Saturday, January 30, 2010

THE MUD POT

"From where do you get the topics for your blog?" this man asked me. "From my daily life," I told him. "But, the 'daily life' happens to every one. The incidents you touch upon are common; still, how come only you notice them and not me?" he asked.

I was flattered... a bit superior to him. But, the next moment, I realised, the danger of acting from such a feeling. And, I told him about what I was feeling, the mundane human conflict. "I get my subjects from moments like these... Maybe, I am more sensitive and aware to these things... more available," I said.

Just then, my hand reached out to my mobile. The sms had been forwarded to me by my younger brother, Vivek:

"A mud pot having milk
is ranked higher than a golden pot having poison.
It is not our outer glamour but our inner virtues
that make us valuable."

I showed him the message. "Don't we all know this truth?" I asked him. "Need some one remind us about it?" Still, sometimes, the old truths suddenly stare at us point blank... Like a tornado, they hit us, unsettle us."

I shared with him one of my observations. The doodhwala, who supplies fresh milk in and around my office area, is known to me for the past ten years. I had taught his son five years ago, and, currently, I have been teaching his daughter, as well. The son completed his MBA from a reputed institute and now employed in a big multinational. The doodhwala's day begins at 4 every day. Then, he orbits around the area, on his bicycle the entire day... only to go back home to cook for his two dear children. He lost his wife when his children were very small. Today, incidentally, I had enquired about his son. "Today is his weekly off," he had told me. "The whole week, he works very hard, comes home late every day. I have told him to take good rest on his weekly offs."

"You have been slogging hard for your children so long and so hard," I told him, "What about you? What about your rest?"

"That is alright, sir," he brushed aside my question. "Let me give my children a good life. I am still fit."

And, incidentally, he had just come delivering milk to a family where highly educated - husband and wife, both doctorates - people resided. This family was one of the most disliked families in that complex. They never jelled with any other members, and so full of themselves - arrogant, mean and selfish.

Doodhwala, the sms, the conversation with the gentleman about my blog topics... All fell in place... to become this post.

"Need any one tell us who of the two is the 'mud pot' and who is the 'golden' one - the milkman or the PhD?" I asked the man. "Yes, our daily life is the real open university... When we are open, available... every thing makes sense, every dot seems connected."

We have to simply connect... That's all!.


GERALD D'CUNHA

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