Is the joy of small things lost forever? - The Hindu

Is the joy of small things lost forever? - The Hindu

Copied below is my article on a related subject published in The New Indian Express (Timeout, 2009):


The ancestral wisdom that we senior
citizens have inherited down the generations is something that children growing
up today just don’t get opportunity to take advantage of.
 I was sharply reminded of this the other day
when I faced a battery of questions from my grandson, while walking with him in
the garden. His doubts ranged from why one cannot straight climb to the top of
the coconut tree to why the butterfly wants to enjoy honey direct from the
flowers, instead of coming to the kitchen for milk!
As a child, I traveled with my father
much less than this three-and-a-half-year-old has already done with his parents
so far. But my father spent much more time with me. The difference is
attributable to the progress made by the world in the last 60 years or so.
When I was hanging to my father’s
fingers or even enjoying a ride on his shoulders, my thoughts were not polluted
by the ghastly memory of the previous night’s cartoon or movie on television.
And my dad didn’t have a mobile or transistor radio pouring FM music into his
ears. He didn’t have to drive in a traffic jam in Mumbai’s highways while
answering client’s queries on the mobile!
Depending on the length of the
journey, my father used to tell me long or short stories, which included
episodes from the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha and the adventures of Siva and his
kids, besides anecdotes from the lives of my dad’s friends and neighbors.
My children too were lucky to stay
with their parents (who were still enjoying the fruits of the fight for an
eight hour day and weekend holidays) till their late teens. The day my son
joined a professional course in a far off college and I was traveling back
after leaving him in the college hostel, the thought that we would not be
sharing the day’s experiences at the dining table from that day, made me sad.
Suddenly an idea came to my mind. I decided to write regular letters to him.
From the next week, till he completed
the course, I wrote, on an average, six letters a month. I didn’t write
anything of my own, beyond the bare minimum to convey news in the family and
neighborhood or enquire about his well-being. I stuffed the letters with quotes
from the day’s newspaper or a magazine or a book I was fortunate to lay my
hands on. Tata, Vivekananda, Nehru, Gandhi, Shankaracharya, EMS Namboothiripad,
all shared my pages. Much later, in one of my letters I deliberately squeezed
in some of my own thoughts also. I quote:
“The strength or the power that has
taken me so far is the faith in myself or the greater existence of which I am
an integral part, which was more than fortified and supported by an abundance
of good luck. Faith in oneself and good luck can keep one going and life is all
about living each moment to the satisfaction of oneself.
“God, Vedas and Upanishads and the
social systems and scriptures are all man-made to make existence meaningful.
Whether God created the Universe or man deified the energy, power and
resources, either way the purpose was to generate sustainable happiness.
“Having said this, none of the great
gods or greater humans have enjoyed their being more than a farmer or a tailor
or a blacksmith or a fisherman or a circus clown or a pujari who lived their
lives one breath at a time and never bothered about what happened around,
above, below, or before or after.”

****    ****      ****


Anonymous said…
Thanks Acchan !!!
Anonymous said…
Thanks Acchan !!!

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