SHORT STORY: EXPECTATIONS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Love blossoms with No Expectations

    Two travelers who survived a shipwreck, were washed ashore on a lonely island. With nothing to eat, nothing to protect them from the vagaries of the weather and with no one to listen to their woes, they started weeping in desperation. But soon, they realised that crying was of no consequence. So they decided to carry on with life.

    The two castaways toiled hard to scratch out an existence. Thirty years went past during the course of which they built a beautiful village with the help of the local tribe that they had befriended. They married local women and had children and grandchildren. Whatever they had learnt during their student days, they passed on to their newfound community and the new generation and soon the village became quite developed. The two men now commanded respect from one and all and were made heads of the village. Both lived like brothers and had great love for each other.

    As they grew older, they began to wish if they could spend the last few years of their lives with their blood relations from whom they had got separated long back. So they embarked upon a voyage, on an unknown route. At a distance, they discovered a city that looked prosperous, and was modern with all amenities. Both were shell-shocked at the beautiful sight. “Were we really so close to such a good place? Then why didn’t we travel these five hundred miles earlier? Possibly, we could have reached our country and kin and that would have saved us from the toil, struggle and the difficult times that we underwent all these years,” they said to themselves, bemoaning at their fate.

    Angry with themselves, their destiny and angry with God, they sat on the river bank and started weeping. That drew the attention of a sage passing by and he rushed to them. After he got to know their story, he asked them to follow him. Soon, they were in a palatial bungalow. Pointing to the house owner, the sage said, “His father was the wealthiest person of the state. He is younger than you but various ailments have left him immobile. Whereas, you have undertaken an arduous voyage, and that too on an uncharted route at this ripe age. The big mansion facing this, belongs to his real brother but the brothers hardly speak to each other. Their families remain estranged because each of them nurses a grouse that their parents didn’t do justice in property division. Worse, the parents spent their last few years in an old age home. You are strangers, but destiny brought you together. But I can see that you live like real brothers and are committed to live and die together.”

    By now the two men had come to the understand ground realities. Filled with gratitude, they asked the sage the reason for this unusual conduct of human beings. The sage replied, “You met as strangers so you had no expectations from each other. You had nothing, so you started creating things on your own with your hard work and that was a source of immense satisfaction to you. On the other hand, most of us, who are blessed with family and friends have only expectations from them. And that becomes the cause of unhappiness and estrangement. Instead of having the will to do something new and constructive, we want to own and enjoy what is created by others.”

    Upon hearing this the two men gave up their plans to go back to their country. They instead returned to their village that they had helped establish.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi (inspired by a story that I read)

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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