…our silent partners!
Source: RSPCA Basingstoke and Andover Branch
The daughter in her forties and her 70-year old mother worked in the house as domestic help – the daughter cooked while the mother washed and swept the front-yard. At work, they rarely talked to each other. From their demeanor, one would never suspect they were mother and daughter living under one roof.
The daughter had grown up in her uncle’s house in Chennai while the mother had brought up her sister in the village.
It’s a sad story how her father abandoned her mother with two children while they were going some place by bus. Yes, he just disappeared at a bus stop leaving the illiterate woman in the middle of nowhere without a penny in her purse. Somehow she struggled to reach a relative’s house and find her way back with the children in tow. The man was rumored to have moved in with another woman in the same neighborhood. With no further contact all his life, the mother went for his last rites on his demise!
As for her, she found her man cheating on her and pestering her for favors at other times. Disgusted she walked out of her marriage with her child, never to look back again.
In certain sections of the society it is not uncommon to find these stories oft-repeated where the man goes off with impunity to live with another woman. No questions asked. And the woman struggles with her life working as a domestic help or as a small-time vendor selling flowers, vegetables, etc.
For some years now the mother is living with her daughter in Chennai, visiting off and on her other daughter happily married and living in Pondicherry – the one silver-lining in the story.
How are the two getting on? The daughter like a stern-faced head-mistress and the mother like a beyond-caring errant child. According to the mother, they have their spats, mostly scripted and acted out by the daughter. She could not put her finger on what upset the daughter. She just shrugged her shoulders: ’What to do? She’s like that… I let it pass.’
After that long prelude, now to the plot, thin but deep:
One day the daughter looked a little distracted. Reason: The mother had decided to go to Pondicherry for a month to be with her other daughter.
While talking about it, she said: ‘I can’t stay without Thaayi (her mother).’ Came as a surprise. But she repeated herself twice.
When this was carried later to Thaayi while she was sweeping the dead neem leaves off the yard, her response:
‘Don’t kid with me.’
‘No. I’m not.’
She went back to her job. After a few minutes, she came back:
‘She said that? Did she say it in jest or…’
‘No, she was right earnest saying she can’t live without you in the house.’
She too appeared surprised. Surely gladdened her heart though she didn’t exactly go into a dance. May be it’ll get at least her thru the next few spats to come?
Besides the obvious moral of the story: ‘When you care about someone, say it loud and often to the person.’…there’s more to the story (with apologies to Milton John), I thought:
‘They also serve…
who carry a good word spoken,
a warm feeling expressed…
to its rightful addressee,
who wasn’t around then.’
A great opportunity, often overlooked, to bring people closer happily at no cost and with little effort!
Source: Mother and Daughter – hand-painted by ANJU AGRAWAL listed at fizdi.com/
Rudyard Kipling on How To Be A Man
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
Source: fs.blog/2012/12/how-to-be-a-man-rudyard-kipling/ and Photo by Roger-Viollet
Maharaja Janaka performed a yagam (a ritual of sacrifices and prayers) with an assembly of rishis and vedic pundits.
Young Ashtavakra wished to participate in the yagam and also engage the redoubtable Vandhi of the royal court.
He was stopped at the entry by the sentries for he appeared too young for a seat in the august assembly. Whereupon, Ashtavakra explained they should not go by his physical appearance, he too was well schooled on veda’s and scriptures to stand up to anyone present in the yagam.
The king going around to oversee the arrangements overheard the conversation which proceeded along the same lines for a few more rounds with Ashtavakra further elaborating on how he was eminently qualified for the occasion to the unyielding sentries.
The king was intrigued by the youngster and his background that he intervened.
‘Young man, don’t you know self-glorification and pride are the seeds of a person’s fall?’
‘Sir, what I said about myself was by way of self-introduction to someone who doesn’t know me. It is not to be construed as idle boast or pride – you’ll know, I’m sure, it’s permitted by our scriptures too.’
Ashtavakra continued with a beautiful analogy: ‘Dark clouds gather to point out and produce imminent rain. If they merely thunder noisily without breaking into rain, that would be more like an idle boast.’
King Janaka impressed with the young lad, invited him into the yagam and honored him appropriately.
Later Ashtavakra proceeded to best Vandhi in debates and establish himself as a rishi to reckon with in his time.