Life is the best teacher. It teaches us the most profound lessons in the most unusual circumstances and in the simplest ways. When some things are easily at our disposal, we often tend to overlook their significance and it takes no less than a rude reality check to make us wake up to the gratitude we must feel for what we’ve been blessed with.
I, for one, got a taste of one such thing recently. A Jr’s school reopened this week after a long and seemingly never-ending summer vacation. On his first day the rain Gods seemed like they had gone into hiding in fear of the stubborn sun who had taken it upon himself to burn us all down, sooner than later.
While A Jr looked decent in his cap, I and Angel cutely resembled gun-wielding terrorists in our goggled, face-covered and scarved look. No one else does that, I wonder why I do it! Anyway, not knowing where his new class would be, I unknowingly parked my scooter at the far-end school gate and we had to walk down in the sun to the other side.
While dropping him off, the rush of making sure he gets in on time, running into known faces and basically dodging the justifiably confused crowd, I didn’t even realise the heat and briefly, paid no attention to Angel who was resting silently on my shoulder. However, while coming back, the hot air hit us in the face and made me run for cover, pronto.
Angel clung on to me tightly, meekly mumbling, ‘Ma, ta ta lag raha hai’ (Mom, I’m feeling hot.) and refused to look up. I remorsefully wrapped her safely in my scarf such that she wasn’t even slightly exposed to the sun and literally ran to my scooter, which was thankfully parked in the shade.
As I was putting her down, my gaze went to a beggar woman sitting in the shade of a tree on the other side of the road with a baby sleeping in her lap. The heat didn’t seem to bother her, nor was she trying to shield her baby from it like I was. As she robotically aired it with the corner of her dirty ragged sari, she seemed to be present somewhere else. Nothing of her surroundings mattered to her.
I don’t know why, but this scene hit me very badly. I quietly came back home after that but just couldn’t get it off my mind all day. When A got home that evening I narrated this whole incident to him and involuntarily burst into tears while doing it. I had a home and air-conditioner to come back to. I had means to make life comfortable for my kids. Had I ever felt any gratitude for it? No! 😦 😦
Can we imagine how people who live on the streets or even who are financially less-fortunate go about their lives? Have we ever thought what such parents go through when their kids want something and they don’t have the means to provide it? Parental love doesn’t belong to any economic stratum, does it? Shouldn’t we take a moment to thank God for showering us with his choicest blessings?