Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I had taught Pooja some twenty-two years ago when she was in twelfth. She got married while she was still in Degree College and, the pulls and pressures of family life did not allow her to complete her graduation. Now, her son is a well-brought-up teenager and things are quite stabilized at the home-front; so, after all these long years, Pooja has decided to write her TY.B’Com examination, this year. She has been attending my classes regularly and I find her extremely focused and determined to complete her graduation.

I am not writing about Pooja because she has decided to complete her graduation after a long gap of twenty-plus years. Certainly, that’s something admirable and very inspiring for all of us, who, often, give our busyness in life as a nice excuse to cover-up our laziness. Instead, the reason I am writing, today, about Pooja is: She lost her latest iPhone, two days ago!

And, again, on the face of it, that doesn’t look like any cover-story stuff… After all, it is just a nice, latest and expensive cell-phone… not a luxury jet… to make a big noise about it…


Well, two days ago, Pooja came to my class, as always, five minutes before and occupied her seat. We were waiting for others to come. And, suddenly, Pooja screamed, almost hysterically: “My phone… I left in the auto… My iphone…!” 

Suddenly, we all got drawn into her tension. “Do you know the rickshaw-fellow?” Someone asked her… “What is your number? Let me call and see if someone picks up,” another volunteered… “Call your husband and ask him to block the number,”…“Let’s hope, he comes and returns it, yaar,”… “You must be kidding,”… “What was its cost?”… “Best is to carry a simple handset… when you lose, you don’t feel the loss”… “Now, relax Pooja… Drink some water,”…

So, this was how it went on…

“Pooja, are you able to focus?” I gently asked her, “If you want, please go home and think with a cool head what to do.”

I knew it was difficult for her to concentrate. But, she said, “It’s okay sir… You start, I will try to concentrate.” She borrowed my phone, went out to call up her husband, and collected her composure and came back to join others in the class. I was very sympathetic to her as I went about teaching the class.

After the class, I asked Pooja, “You are feeling okay?”

“Much better sir,” Pooja said with a smile, “I won’t get it back, anyway… So, there is no point in clinging on to it mentally.”

“O dear, that is so true,” I spontaneously responded,

 “Tough… but so true.”

I shared with them two Zen quotes, which have been my personal favorites all along. The first one is there on many walls:

“If you love something, set it free…

If it comes back, it is yours;

If it doesn’t, it never was!”

The other is:

“The glass is already broken!”

Yes dear, reason out, that, your beautiful, latest and expensive iPhone was not yours at all… Yes, it was already broken… Stolen… Gone!


Pic.: Aruna Anand


Bhavika Sharma said...

Wonderful Zen insights! Nice Post. Thank you. Bhavika

Uma Nair said...

Simple episode so beautifully used to convey something so profound! Amazing!!!
--- Uma

Anonymous said...

I lost my iphone a week ago but thanks to teachings of vedanta , I spent only one sleepless night yet was not devastated.I had received it as a gift and now it has been taken away. Thus I learnt - it never was mine. A friend said nicely - You got away with a loss that could have been bigger!!