Some things in my life just happened… and, I just accepted them. My birth, my parents, my brothers, my relations, my home, my faith and even my complexion.
I was planted by God in a garden of His own choice… and I had no choice but to accept it. That was some fifty-three years ago. But, unlike the rose that blooms, all alone, in a pot, and unlike the daffodils that blossom along the wild wayside – all without any choice – my life had ample choices, all through. Though I could not choose the humble home in which I was born, I could choose the quality of living in that home; and though I could not choose my parents, I could choose the way I looked at them; Ditto for my brothers and relations… Ditto for my faith and even complexion. Yes, I had enough choices, at every step, all my life.
I had the choice to remain in the pot where I was planted and allow the Sun, the wind and the Gardner to decide my fate… or to step out and walk in the Sun, singing along the wind and plant my own gardens. God did not give such choices to roses and daffodils, however beautiful He made them. He did give them to me, even though He did not give me as beautiful a complexion.
Last night, we had a family gathering. It was in my in-laws’ place. My wife’s cousins and their young children had come and we had a real good time with all of them. We were hopping from one subject to another - our childhood, our school days, our days with the parents, our children and their issues… their friends, mobiles and internet and everything that our lives were surrounded with.
Anita and Sunita, my wife’s cousins, grew up in their tiny one-room house along with their two brothers. Anita was the eldest, and when she was in school, both her parents passed away. She became, both, the father and mother to her siblings. The years that followed were strained with huge struggle, both financially as well as emotionally. Amidst this entire struggle, Anita saw to it that all of them came up with their heads firmly placed on their shoulders. One by one, they completed their graduation, got married and moved into their respective new houses. Then, all of them began to raise their own children.
Anita is a popular teacher in a high school in Mumbai. She also has been teaching students at her residence, so that, from this additional income, she could educated her own two children. Last night, I was impressed to see these two young kids: Sharon, 24, is a lecturer in a city college, and Shelton, 21, is about to complete his Engineering from Mumbai’s reputed Sardar Patel Engineering College. He has been already picked by L & T in their campus recruitments. Sunita’s daughter, Benita, completed her post grads and now works for a reputed company in Mumbai, Her son, Benson, is still in College and shaping up well. Their brothers’ children are also going about doing well for themselves.
This isn’t any rags-to-riches story for my blog. There is nothing extraordinary in the lives of these families. They did their best to come out of a tight situation, without turning bitter in life. Not only they, but also their children.
“You must bloom where are planted,” Anita coined this famous quote last night while we were hopping from one subject to another. What she meant was: You must accept your situation… You must be content with what has been given to you by your destiny or whoever it is. I looked at Anita with my quizzing eyes, which said, “Need we, Anita?” I was asking her, “Are we helpless like a rose in the pot or the daffodils on the wild wayside?”
The situations in our life may be, quite often, beyond our control. Yes, the gardens in which we are allowed to bloom may not be always of our choice. But, that’s how it has been always for us – the roses and daffodils with minds, souls and hearts. That’s how it has been for Anita and her siblings, for their children… and for me, too.
We all have that special gift of choice… Yes, to walk out of our pots, walk in the Sun… and sing along the blowing wind.
No Anita, let’s not bloom where we are planted. You have not… Your children have not.