A very old student and a friend of mine, Kilan, just sent an inspiring message to me on my cell:

“God asked: “What is forgiveness?”

A little girl gave a lovely reply:

“It is the wonderful fruit that a tree gives

when it is being hurt by a stone.”

“Kilan, my friend, Forgiveness comes easily to trees,” I smiled, “not to us.”

But, how wonderful that thought was!

Tomorrow will be our Independence Day. On our border, it seems, our five soldiers have been killed by Pakistani forces. I have been not watching TV news for months now and reading the newspapers only on and off. But, I can imagine the kind of heated debate on TV, newspapers, Parliament and everywhere… including Twitter and FB.

Imagine our dear nation, India, as the tree, that little girl is referring to… and, imagine, Pakistan as the one who has hurt her badly with stones – bullets, indeed. And, imagine, the Tree, India, despite the pain inflicted upon it, is expected to yield sweet fruits?

I still read on FB the kind of flak our PM has been receiving for reacting slowly to the provocation by Pakistan…

So, to say “Forgive Pakistan,” would mean, “Stone me!”

I mean, if I say that, today, I will be stoned to death!

So, I will leave my Nation and our neighbor alone…

I am the present Hon. Chairman of our housing society. Tomorrow, I will be fortunate to preside over the ID Flag-hoisting ceremony, in our complex, for the fifth time in a row. Ours is a Society of very ordinary people… People with simple aspirations, simple life-styles…and, yet, blessed with very giving and loving hearts. And, like everywhere else, some mean hearts, too. Yes, I mean that…

Today, as Kilan’s message made me reflect on what it conveyed, I remember our founder Hon. Chairman – Mr. R.M. Nair. As I write, here in my office, he is all alone at home on his wheelchair… managing most of his chores on his own. His wife and two daughters are working. And, he spends his whole day thinking positive stuff, reading, praying and communicating with all his friends through e-mils and FB. He reads my Posts daily and comments…

Tomorrow, come hailstorm or sandstorm, Mr. Nair will be the first one to arrive at the Flag-hoisting venue. His wife and daughters will help him take his steps… and that would be slow as snail. Every AGM, every SGM, every ID or RD Flag-hoisting ceremony, every Society event… you will find him there before anyone else!

Some seventeen years ago, when hardly a couple of families had moved in here to live, it was Mr. Nair, with two-three other members, had taken initiative to found our Society. The builder had placed a hundred hurdles including no supply of drinking water… and, this gentleman - a young Engineer then, with his school-going two daughters and a working wife at home - would remain out, late into the nights, working for the Society. I still remember meeting him, in those days… “I have a simple dream: to make this place a happy place to live in,” yes, he would say that to us. He succeeded in founding our society… and, giving us a fantastic head-start… But, then, though I do not like to say this… it was, it is and it will be a ‘thankless’ job. The more selfless and idealistic you are, the more punches you get… and, get them badly.

Mr. Nair was badly hurt by such meanness. And, one day, received a massive stroke, which was to cripple him forever. But, what is endearing in this saga is the role played by his wife to nurse him back to whatever position he is in, today. It is really praiseworthy and worth emulating… She stood by her husband as a rock and she still stands. Without him, he can’t do a lot… including a bath at home or gracing of the flag-hoisting, tomorrow…

What is even more endearing… praiseworthy and worth emulating is the heart Mr. Nair has been blessed with: a hear heart of gold… No ill-will, no regrets, no bitterness. Only hope. Zest.

“When the winds of change blow,

Some build walls…others build windmills.”

Some days ago, when Mr. Nair sent me this inspiring Chinese proverb, I had decided to write something on it. I did not know I would end up doing it, today… and, this way!

Nair sir, I pray for your good health… May your buoyant spirit inspire us, always…

A happy Independence Day in advance!


Pic.: Amrita Jeurkar


Tania Ragupathy said…
Very touching and very inspiring post. Thank you and good wishes to Mr. Nair. Tania
Punita Desai said…
Written with honesty and passion. Keep it up.
--- Punit
Anonymous said…
Happy Independence Day sir. Neerja
Mishra Raghav said…
Not to remain bitter in life in spite of the harshness meted out!!!!!
Worth writing in gold!
... Mishra

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