Thursday, February 16, 2017


“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”
― Rabindranath Tagore

My colleague and friend Sonia tells me that her brother, who works for a multinational company, follows a daily ritual. After coming home from work, that is post 9 at night, he goes to the nearby Gurudwara to do seva (service) for an hour or so… A simple – and humble – service of handling the footwear of the devotees. What brings smile on my face is when Soniya describes how her four-year-old nephew (brother’s son) waits for his dad to come from office, with his little pagdi tied by his mother, all excited to join his father in doing the seva… “My brother has been doing it for years,” Soniya tells me, “It is something that keeps him happy and fulfilled.”

All around us, so many people do similar things. Many spend time in temples, Gurudwaras and churches by scrubbing the floor. It keeps them grounded, peaceful. Many visit homes for children and the aged… Hospital visit makes many people peaceful… Some doctors give time on Sundays offering free treatment… Some teach poor children… Some give old clothes, shoes, books and newspapers… Some pay school fees of the needy… Many pay for someone’s medical treatment… Some counsel the people in distress… Some feed pigeons, cats and dogs… Some adopt dogs and cats… Many do honorary work for their housing societies… Many for their Children’s PTA… Gifted artists and designers do give their talent for good causes without expecting any revenue… Celebrities promote social causes… Newspapers, TV and Radio channels do their bit by appealing for help during calamities and someone’s dire need…

Come on, the world we live is not so bad… Hope is not dead, here… Here, hearts not only beat, they also bleed!

You and I are not as wealthy and resourceful as Mukesh Ambani or Bill Gates. Even if a hundred Mukesh Ambanis and Bill Gates come together to do away the poverty in this world, that won’t solve the problem.  Serving the society and people around – within our own means and reach – seems a more effective way of  solving the problems of this world… A little bit of our time, talent, knowledge, expertise… yes, a little bit of it done for the sake of inner joy and fulfillment – is what going to make this world an amazing place to live in…

There is no explanation needed as to why a wealthy lady goes and scrubs a temple or Gurudwara floor, why a busy executive spends an hour, after a hard-day’s work in the office, doing ‘shoes seva’ in his Gurudwara… There is no explanation needed as to why they do it without expecting any kind of reward… Why despite their own problems in life… Yes, there is no need for an explanation…

How would you explain the reason behind the joy of my friend Soniya’s little nephew?


Pic.: Anil Bedi

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