Sunday, February 12, 2017

BUZZO AND THE ELEPHANT EXPRESSIONS





Buzzo was in a bad mood, this morning. 
On my way to my Tai Chi class, I stopped by my office to pick some copies of my new book to hand them to our Tai Chi teacher. As the autorikshaw stopped outside my office, Buzzo came close to me wagging his tail so that he could get some nice body caressing from me… After a minute-long caressing and a gentle monologue with him, I went to collect the books keeping the auto waiting. By the time I returned with the books and the auto started to move, Buzzo’s mood had changed… He was howling hysterically… joined by another couple of his friends… As our auto speeded up, Buzzo began to chase the auto howling like a possessed creature… I was surprised… “What is wrong with this fellow, today?” I wondered, “He is, always, so friendly to me… He doesn’t howl at the autos in which I commute... So, why is he angry, today?” I asked the autowala to stop. He was reluctant, “No sir, let the dogs bark… Elephant will march on!”

“Apna dost hai woh… rukho,” I commanded.

When, finally, the auto stopped, Buzzo came close to me, “What is your tension, Buzzo, early morning?” I asked gently caressing his back… In a while, he calmed down and ran back to his friends… We marched on!

“Let the dogs bark… Elephant will march on!” By the time I reached my Tai Chi class, this casual line from the autowala had brought to my mind many more elephant expressions…

“Even an elephant can fall.”  Yes, we all do… no matter who we are… whether teachers or parents… whether heads of companies or heads of nations… whether Pope or Philosophers… we all are fallible humans… we can fall… we do…

And, that very thought is so reassuring!

“Baby-elephant Syndrome.” When the elephant was just a small baby, they would tie it with a slender chain to one of the trees around… and, when the baby became a giant elephant, they still continued to tie it with the same slender chain to the tree around! The elephant, who had struggled to break free when it was a baby, by now, has given up the attempts to break free… It’s conditioned to believe that it cannot break free… even though the truth is, that it can bring the whole forest down!

Many of us suffer from this baby-elephant syndrome and have given up trying to break free from our limiting thoughts!

“White Elephant.” Well, many a time, I had to do away some of them in my own life… Some ideas, beliefs, things and relationships whose presence in my life had proved costly to manage… just the way the proverbial white elephant had been!

“Seeing Pink Elephants.” One could see them only when three-four pegs down! Otherwise, elephants, all over the world, only wore a dark grey or black skin, you see. I have stayed away from ‘spirits’, you see… So, I am not likely to ‘see Pink Elephants’ in my life!

“The Elephant in the Room.” Something so obvious… which all of us can see, touch and feel… yet, we do not desire to discuss it in a group… We throw a blind eye to the elephant which is so visible in the room!

I remembered praying to God, so often, to give me elephant’s eyes so that I could see less of others’ faults… and to give elephant’s ears so that I could listen more to others’ problems and suggestions, though not their negative criticism…

The story of the elephant and the blind men flashed before me… “How our perceptions can be so funny, at times”… I smiled!

A boss, for whom my late dad worked, was a terror. So, one of dad’s co-workers had this to say about their Hitler-boss… “It is less painful to die under an elephant’s feet than die under our Boss’…!”

It was our mom’s favorite, I remembered, this morning…

Well, all this happened on my fifteen-minute commute to Tai Chi class. And, yes, all this had to happen, because my friend, Buzzo, was barking at the passing autos, including the one in which his good friend was commuting…

Thank God for giving me a bit of that proverbial elephant memory… so that, I could come home and blog about all this!

GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Gajendra Peeth. Swaminarayan Akshradham, New Delhi

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