Being a cynic I often get subjected to criticism. So mnay times I find people around me blaming for so many things. There are worst kind of accusations against me and there are the worst kind of failures I have to face. But then I never develop that “I am a loser” feeling. I have not given up.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t ’bout how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” – Rocky Balboa
I havent really faced tough times in life. My toughest times will be very trivial for most of the people out there. But my source of inspiration in such tough times has been one man. Dr. Arun Shourie. That explains my admiration for that man. I dont believe in deifying any person but his views and thoughts are in perfect resonance of mine. Karma I guess.
He has suffered a lot in his life. He explains why he is not discourage by any amount of smearing thrown at him.
To begin with, I wear two thick layers of insulation.
The first insulation — the impenetrable one — is that very child; and his love which has made him the centre of so many lives; and his laughter which you can hear three houses away. I lose a job? I have but to compare my circumstance with that of our son — and I at once see the occurrence to be a trifling one in comparison. Someone hurls abuse? I have but to ask, “Does it affect this child’s love for all of us? Will it dim his laughter?”
Arun Shourie writes more about his Son. That moves me. Makes me realize that life is too complex and simple at the same time. While anyone might find pity on the child, the child in fact probably is a fountain of happiness and serenity.
Pretext? PRETEXT? My head screamed. Our son could not walk: thirty-four now, he still cannot. He could not stand: he still cannot. He could not use his right hand and arm: he still cannot. He could see only as if through a tunnel: that is still the limit of his vision today. He could barely speak: he still speaks syllable by syllable. And here were some swine who said his illness was a pretext that I was using.
Insults upon insults, defeats after defeats cross our way. We know in heart that we are right, that we havent done anything wrong. What is being said about us is not true. In the end we ask “Why only me?”. At the spastic society set up by shourie, Baba Amte was asked this question by Alok Sikka a kid. But when any suffering that I have to go through, I look at the above picture. Two very accompalished men and a helpless kid. It tells me that life is nothing but a bubble. We should not live with regrets but we should live with pride and clean heart. That jealusy, envy, anger and bitterness should not touch our souls. Here is what Alok asked Baba Amte
He had been round the school. He had planted a pipal sapling. He was now lying on a cot, talking to the children. Every word he said rang true, for he was not reciting words, he had lived them.
Alok raised his hand. Now, Alok Sikka is as much of a fighter as Baba Amte. He is, if I may say so, in Baba Amte’s mould. At that time he could not walk, he had to crawl on all fours. His speech was difficult to comprehend. He had a hundred problems. But his spirit was — and remains — as strong as Baba Amte’s is. After Baba Amte had finished his talk, and perhaps Baba Amte had said something about God, Alok asked, “But why did your God do this to me ?”
For a moment there was silence. Baba Amte then said, “I will tell you what happened once.” He told us that one of Gandhiji’s associates had a retarded daughter. The associate and his family, including the daughter were staying at Gandhiji’s ashram. Upon reaching his quarters one day the father found the child in a most distressing condition. He was moved to rage. He lifted up the daughter, and stomped back to Gandhiji’s room. Gandhiji was sitting with his head bowed, silent, in contemplation. The father as good as hurled the child into Gandhiji’s lap. “Why has your God done this ?”, he screamed. Gandhiji was startled. He did not speak for a moment. And then he said softly, “He has done this to melt your heart into kindness.”
We were all moved. Not Alok. He said, “But if your God wanted to make my parents kind, why did He do this to me ?”Everyone was dumbstruck. Including Baba Amte.
Shourie’s writing taught me lot more about life than I could could have possibly found out myself on my own. They say that a way to perfect life, a life of fullfillment and happiness comes with experience. It comes with a search. Often the time you take for your search depends on your Karma. For me this time was reduced exponentially by Mr. Shourie. His writings have provided chicken soup for my soul.
At another occasion Shourie writes about Amte’s advice to Vivek, a young man who has just lost his hand in an accident.
“Think not of what HAS left,” Baba wrote. “Think of what IS left.” And he wrote a stanza from one of his famous poems:
Shrunkhala payi asudhe
Meen gati che geet gayi
Dukh udhdaayas aataa
Aasvaanaa ved naahin. . .
[Chains shackle my ankles, true. Let them be.
I continue to sing the song of the future, of progress.
True, sorrows envelope me. But my tears have not the time to wallow in them. . .]
“I want that to be your garjan —- your roar — to the world,” Baba wrote.
Even for a cynic like me, he is a source of optimism towards life. What Atanu Dey says about him again sounds as if they are my own words
Shourie is truly a good man who not only observes but conveys his insights exceedingly well. What is amazing is that he used to be in the Indian government. I regret that India does not have more people like him in positions of power and influence. But one is thankful for small mercies. The people he occasionally writes about are inspiring. It renews my faith in the essential goodness of people and I feel hopeful for humanity.
In the times where there is hardly anyone around to be looked upon as a guide, philosopher and leader, none at aleast from the political sphere. Shourie stands tall as a light house atleast for me.