Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Pic.: Pranav Datta


This is what is inscribed on the mug a dear student of mine had gifted to me years ago. It rests on my bookshelf, holding my pens, pencils and marker pens…  Inside the mug the message goes on to complete:


The other day, when this student – who now is married and works in a bank – had come to see me on some work, the first thing she noticed was the mug. “Sir, I feel so glad, so blessed,” this young lady cried in joy, “You have still kept it here on your shelf!” Then, what she said in the end, stayed with me:

“It means a lot to me, sir!”

Most of us use this expression – ‘It means a lot to me’… very often. I do it very regularly. But, very rarely we truly feel what we say…

So, the other day, when this young lady cried out - ‘It means a lot to me’ - seeing the mug she had gifted me years ago, I could feel what she was saying… She felt it… I felt it.

Well, I had not kept the ‘Box’, though!

Then, two days ago, all from the blue, this 15-year-old, Rohit, appeared in my office. Two years ago, he had done the PD course with us. During one of the sessions, while speaking about his hobbies, he had told us about one of his hobbies -  ‘Origamy’, a Japanese art of paper folding (ori meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper"… kami changes to gami due to rendaku).  I had not heard about this term. So, I had asked Rohit to explain to us what it was. So, that day, he had described to us, graphically, how creative one could be by making lovely things from simple  sheets of paper (without cuts and glue).

That was it, and that was two years ago. I wasn’t in touch with Rohit till he appeared in my office two days ago. He had specially come to gift me a lovely swan he had created with just paper!

“Amazing,” I said delightedly, “You came specially to present me this, Rohit?”

“Yes, sir, specially to give this to you,” Rohit said, “Do you remember, you had asked me to speak in our PD class about this hobby of mine?”

“I am so glad Rohit, “ I cried out with joy, “It means a lot to me.”

Trust me, I meant it… when I said it!

Rohit explained to me how he had created this swan… how much time it had taken for him… He had used some 198 small paper-folds (pieces)… He removed one of them and showed me how he had done each piece, without any cuts or glue, patiently … then, how he had assembled them to make this elegant piece of art… a white swan. Only for the beak, he had folded an orange paper, and for the eyes, he had used a black sketch pen…

I immediately placed Rohit’s swan next to the birthday mug…

How dull life can be without innocence… without the thoughts of special people in our hearts… How simple joy can be… How true our feelings can be…

I remember the times, 
when someone would come to me with a small piece of cake, “Sir, I had tried it for the first time”...

When someone would come to our house with a small bowl of dish. “Just tried this… and thought of you"...

When someone would come to present a beautiful pen, a box of chocolates or even a lovely bottle of wine or champagne on return from a foreign tour...

What a great feeling, when someone would come to share with us a new fruit from his garden… or come to share the good news with a box of sweets!

I have felt the invitations… the ones I had received from others and the ones I had given to others… yes, both…

When giving and receiving is not just a formality, not just mechanical… devoid of feelings, affection and gladness…. So simple and straight our joy can be!

And, how innocent we need to be for that!



Abha Sah said...

True Gerry and you certainly are really blessed to be able to find and inspire so much in the incidents that make up daily life.

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thanx a lot Abha ma'am. Yes, "It means a lot to me.".... Love