Sunday, February 28, 2016

I AM NOT INDISPENSABLE


Pic.: Chandrasekhar Varier

My wife and I have just returned from a two-day Tai Chi camp held at Lonavala. Rakesh Menon, our Tai Chi teacher, doesn’t believe in any rigid rules, either when he conducts our regular sessions on Sundays or while conducting our annual camps… Yes, he offers us that choice to ‘observe or ignore’ the unwritten and invisible rules, which are right there in front of our eyes…

Yes, Rakesh sir leaves it to us…

For two days, when we were at Lonavala camp, I never heard Rakesh sir insisting on keeping aside our cell-phones. All of us had been so hooked on to our phones – calls, messages, mails, WhtsApp, Facebook and Twitter – yes, the thought of living our two days without touching our phones was not only unthinkable, it was scary, too…

And, trust me, I lived last two days without touching my cell-phone… Well, I did check once, and made one call-back…

There were many missed calls… Many messages… Because my building friend, Anil, had tried my number many times, I called him back during our tea-break, last evening, Anil told me that his father-in-law, who lived in a flat two floors below mine, had passed away and they were about to take the body to the cremation ground…

Anil’s father-in-law, who was a widower, had been suffering from high diabetes. He was 78. When Anil gave me the sad news, I expressed my deepest sorrow and assured him that I would pay my personal condolence on returning to Mumbai…

Anil is my building friend. I am the society Chairman, too. I was surprised to observe how I was responding to news like this one… Whenever someone expired in our society, I would immediately swing into action… besides visiting the family, I would make several calls, ensure it be displayed on society notice board, attend the funeral and, even, help the family to put together various things associated with the funeral.

But, last evening, I was a lot at peace with myself… Anil said, “Don’t worry Gerry… Everything is taken care of here… You focus on your camp.”

Anil was right. Everything was taken care of in my absence… I was not at all needed there… It was so liberating to realize the simple truth: ‘I AM NOT INDISPENSABLE’!

Hello, nobody is!

About all other missed calls and missed messages, the same truth applied…

My immediate neighbours had called me and my wife both (we both missed those calls) to convey  that the guy had come to deliver gas-cylinder. Today, we came to know that he had to go back… and would be coming back tomorrow  to deliver it…

Niharika, one of my students, had called a couple of times…. She called up again, a while ago… She has her exams tomorrow, and wanted me to help her with a couple of doubts… which, I did today. It did not take even five minutes for me to do that… And, certainly, it wasn’t some huge emergency!

Sonal had called yesterday… She, too, called, once again, a while ago. “Sir, Jaanvi's (her daughter), ICSE Board exams will be starting tomorrow… Please bless her… She is here, sir.”

I took not even three minutes to make Jaanvi and her mom feel good by a few words of encouragement… They looked up to me… It was important to them…

But, certainly, it was not an emergency!


It takes a great deal of silence within our souls to realize, that ‘Even an emergency is beautifully taken care of’ if we place our trust in Universe… If we pray, surrender… Let go!

For two days, my cell-phone was left uncharged… The low-battery warning did not make me panic… But, I have come back a lot recharged with ‘Chi’ – the Life Energy… I have come back, a lot peaceful… a lot lighter…

And, yes, a lot richer with the truth: ‘I am NOT indispensable’!


GERLAD D’CUNHA



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