Patience is a Virtue

Once a man named Chandrashekhar was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 3 years for a crime he had not committed. He had to share room with seasoned criminals, the food was bland, the jail inmates were woken up early in the morning and made to slog. There was no way he could prove his innocence after the final court order. He was guilty in the eyes of law and a culprit in the eyes of the public.

He could have had a breakdown but he remained calm and collected. He rose early, participated actively in the daily affairs and started writing an autobiography wherein he narrated how from a successful businessman he was reduced to dust after his name was hurled into a scam by the machinations of his deceitful business partner. He quite often missed his three year old daughter and would stare at her photograph for hours till tears trickled down his cheeks. Chandrashekhar’s wife would come to meet him in jail. She had told their daughter that father had crossed seven seas to get a laughing doll for her.

Days passed and just when he had finished penning his novel, he was released from jail nine months prior to his release date on the basis of good behaviour and conduct.

He always had the choice to become depressed, sulk and brood over life but he took things as a challenge and turned circumstances in his favour. His book became an international best seller.

We all are thrust into difficult situations; how we deal with it is what matters!

The Turning Point

During the pandemic wave which struck in 2020-2021 killing many people and affecting billions of lives across the globe, a manual labourer named Aabhaas Kumar working at a factory in Bangalore was rendered jobless. Unable to cope with the circumstances, he decided to end it all. He was overwhelmed with anxiety of being unable to earn two square meals a day and fend for his family. Incidentally, his family had gone to their village in Bihar before the pandemic and were stuck up there. Aabhaas too would have to return to his hometown but he had no money to arrange for the transportation. His friend who was a gatekeeper of an apartment offered him a room to stay.

Aabhas felt hapless and decided to take the decisive step that very night. When his friend fell asleep, Aabhas tied his gamcha (towel) to the ceiling fan and tried putting the noose around his neck. However, he realised that the towel was not long enough to give the desired result. He struggled with the towel for nearly half an hour and gave up. He spent the whole night tossing and turning.

The next day he ambled down to the market to buy a 6 metre rope to give his plans the final conclusion. On his way, he met a mendicant without arms and legs, begging for alms. Aabhas observed him closely for a few seconds and stepped back. He made his way to the temple to seek forgiveness for his misdemeanour. He had an internal awakening.

He said to himself- I became disheartened when I lost my job little realising that God has blessed me with hands and legs which can help me work and earn a living anytime and anywhere. I am certainly more blessed than that mendicant who has no option but to beg. Times are not favourable but there is still hope that things will change for the better.

In between an unsuccessful attempt to end his life and acquiring the means to do so, God gave the labourer time to reflect upon his thoughts and actions. He was a changed man. From then on, he was filled with gratitude for God’s multitudinous blessings.

We must look for something positive in each day, even if some days we have to look a little harder.

The Unforgettable Pet

Lucy was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy. Freya had received her as a gift on her 7th birthday. Lucy was intelligent, amicable and

affectionate. Lucy’s presence in Freya’s life made up for the absence of siblings. Lucy had a sound constitution which could be attributed to her alertness and playfulness. She had a perfect set of bright, twinkly eyes which set her apart from the rest of her clan. Freya’s mother Ina always thought her as model material. As they say that all good things come to an end so Lucy also crossed the rainbow bridge after her 13 years of loyal service to her masters. Teary eyed, Freya bid adieu to her faithful friend.

This was however a new beginning. Freya planted a aloe vera seed in her kitchen garden at the site where Lucy was buried. Within a months’ time there was a fully grown aloe vera plant. Ina and Freya used gels and juice of the aloe vera plant and applied it onto their skins with phenomenal results.The Pups or offshoots were taken from the mother plant to grow more aloe vera. When they had enough plants in their garden the surplus juices and gels were sold to friends and neighbours with minimum profit. Encouraged by the results, Ina and Freya now started making aloe vera shampoos, cosmetics and medicines from the aloe vera plants. A small initiative metamorphosed into small scale cooperative where many women from low socioeconomic backgrounds were pooled in to manufacture soaps, shampoos, cleansers, gels, juices and lotions under the brand name Lucy. Where on the one hand, women acquired employment, on the other Ina’s and Freya’s business flourished. The small scale cooperative, within matter of years, grew into a large enterprise benefitting millions! Ina and Freya received the Entrepreneur of the Year award. Teary eyed, the duo thanked Lucy to whom they owed their success story. Lucy reigned a million hearts! Lucy’s song was on every lip just as Lucy’s juicy lip balms!

Follow Your Dreams!

Sitara a 10th grader hated Maths and Science. Her father Mahendra Kumar wanted her to pursue engineering like him. All decisions, no matter how small were taken by Mahendra in the Kumar household. His wife Arundhati had no say in the decision making process.

Ironically, Sitara always ended up scoring high marks in subjects she abhorred. She loved English but didn’t score very high marks in her favourite subject as the examiner was very strict in awarding marks. She was passionate about singing and wished to pursue this as her career.

Sitara cleared her 10th board exams with distinction in 5 subjects which included Maths and Science.

‘Mumma, I’m afraid dad will ask me to take up Science and sit for AIEEE exams which I obviously do not want.’

‘Don’t worry child I’ll talk to your father.’

Mumma, although I have scored well in Science and Maths I am certain this won’t get repeated as I have no aptitude for the above subjects.’

In the evening when Mahendra returned from office and sat at the dinner table, Arundhati analysed his mood and put forth her point of view – ‘I think we should let Sitara choose her vocation. After all it is her life. Why should we force her to do something she doesn’t enjoy doing.’

‘She has consistently scored well in the Science subjects. That says it all. I don’t want to talk further on the subject.’

When Sitara learnt as to what her father had said, she was overwhelmed with grief.

‘Beta, don’t worry, I will have a talk with our family counsellor,’ Arundhati tried to reassure Sitara.

‘Nishtha ma’am, as usual Mahendra is not listening to us. Sitara does not wish to take up Science in the 11th grade and he is forcing her to do so.’

The family counsellor had a talk with Mahendra and an appointment with a career counsellor was scheduled. It was agreed upon that the results of the aptitude tests would be the final career choice for Sitara.

Mahendra-Hello Mrs Khan.

Mrs Khan- hello sir.

‘My daughter has avid interest in Maths and Science. She is budding Einstein,’ Mahendra said looking hopeful.

‘Sitara, there are a set of questionnaires to be completed. Write your answers calmly while I discuss things with your parents.

Throughout the entire conversation, Mahendra kept stressing how their daughter was exceptionally gifted and that the Sciences would be the most apt career choice for her. Mrs Khan who had respect for Mahendra’s honour and position kept nodding in agreement while Arundhati played the mute listener.

After the aptitude tests were over, Mrs Khan bid them adieu with the assurance that the test results will be mailed to both parents in 3 days time.

‘Mumma I’m very nervous and anxious. I didn’t like the counsellor who seemed to agree with everything that dad said.’

‘Let’s hope for the best Sitara.’

On the third day, the test results came up late into the night. Arundhati was only able to see the mail the day after.

‘Sitara, the test results are out.’

Sitara had butterflies in her stomach which opening the mail and what it revealed left her stupefied.

‘Mumma, it says I should pursue music,’ and leaped with joy.

They revealed the test results to Mahendra who only wished Mrs Khan would die of some life-threatening disease!