BEFORE UDIPI COMES, ANYTHING CAN COME
Today is my elder brother Franklin’s birthday. He completed 62, today. “God has been kind,” he said, when I called him to wish, this morning.
“Yes, Dattu (elder brother)” I agreed, “God has been really kind.
Exactly a month ago, Franlin's son, Macklin, got married in Mangalore, our hometown. Macklin, a sailor, had turned up for his marriage just a few weeks before the marriage. Franklin and his wife, Merlyn, had been on their toes for more than a year, continuously, to put things together. Thus, when the wedding happened, it happened on a grand scale… All things fell perfectly well in place…
The honor of raising the toast for my young nephew and his pretty bride, Divya, was placed upon me. Of the many things I said in my toast, I remember saying this one, particularly… “Be prepared to lead Life… and, sometimes, be prepared to be lead by Life, too!”
What did I mean by that?
I was telling the new couple in a certain context: that, Life, as they say, is always what we make of it… Marriage is no exception. But, then, all things may not be in our hands, they may not go the way we expect them to… no matter how hard and how sincerely we try to control. Sometimes, Life will take its own course… and, that’s the time to follow Life. Be fluid, pliable!
I learnt this lesson early from my friend, Joe. He would convey it in rustic Tulu:
“Poyee lekka dherunu… Dheri lekka popinee.”
The farmer knows, that it is he who decides what course his herd has to take. So, he constantly puts the herd back on the track… He constantly uses his stick, constantly shouts and assumes, that the herd obeys him… that, it is he who leads, controls.
But, then, during the course, how many times, the herd goes off the course… that side and this side… They go slow and they go fast… And, how that makes the farmer think afresh… go there, and go here… and, if need be, change the course, change the method… even let go, and just follow the herd… For, he trusts, deep within, that his cows and buffalos ‘will’ make their way home!
A week ago, after returning from their Singapore honeymoon, Macklin, Divya, Franklin and Merlyn were on their way to Divya’s place near Udipi. Macklin was driving and Divya was sitting on his left in the front seat. Franklin and Merlyn had occupied the back seat. Not even halfway through, the speeding car crashed into a stationary tanker. Macklin, a good driver, had lost his control… In a blink, the left side of the car had gone… Divya hadn’t worn the seat-belt… She miraculously survived with minor bruises. Macklin, who was wearing the seat-belt, came out scratch free… Merlyn, who was sitting behind him, too escaped without any hurt. It was Franklin who bore the maximum brunt… His head banged the hard surface and forehead wore a deep gash… His neck-bone got a crack due to the terrible impact… He landed up in the hospital. But, thank God, we was able to come home without a major surgery, only wearing a neck-belt and with a two-month bed-rest advice!
What if it had happened during their wedding time? This was the question that haunted many of us… What if something serious had happened to Divya and Macklin, who barely crossed a couple of weeks since they got married?
Did Life take its own course?
The day after the accident, I was talking to my mom (who lives in Mangalore) on phone. “That’s how we learn to remember God, Putha (Son),” mom said what she really meant.
I went into a silence at this end!
Man proposes, God disposes! But, then, propose we all should… knowing well that God may have some other plans for us. I am not the one who will leave everything to God… I am also not the one who assumes, that I am always in control of my destiny… Yes, before reaching Udipi, anything can happen… Which means, when Life leads me, I should be prepared to accept the course with grace and humility!
Today, a friend of mine had shared a video showing the tragic death of Mr. Praveen Nair, AGM, Bank of Baroda. He was expressing his gratitude before his colleagues and a few family members at a farewell organized in the Board Room… Nobody had imagined what was to come… the colleagues, family, and above all, Mr. Nair himself…
But, it came!
My deepest condolences to the grieving family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Nair. May God really give them all strength to bear this untimely loss…
Meanwhile, as my brother, Franklin, said this morning, let’s accept the fact, that God has really been kind to most of us. And, as my mom said, a tragedy only helps us come closer to God!
Pic. 1: Kamal Kishore Rikhari Pic. 2: Macklin D'Cunha