Saturday, April 13, 2019


An infant looks up to its mother for the gospel truth. Years pass by and as a tiny tot on being corrected by a parent, pat comes the reply, "My teacher has taught like this only." Later we look at a peer group for worldly wisdom. The search for a mentor would mean that we still admit learning is a process where the taught requires a teacher. As a nation we place "Guru" over God. In fact in one of the devotional poems, Kabir rests the balance in favour of the teacher, thus

                                   गुरू गोविन्द दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूं पांय।
                                   बलिहारी गुरू अपने गोविन्द दियो बताय।।

In short, he says that if the teacher and God appear together, he would choose to prostrate before the teacher first as it was he who led him to God. Then what makes a Guru materialistic?

The story of Drona of Mahabharata portrays this quintessential aspect. In the court of Drupada, Drona is insulted but none comes to his rescue even though he is the son of the fabled Rishi Bharadwaja who is one of the saptarishis. Rishi Bharadwaja also played host to Shri Ramachandra when the meeting with Bharata takes place. Thus, society at that stage also had made it clear that the Guru needs to fend for himself and his family. The Gurudakshina had to be fixed by him to protect his status. Compare this to the Gurukula system where  Guru Sandipani taught Krishna and Sudama. They revered the Guru and gave him their utmost so he did not need to seek.

If necessity is the mother of invention so is it the mother of many other children like materialism.

The other way to look at it is the convenience of expecting others to be having exemplary morals while we lack it ourselves. A teacher ought not to be materialistic. A doctor or a nurse should not bother about personal needs. A leader needs to sacrifice his needs for the public good. This reminds me of an essay in Hindi wherein the people put some others on a pedestal so as to avoid following the principles. Gandhi is conferred title of Mahatma. Jesus is eulogised as Son of God. Mohammed is turned Prophet. Nanak Dev is turned into a Guru. There is no dispute in conferring these titles but we reduce ourselves to common men and say that we are beyond such achievements or even an attempt to do the same. The matter does not stop there we also start questioning several such persons who attempt on why they do not lead a frugal life, sacrifice more or even prescribe standards which is nothing but an abashed display of our own base intentions.

Repeated onslaughts on these noble professions have led to the day when they have come to state that theirs too is a commercial profession. Who is to blame?

Let us mend our ways to facilitate them to regain their glory.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Yours truly had the occasion to visit a nearby hospital and be greeted by a coffin making its exit with a score of wailing humans. The hospital was making its best efforts to console the bereaved and assuage the feelings of the other attendants. The scene was one which was common to most bereavements and our hearts went out to the unknown bereaved.

Couple of days later, yours truly was making his way down the home stretch. Barely a couple of lamp posts away from the beloved home, the sight of the mighty dog army raised the hackles and made one wonder whether it was wise to take the next step forward. At that point under the protective gaze of the adults, three pups made a ramp walk across the road. Fluffy white pups with brown patches altered the feeling from fear to endearment.

The pedestrians waited for the event to conclude. A two wheeler steered by a young lady swept past us and within seconds a crack was heard. The second pup lay motionless and bleeding profusely. Couple of men gestured to the lady to speed away which she obliged. Another told us to pick nearby stones as the dogs would now get aggressive.

The motionless crowd was given a lesson of their lives by the stray dogs!!!

The dogs moved in single file smelt the pup and in a disciplined manner moved to the sidewalk again. The mother (just cannot use the word bitch for the noble bereaved animal) shed a tear and moved the remaining pup to safety. No whimper! No bark!! No attack!!!

Pedestrians moved as the dogs held a silent conclave. A man picked the corpse and buried it as the dogs paid a tribute from a distance. 

Next morning, none of the stray dogs were found. They had moved in search of a safer haven. The mother returns once in a while to inspect the blood stain on the road from a distance.

Dignity in bereavement was in full display.

 A lesson to the mortal human - 

Nothing will change the me first attitude in the human, 
while the rest follow live and let live as a rule.