Thursday, November 12, 2015


Pic.: Aruna Anand

Around 1.30, yesterday, I got a call from a lady from our housing Society. When I saw her name on my mobile screen, I spontaneously said, “Wish you a very happy Diwali, ma’am.”

“Thank-you so much sir, wish you and your family the same,” the lady responded quite enthusiastically.  Then, in a sombre voice, she continued, “Sir, I called you to inform that dad passed away an hour ago. The funeral will be at 4, today!”

For a moment, I found difficult to switch gear, “Really sorry to hear the sad news, ma’am,” I managed to say, “I will arrange to display on our notice board and will be there in a while.”

Being our Society’s Hon. Chairman, I, immediately, swang into action: I put it on our Society’s WhatsApp group as well as on the notice board. I made some calls and sent some personal messages. And, then, I went to the grieving family’s residence and remained with them till the end, that is late in the evening.

“He died on an auspicious day,” was the general consensus, yesterday. It was the main day of Diwali. Even then, at such a short notice, so many from his family had turned up for the funeral. “He had been a very helpful person,” a young-man told me as the body was consumed by the fire, “He had touched the lives of so many of us.”

The night before that, another young-man had asked me this question: “Sir, do you really think that when we help others, we, too, will be helped?”

In other words, the young-man wanted to know if our good deeds would bring us good rewards.

“Yes, yes, we ‘will’ be helped,” I said,” without blinking. Then, I added, “Why do we have to put a condition before we help others? If we help, because our hearts feel strongly to do so, then, we should go by our hearts and help… and, we should leave it at that. That’s all. What happens after that, is not in our hands… It should not be our concern.”

I am a strong believer in the Law of Karma. “What goes around comes around.” “What we sow, we reap.”  Last evening, as the funeral fire kept burning through the quietness, my belief became even stronger… “Yes, there is a reward for our good deeds,” I kept reminding myself. “But, that’s not for us to decide.”

A different Diwali, it was.


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