Tuesday, August 2, 2016

KRISHNA AND SUDAMA











Pic.: Avinash Mantri




Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

This story shall always remain etched in my memory... I draw my own morals from this beautiful story: The Lord knows my worries and burdens... All that I need to do is, remain dignified and graceful in carrying my burdens... and remain sincere in my intentions and prayers... He knows when I am too shy to ask Him for help... He knows when I am arrogant and when I am humble... And, above all, He is my best friend...




KRISHNA AND SUDAMA


PAST:


Krishna and Sudama were great childhood friends. Their friendship had blossomed when they were studying under their Guru, Sandipani. What made this friendship unique were the extremely different economic backgrounds of the two boys: Krishna hailed from a royal family, while Sudama hailed from a very poor family. But, the two boys just enjoyed their friendship, completely oblivious of the wealth or poverty surrounding their respective lives...

Soon after the studies, the boys parted their ways. Krishna, as destined, became the great ruler of Dwaraka, blissfully married to His wife Rukmini, who was known as the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Life was a dream for Krishna!

On the other hand, back in his village, Sudama continued to live in poverty with his wife and children. The times were tough for them; there was acute shortage of money to even buy food for the little children. Still, Sudama chose to live his life with great dignity and hope.

But, Sudama’s wife was unable to carry the burden any longer. She remembered her husband often talking about his great friendship with Krishna. She knew that Sudama was a man of great self-respect and would not bother Krishna with his problems. “If not for our sake, at least for our children’s sake, do go to your childhood friend, Krishna,” the wife pleaded before her husband, “He won’t send you back empty-handed.”

Sudama was sad and hurt. He couldn’t’ see his children starving. Finally, with lots of reluctance, he decided to proceed towards Dwaraka. His wife borrowed some beaten-rice (Poha) from their neighbor, made a snack which Krishna loved as a little boy, packed it in a cloth and sent off her husband.

At the palace-gate, the guards stopped the shabby-looking Sudama. But, when the word went to the King about a visitor called Sudama at the palace-gate, Krishna, the King, came rushing to the gate, with great joy and excitement, to welcome his childhood friend. The guards and the on-lookers were left puzzled on watching this sight...

Krishna and his wife Rukmini treated Sudama with great affection and respect. He was served royal food in plates of gold and was made to sleep on finest beds... Looking at the opulence in which his friend Krishna and His wife lived, Sudama felt embarrassed to offer him the Poha his wife had packed as a gift. But, Krishna, who could read his friend's mind, immediately snatched the pack, and began to relish His favorite snack!

For two nights, Sudama lived in the palace savoring all the love and luxury showered upon by his friend, Krishna. However, he couldn't gather enough courage to ask for the help he needed. Finally, the time came to leave. Krishna and Rukmini escorted Sudama  to the gate and bid him good-bye...

On his way home, Sudama was even more burdened. “How would I explain my empty-hands to my wife?” he panicked all through the journey home...

And, behold! When he was home, it all had changed: His wife and children now lived in a mansion, wore wonderful clothes...and, yes, appeared happy, that, Lord Krishna, had not sent his childhood friend back, empty-handed!

But, the legend goes, that Sudama and his family lived a life of prayer and gratitude, ever after...



PRESENT:


Krishna and Sudama are great childhood friends. Their friendship has blossomed when they are studying under their Guru, Sandipani. What makes this friendship unique are the extremely different economic backgrounds of the two boys: Krishna hails from a royal family, while Sudama hails from a very poor family. But, the two boys just enjoy their friendship, completely oblivious of the wealth or poverty surrounding their respective lives...

Soon after the studies, the boys part their ways. Krishna, as destined, becomes the great ruler of Dwaraka, blissfully married to His wife Rukmini, who is known as the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Life is a dream for Krishna!

On the other hand, back in his village, Sudama continues to live in poverty with his wife and children. The times are tough for them; there is acute shortage of money to even buy food for the little children. Still, Sudama chooses to live his life with great dignity and hope.

But, Sudama’s wife is unable to carry the burden any longer. She remembers her husband often talking about his great friendship with Krishna. She knows that Sudama is a man of great self-respect and will not bother Krishna with his problems. “If not for our sake, at least for our children’s sake, do go to your childhood friend, Krishna,” the wife pleads before her husband, “He won’t send you back empty-handed.”

Sudama is sad and hurt. He cannot see his children starving. Finally, with lots of reluctance, he decides to proceed towards Dwaraka. His wife borrows some beaten-rice (Poha) from their neighbor, makes a snack which Krishna loved as a little boy, packs it in a cloth and sends off her husband.

At the palace-gate, the guards stop the shabby-looking Sudama. But, when the word goes to the King about a visitor called Sudama at the palace-gate, Krishna, the King, comes rushing to the gate, with great joy and excitement, to welcome his childhood friend. The guards and the on-lookers are left puzzled on watching this sight...

Krishna and his wife Rukmini treat Sudama with great affection and respect. He is served royal food in plates of gold and is made to sleep on finest beds... Looking at the opulence in which his friend Krishna and His wife live, Sudama feels embarrassed to offer him the Poha his wife has packed as a gift. But, Krishna, who can read his friend's mind, immediately snatches the pack, and begins to relish His favorite snack!

For two nights, Sudama lives in the palace savoring all the love and luxury showered upon by his friend, Krishna. However, he cannot gather enough courage to ask for the help he needs. Finally, the time comes to leave. Krishna and Rukmini escort Sudama  to the gate and bid him good-bye...

On his way home, Sudama is even more burdened. “How would I explain my empty-hands to my wife?” he panics all through the journey home...

And, behold! When he is home, it all has changed: His wife and children now live in a mansion, wear wonderful clothes...and, yes, appear happy, that, Lord Krishna, has not sent his childhood friend back, empty-handed!

But, the legend goes, that Sudama and his family live a life of prayer and gratitude, ever after...


GERALD D’CUNHA

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