“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something
you've understood all your life, but in a new way.”
As soon as a child turns 4 years old, he is sent to school to learn to write, to imbibe moral values, to acquaint himself with right and wrong and to get saturated with goodness. He is taught do's and don'ts of day-to-day life but until he comes across certain situations he doesn't understand why everyone talks the same, the same RIGHT THING. But what exactly is right, he understands only when he comes across something WRONG. This is the way I too learnt some lessons in my life from my ambience, from the people around me, from the world around me.
1. MIRACLES HAPPEN
Magic is all what is confined to magician's hat but for me, magic is what I dream and believe in. I have seen people never giving upon anything because it is their strong conviction that turns the impossible into possible. There is a man living miles away from me who has kept inspiring me though he could neither walk nor speak. At the age of 21, when doctors declared a maximum of two years more life, he went on to fail their predictions with his firm determination and courage winning against all the odd circumstances and emerging as the greatest researcher and scientist of quantum physics in human history. When I was eight years old, I was watching DD-1 broadcasting a documentary on Stephen Hawking. Since then I started believing in human potential. Whatsoever a man wants, he can achieve it merely by self-confidence and believing in his dreams. Just like the Rapunzel of Tangled who longs of seeing the glittering lanterns finally finds them in real.
I saw Stephen Hawking, I learnt that human potential is infinite surpassing all the odds.
2. Simple Living High Thinking
Simple and generous people are always adored by everyone. Ramesh Uncle, a rich business man from Kerala lived in a rented house in our colony. He was so rich that his friends used to call him 'Hamara BILL GATES'. But he never tried to be bossy. He never showcased his flamboyance instead wore a simple white shirt and lungi and ate simple rice. It was the year 2001 when our door bell rang. I rushed to open the door and to my surprise Uncle was standing with a box in his hand wishing 'Happy new year beta'. Oh! it was a perfect new year beginning for a cake-o-holic like me. Later I came to know that he distributed sweets in the whole colony and adopted the child who daily came to his house for distributing newspapers. Once he asked that boy, 'Beta, what is the front news today?'. The boy drooped down his head saying, 'Someday I'll read it to you for sure.' That was the day when he decided to take his responsibility and make a difference starting just with 'one'. It is the human tenderness which brings people close to you, not the affluent position or money.
I saw Ramesh Uncle, I learnt that man becomes rich by his thoughts and actions.
3. Love Animals
Animals can be your best friends, give them a chance. My mother used to feed a dog daily. It was like they both had developed a strong bond between them. Every morning at 8 'o clock when I was to leave for school, the dog came wagging his tail and my mother used to feed him with the chapatis. I never liked that dog. One day while I was returning back to home, a stray dog started chasing me. I ran and cried for help. Suddenly that morning dog appeared and combated with the stray dog saving me. That day I realized dogs are more compassionate. They are really faithful and befriend you better than humans.
I saw the dog, I learnt that these meek animals just need your two-minutes of care to surrender their whole life for you.
4. Do before it is too Late
We always wait for the 'right time' to accomplish certain tasks neglecting the fact that time is always right. My music teacher used to scold me everytime I committed simplest of the mistakes. I started inching away from him. But he used to make me sing for hours more than the other group members. I hated him for making me strain my throat inspite of knowing the fact that I'm the weakest link of my group. But anyhow he pulled me for the extra sessions. After a month, our school participated in 'Bharat Vikas Parishad's Singing contest. His efforts paid off winning us the first position at the district level and third at the state level. Then I realized why he used to scold me. Actually, he was just polishing me but I never looked through his reprimands. When we returned back to school, I wanted to say him THANK-YOU. But could never gather the courage to go in front of him and as usual used to run away fearing his scolding. A year later, the morning assembly was dispersed before it started, every teacher was weeping like a child, moist eyes all around, students were silent like grave because everyone's favourite Music Sir succumbed to leukaemia. That day my sincere THANK-YOU breathed last.
I saw my Music teacher, I learnt that death is inevitable, do everything in this short span before it gets too late.
5. Wrap your genuine love in genuine gifts
Whenever it's someone's birthday, I become more excited than the birthday person. While others present him/her with expensive gifts ostentatiously displaying their richness, I always gift my friends a card which I sacredly prepare for him/her. I have been religiously following this custom since last twelve years and today my friends remember me for my cards, the verse I write for them and insist for the same to present for the upcoming years. I love it that how a simple card conveys the feelings, love and care so effectively.
I saw friends loving my hand-made cards, I learnt that things done from the heart are always respected.
6. A Smile can win hearts
A simple smile can set everything correct. It is the most powerful weapon which can turn situations in your favour. One of my brothers was going through tough times at the initial stage of his career. He was rejected from several interviews but he never lost hope. He used to smile everytime his family questioned his ability. In one of the interviews, he was asked, 'What if you are rejected this time also?'. He simply answered in a humble tone, 'This will make my smile broader than yesterday because failures should also be welcomed equally as success.' He converted that call and his never-fading smile taught me the value of humbleness and perseverance.
Sometimes someone's smile brightens your day. In my school, a maid called Kamla Bai ji greeted every student she came cross with her affectionate smile. Since nursery class, she used to take care of me. I remember well that I always slept in the bus on my way to school. She affectionately used to carry me in her arms to class and then wake me with a smile. I developed a tender bond with her over the years. When we were leaving school after +2, she gave plain paper pieces to all of us. She said, "I don't know how to read and write but I know how to draw". She touched my heart that day. A smiling face was drawn by her on the paper. I went to her and said, 'This is the legacy which I will be carrying from this school and pass it to as many as I come across'. She blessed me,"Beta! tum sab aise hi khilkhilate rehna. Duniya ki mushkil raho pe ye muskaan hamesha tumhara sath degi." Even after five years, whenever I visit my school, I first search for her and it really makes me happy that out of thousands of students coming and going over the years, the lady with white hair still remembers my name and asks," Surbhi! Beta kaisi ho?".
I saw smiling people around me, I learnt that despite the hardships and chaos, smile soothes every heart who looks at it.
7. Respect the ambience
A year back, I was travelling from Ajmer to Udaipur. The bogie I boarded had two Russian females along with some common masses. I found it very sick that some lame minds were staring at the ladies and trying to get close to them. Although the ladies were smart enough but when the scoundrels were about to cross the line, the young lady sitting beside the blondes raised her voice and the whackos made their way out of the compartment. It is always required to make a move against the wrong. After a few hours, one of the blondes got up and moved towards the exit. She took out a cigarette from her pocket, lit it and puffed it away from the general sitting place. As she finished, she put some cardamom in her mouth, came back to her seat and bowed Namaskar to everyone. She wanted to apologise for smoking but said Namaste. I was moved by her act. How sensible that lady was, she knew smoking is an offend in public transportation, so she apologised. Moreover, she smoked away from the sitting area so that others don't become uneasy with the smoke. Had our general masses also emulated her, public places in India would have been much comfortable and clean.
I saw the brave lady raising her voice, I learnt that foxes under the skin of lion just need a roar to run away. I saw the Russian lady respecting the Indian culture, I learnt that every place has its own culture and you should abide by it.
8. Work is work
My family has never distinguished between a girl and a boy and I find myself very lucky to be born to such liberal parents. As said, 'Children learn from elders', my father always helps my mother in her daily chores. He joyously washes dishes and sometimes makes meals too. He always says, "No work is big or little. No work is entitled to a particular person. It is just a work which has to be accomplished."
I often find people putting off their work just because it has to be done by someone else. Uncle is eating out because aunty hasn't prepared dinner today. The girl is waiting for a coolie to lift her small bag. The boy is growing restless for not finding his morning tea cup beside his bed. The lady is angry because the maid has gone for a week-long leave. Please don't classify work. Don't find yourself inferior to broom your own room. Don't take working in the kitchen as a blot on your masculine image. Just finish off the work to enjoy the evenings.
I saw my father doing all chores, I learnt work is meant to be done irrespective of your status.
9. Save Resources
We have been studying the importance of saving the resources since our childhood. But how often do we pay attention towards the misuse of resources? Save water, Save electricity, Save energy are the most voluble slogans echoing in the textbooks. I used to write essays on 'Save Resources', make posters on 'Save Water' but hardly did I realized the intensity of these issues until I visited my village and had to face the power cuts, draw water from the well and walk miles of distance. That day I vowed I will use the available resources optimally and avoid their wastage. After all one has to bring the change to see the change.
I saw resource crisis in my village, I learnt that the bounty of mother earth should be used optimally.
10. Don't take things for granted
We often take things for granted. We never realize its importance until it is gone. Don't take relations, love, prosperity for granted. We hardly stop by to say thank-you to our parents for our existence, to people serving us, to the bank balance for buying us luxuries, to the nature for providing us with living environment, to this universe for this beautiful life.
I saw my beautiful ambience, I learnt that I have to be more grateful to make my life more beautiful.