OUR PIGGYBACK RIDES
I understand Politics as much as my barber understands Nuclear Physics! Especially, our Politics – the Indian Politics!
How many times, they marry each other… and, how many times they dump?
They know, so very well, how badly they need each other… still, they only end up using each other – till their stomachs are full – and, then, all of a sudden, they forget that they have been on a piggyback ride, all along… So, they think ‘the other’ is not required… They dump!
Now, see this way: the Parties need us, the citizens, as much as we need them. Is that not so? So, they come to us for votes with their folded hands, with all the possible promises in the world… and, once we have placed them in power, they coolly forget that they had been taken there by us… on our piggyback!
Well, there is another Politics… the Politics of living.
The other day, my wife and I had been to the residence of one of our friends. It was the second day of Ganeshotsav… and, the Ganesh idol in our friends' place was to be taken for visarjan. There was a continuous flow of visitors, and our friends and their vibrant daughter were extremely gracious in their hospitality…
It was their new house, and their 18th-floor apartment provided a breath-taking view… Inside, the house was fabulously decorated… and, we really felt happy for our friends.
Then, we were ushered into their third room. Two very elderly ladies were resting inside… the mothers of our friends, the host couple. The next fifteen minutes, both, my wife and I, sat in that room and heard the stories of these two amazing mothers, who by now, had undergone several ups and downs in their long and eventful lives…
More than the spectacular new house, I was more fascinated by this all-familiar and heart-warming ambience…
Both the ladies were now widows…
Both had undergone several operations in their lives…
One of them recounted, with great amount of joy and pride, as to how she had raised her nine children and dozens of grand and great-grand children… how she had survived two miscarriages… How she had executed, personally, fifteen weddings in the family…
And, now, this remarkable frail-looking soul was living with her youngest son…. Telling us her equally remarkable story… Yes, the story of piggybacking, to this point of her life, all her children and their children and theirs!
Yes, at this point of these parents’ lives, it was for their children, grand children and great-grand children to piggyback them…
And yes, it was happening so beautifully… We felt even happier for my friends and their lovely parents for this reason…
Yes, what had gone around, had come around!
All our lives… we use others’ backs or shoulders to ferry along… Yes, yes, our lives are inter-dependent…. It is a continuous piggyback ride! Yet, when we reach the ‘other side of the river…and, when our stomachs are full’… we blissfully forget those who had piggybacked us to ‘this side’, who had helped us fill our stomachs!
Once, there lived two friends – a camel and a jackal – on one side of a river. On the other side, there was a sugarcane field. Both, the camel and the jackal were very hungry. So, the jackal sat on the camel’s back and they landed on the other side of the river. As soon as they had landed, the jackal quickly sneaked into the fields and began to feast himself on juicy sugarcane. Soon, his stomach was full. The big camel was slow. He took a lot of time to walk into the fields… and, as he was about to take the first bite, he heard his friend, jackal, running all around the fields howling like mad! The camel couldn’t believe this stupidity of his friend…
So, as the camel had just feared, the villagers alerted by the howling of the jackal, came running towards their fields carrying in their hands long sticks. Yes, the agile jackal escaped… but, the bulky camel couldn’t. He got the nasty thrashings!
Finally, the camel could manage to reach the river, where the jackal was already waiting… As soon as the camel got into the water, the jackal got on his back, and the return voyage began.
The camel was in pain… more than the pain of thrashing, he was unable to bear the pain of betrayal by his friend; the insensitivity of a friend was too hard, too painful to bear!
They had reached the deep-middle of the river…and, the camel asked his friend, “Why did you do it?”
“Come on, my friend,” the jackal tried to downplay the episode, “You know, after a good meal, I feel so happy that I keep howling to show how happy I am… It is my habit!”
Immediately, the camel started rolling in the water…. “Wait a minute… Why are you doing this?” screamed the panicked jackal.
“Come on, my good friend,” consoled the camel to his frightened, insensitive friend, “You know, when I am very happy, I just roll in the water to show how happy I am… It is my habit!”
I hope, you won’t ask me, “What happened, then?”
Nor, “What is the moral of the story?”
Pics.: Gloria Pinto