When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
- Ernest Hemingway
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September is usually a month of anticipation, anticipation for winter, anticipation for festivities, and anticipation for a new beginning. This morning when I woke up, it became anticipation for change. My country is changing, India is changing and like every other change that usually come creeping by, day by day, where we don't even realize it is happening, this change wasn't so. It came like a gust of strong wind, like a storm coming in without seeking permission, creating casualties on its way in.
India has always been a country of godly men, of culture and religion, sometimes blindly so. We have always been a country of believers, we believe in the spirituality of animal, rivers, trees and stones but we have also been a country of hypocrites. While we are all too willing to put the Ram Rahim and Asharam of this world to a godly status, more than often we forget even the most basic tenants of humanity. However, something is changing, slowly and steadily but it is there. The Supreme Court of the country, the torch bearer of justice and equity brought this change to us in the form of providing dignity to the Muslim women of this nation and by providing the basic dignity to the LGBT community only recently.
However, why do these basic human rights have to be guaranteed by a piece of paper and only to be ridiculed, protested later on?
When we are all too willing to put our spiritual belief in lifeless objects, how can we be so blind to the most glaring presence of god within ourselves?
I was wondering about all of this while sitting on my terrace, under the blue sky and staring at nothing, I heard cheering of little children on the road. I looked below and I saw a man, no older than 40 years and a horde of children following him, it made me curious. A bunch of slum children in my high rise society is indeed a novelty. I went downstairs and asked my mother about the man and she told me the man is an IAS officer who teaches the slum children on weekends in the society park. Impressed by his initiative and my curiosity taking the better of me, I went to the park.
The gentleman had just finished his classes for the day; he was now feeding the little kids. Once all the kids had left, I went to him and appreciated his work and the man told me “I was once a kid like them until a professor started taking lessons for the kids of my slum; he noted my eagerness to study further and sponsored my further education and made me the person I am today. On the day I got my posting as an IAS officer, I went to his home with a box of sweet and touched his feet. All these years he believed in me and nurtured me like I was his own, when I asked him if there is anything I could ever do for him he asked me for one thing, he said that whatever I have given to you give it to someone else because this is not about earning good karma or going to heaven, nobody know what lies beyond death but while we live, we should contribute to the world and make it a better place than what it was given to us as. I am just trying to do my part, he said.”
My mother called my name and I rushed to home after that for my morning prayers but while I was praying, for the first time, instead of the god in front of me I saw a human. I saw the face of this man I met and I realized that he gave birth to belief in me more than any god ever has because instead of holy texts and teachings, he earned it through actions.
So, my September morning did become one of anticipation, anticipation of what all those slum kids would become and how many of them would go ahead and make a difference like the kind stranger who is teaching them. I realized, life and this world would become so much of a better place if we could all find and nurture the god within ourselves and in others, if we rise above the hypocrisy of this world and let go of the biases we have created for one and all and instead of seeking god in stones, rivers & trees we try to find it in every other fellow human, not just September, our whole life would be one of hopeful anticipation of a better time ahead.