Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The CRAP

Some days back, I saw a Hindi movie, and returned highly disappointed. I was grumbling all the way home. Ironically, I had ‘chosen’ to watch this movie; no one had forced me to watch it. Moreover, I had decided to watch it, because, I wanted to unwind myself, recharge my batteries.
But, here I was – with a fresh load of stress … being let down, being disappointed!

The next morning, I was having a discussion with my friend, Mukesh, in my office, and the topic of the movie came up. “It’s a complete crap,” I commented, instinctively. Perhaps, to vent out my frustration, to unburden my load.

Mukesh hadn’t seen that movie. So, he responded to my comment with this story:

Once, a disciple went to his Master with a ‘gurudhakshina’ – an offering to one’s Guru. This disciple had completed the study under his Master, and was confident that there was nothing more to learn. So, he had gone to express his gratitude to his Master with the offering – some valuable things.

When the Master saw his disciple with expensive gifts, he said, “My son, I would rather be pleased, if you could offer me some dry leaves.”

The disciple was surprised to hear this. “Of all the things in the world, my Master is asking for dry leaves!” he thought aloud, “What are they worth? What he wants them for?”

Nevertheless, now, the Master had expressed his wish, and there was no other way the disciple could think of to please his Master, and express his love and gratitude. So, he went to the nearest village to fetch some dry leaves. Soon, he could collect a bag full of dry leaves. He was quite happy, thinking about the fact that he was now able to please his Master. Just then, a villager saw him and asked, “You seem to be a stranger here. What is that your are carrying in your bag, from this village?”

“Just some dry leaves to offer to my Master,” the disciple replied.

“No, No. You cannot take them from here; they are very valuable to us,” reacted the villager. “We need them for fire – to cook our food, to warm our bodies, and to drive away the wild animals,” he added.

The disciple immediately emptied his bag, and moved toward another village in search of dry leaves. Here, too, he was able to collect a bag full of dry leaves. But, the same scene repeated. On his way back, the disciple encountered a villager, who said similar things, “You know, my friend, those dry leaves are very precious for us ... We use them as manure for our fields; they feed our crops, and the crops, in return, feed us. Please leave them behind.”

The disciple had no choice but to leave them behind. He tried his luck in one more village; but, the same-old scene repeated. Finally, he went back to his Master, empty-handed, and stood there -- heart-broken, and crest-fallen.

Seeing the plight of his disciple, the Master commented, “Now, my son, your study is completed. Come, bring to me the offering that you intended to make … I’ll accept it now.”

Mukesh did not inform me why he was telling me this story. Probably, he wanted me to extract something out of it, something out of those ‘dry leaves’.

I did.

Even ‘the crap things’ can be of value to us, if we can be less judgmental, about them … If we would view them with our ‘soft eyes’.

My wife had liked the movie, immensely!

Love,
GERALD D’CUNHA

P.S.: If you find this stuff all crap, or even an old hat, no problem. Please let me know. Even the so called ‘crap responses’ are of value, you see. Of course, I promise you that I shall read them less judgmentally, with my ‘soft eyes’!