continuously flowing or moving, it got a change every day, every minute with new experiences, carrying along old memories. Joined by many such changes, it becomes stronger as it grows older. It adapts to the change or new things happening around it. But life of the water in a pond would have spoiled, because it became weaker as it grows older.  At the same time flowing water will become such strong as it grows older such that it changes whatever things comes along its way.

Point I want make here is that our life should become like flowing water. Because I enjoyed when things around me suddenly changed like flowing water. Which was stand still around for some time. Enjoyment that I got in that made me feels like stronger than before.

Many people say ‘change is inevitable’. Even I believed in that and waited for long to happen. But now I am realizing that change can be inevitable only if I change!     Better than never is it?

It seems I have stretched it longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it shorter!