Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The house resounds with the chitter and chatter of grandchildren

Jalsa , Mumbai               Dec 2/3,   2012        Mon/Tue  1 : 17 AM                            
 To Smita Buch … a birthday wish for today !! Love and happiness always ..  
 The house resounds with the chitter and chatter of grandchildren. They are all in now at the end of their New Year holidays and shall be with us for some days. They talk mature, they dress mature, they act mature – they are mature .. even at 11 and 14 !!  There is a spring about the house from every member, a smile among the staff and an eagerness ‘to do’ rather than ‘it shall be done’. Suddenly all our energies are activated and shrill. Our reasons centered around what they may desire – their food, entertainment, clothing, places to visit, plannings of visits and events .. all done with such intense enthusiasm, one would wonder if royalty would ever get such treatment. But they are above royalty, above all else, they are ours and that is the biggest gift that can be given.
I may have dwelled upon this in one of my earlier posts, when they may have been here, but it is a subject that one never tires of. And I hope we never do. Finally they are in bed, tucked in personally by me, among soft pillows and cozy duvets, their soulful expressions as they shut their eyes, wrenching your heart strings. You sit there in wonder and a gentle smile on your face for long. And then leave them to their aspirational dreams, which you wish bear the comfort and happiness and the joy of bright and beautiful happenings.
There is something so divine about when children sleep. It keeps you riveted to their faces. It is strange but true. Nothing happens. Just a month old little one lying among all the niceties knitted and designed for her by Nani’s and Grannies and Aunts and Bua’s and Mamu and Mami’s. And also the generous thoughtful gifts of clothing from well wishers and those that come to greet. Lying there oblivious to the world except … when your need for the feed is due .. then all hell breaks lose !!
What a time to be born. When communication and science and development has very few questions to answer. When a solution presents itself at touches of buttons. But know of the time when I was born and the shock and wonder on how did our parents manage to bring us up. In Allahabad one night when I must have been about 11-12, my Mother fell seriously sick. My Father was away in England studying for his doctorate and I remember I had to ride out in the pitch of the night, in the desolate surroundings on my bicycle to rush to the doctor around 45 min away and inform him of conditions that prevailed at home. Today a sniffle a running nose and the doc appears within minutes, observes, prescribes medication and it is procured equally rapidly, to be administered !!
When a doctor describes a complicated situation, a terminology which tests your spelling abilities, the Googled assistance is readily there to ease the pain of not knowing what it was that the doc was referring to. Write a problem on the net and a million subscribers shall come back within seconds on how it could be solved. In 1952 we cycled to a friend’s place to receive a phone call from my Father calling from Cambridge, informing us that he had succeeded in getting his thesis approved for his doctorate. It was to be the only call he made in his 2 years that he was away !! In the 2 years that was the only opportunity to hear my Father’s voice !! A situation laughed off today in today’s times. How much has gone by, how much has changed. Yet there are many today that still suffer the vagaries of those times, today. That really is the pity. Sushil Kumar who won the 5 cr jackpot on KBC, had done something similar when he had to call in to register for the game. His first priority, after winning, was to pay back his friend for the hundreds of phone calls he had made by using his phone, the only in his immediate vicinity.
There is a sense of guilt when we describe the advantages that we have in our metropolis and what life has finally bestowed upon us with great generosity. There is a desire to work and contribute and put effort voluntarily for the benefit of those that are devoid of such. We do in our own small way. Publicizing it has in the past brought hope and trouble. Hope from millions of others, that suddenly look upon you as that savior and messiah, that has the capacity to bring change and solution to your life. And trouble because we are incapable of resolving that for an entire nation. Some yes, but all no. Who then to pick for benefit and who to reject. What credentials do they present to us. Do we really need to check and balance such situations. They are in your face virtually. There is that Mother with child in arm that you know well enough needs to be fed to survive. The handicapped, deprived of an arm a leg an important part of his system, that you can see needs help. But how many can one do ? They think we can, we know we cannot do all. But how does one explain doing for one and not the other. A dilemma of immense proportions, perhaps never to be resolved !! Sad but true !!
Thank you Lord for what we receive from you. For the generosity of possessions, for the kindness of health, for the care of want and desire. Allow us to relish this state, be grateful and not seek even more. To be content, to be happy for what we have and not despair for what we do not. There shall never be contentment in desire. The more you get the more you desire. Stop it then ! Have the courage to say it so in so many words and smile.
A genuine smile …
Good night … early morning .. it is past 2:00 AM !!
Amitabh Bachchan

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