Tuesday, January 26, 2016

REMEMBERING THOSE LIGHTHOUSES











Pic.: Azriel D'Souza



“Inside my empty bottle, I was constructing a lighthouse
while all the others were making ships.”
-       Charles Simic


Today is our 67th Republic Day. Our housing society’s 20th. “Ours is a society of simple people… with simple aspirations,” I said, this morning, during the Fag-hoisting ceremony… “We are one big-family.” I said this as the head of this family… The Hon. Chairman.

What about our nation? If I were the head of this nation, I think, I would have said the same thing, too, about all of us in this vast, beautiful nation…

Are we not one big-family of simple people with simple aspirations?

After the Flag-hoisting ceremony, the Youth Association of our society had organized the Finals of cricket matches… first little children, then ladies and, finally, the rough and tough youth. Mrs. Gujar, a cheerful Rajasthani lady from the losing team, took all the ladies, including my wife, to her house – after losing the match – for some snacks and a cup of hot tea!

What was that?

I hadn’t held a bat in my hand for forty years now… But, the young kids made me feel I was one of them… Satkar, the otherwise fiery bowler, showed a lot of mercy while bowing to me!

What was that?

As a society, we don’t need much to live here happily. What destroys the fiber of a society – a nation – is the ‘greed’ in every form… The excess!

To live here happily, and to celebrate life, simple joy is enough!

I had been to our local Magistrate’s court yesterday on some society-related work. There, I bumped into Medha Patkarji and her associates. “Namaste ma’am,” I greeted her, and she responded to my greetings as if we were known to each other for ages!

What was that… That, straight-from-the-heart gesture?

We do not need much to feel happy and connected.

But, then, I kept thinking about people like Medha Patkarji. They are so simple, so simple… that you wonder, “Do we really need much to go about our lives fearlessly and peacefully.”

Vishwanath, a friend of mine, said to me, last night, “People like Medhaji are the light houses… They exist to give light and direction to people from far and wide… But, they cannot help the darkness right where they stand… Diya tale andhera… At the base of the lamp, there is, always, darkness!

“Let’s not forget the sacrifices made by our national heroes and martyrs.” Well, I have been getting this kind of messages since yesterday…

Does the lamp we light know that it is sacrificing for us?
Does the lighthouse know?
Does Medha Patkarji know?


We are simple people with simple aspirations.

Wish you all a happy Republic Day.


GERALD D’CUNHA

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