Tag Archives: village

THE POWER OF NATURE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

POWER OF NATURE

    Each morning as I walk up to the flowing rivulet near the small hillock that lies above my picturesque hamlet I get to feel the power of silence. Looks like everything around is trying to say something by remaining quiet. And on my way up as my steps take to the natural rhythm. It gives me a supernatural feel as if the hillock is the insurmountable head of Shiva. And the flora and fauna around are his deep rooted jatas and the rivulet is the humble adornment of Namami Gange. And where, both are in a stance to bless me and perhaps, they are also saying something when you distinctly hear the dribble upstream.

    Everything around is so very still. Is when, you get to feel, silence is the loudest explosion on earth. Very faintly at a distance you can now hear the horn of passing car that was not there earlier. Man has made mechanical inroads to most hideouts of nature. There is a chirping shemozzle that sounds like music in the bird’s camp that is only ratcheting as the dawn is broad banding. Some of them really don’t know what to do except for fluttering here and there for want of food. Few mongrels have just got up as the morning rays strike their eyes when they start stretching themselves. The flying butterflies as if have started a troupe dance to honour the morning rays of the sun. And one can indistinctly hear the mooing of the cows from the barn that only tells you that the village has woken up for the day.

    I halt to catch my breath is when I turn back. The hamlet looks much smaller than its actual size. Sights at times change even when reality doesn’t. I continue with my walk. There are no human beings here and so there is no ruckus. I’m all by myself. This is how I came and this is how I’ll go, all alone.

    I leisurely reach the top from where I get the divine view of my beloved village down below. I wonder what it must have taken Almighty to create this wonderful settlement. Perhaps even exotic creations are a small thing for him. There is a sudden drift in the direction of the breeze that only tells me to accept the ensuing change and there is no reason to feel lonely. For there is enough in nature to give you company when there is no human company around you. But you need to explore it.

    And like every day, I sit there for sometime, interacting, with my mother of all times, that is mother earth. This is where she caresses me. The intensity of which is equivalent to the intensity of the aromatic breeze that touches me all over. The shrill calls of some mynahs that have just landed there, give me a feel as if she’s trying to say you are not alone and I’m there. I feel rejuvenated. But it is time to head home now. So, I start the descent back. Where, on the way I come across a few goats and some cows as if giving me a standing ovation to my victory over loneliness. Is when I start humming the evergreen song of Kishore da … Zindagi ka safar, hai ya kaisa safar, koi samjha nahi koi jana nahi.

   (In today’s day and age loneliness is a huge social problem. It is not always possible for parents to be with their children and for children to be with their parents. But you still need to live it out and live it out grandly. So move out of your loneliness and explore the nature. For it has a cure for every life situation)

By Kamlesh Tripathi

   

   

Story: WASHERMAN AND THE DONKEY

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    There was once a lazy and a wicked dhobi (washerman) by the name of Nankau. He had an obedient and a long serving donkey at home. Whom he utilized, for transporting clothes to the banks of the nearby river, early in the morning for washing. Further, during the day he handed him over to his friend for a fixed amount. Who happened to be a contractor. Where, he was utilised for transporting sand from the river bed to his construction site. And, in the evening the listless and obedient animal used to return with his master. With bundles of washed clothes on his back. Devious Nankau, apart from making the donkey do all the work without any rest, even whipped him for small mistakes, and at times he even starved him for minor misdemeanors. But, he never complimented him for any good work. Rather, considered him as the jinx of his life.

    One day Gopal a friend of Nankau came to stay with him for a few days. And during that time he noticed how for no rhyme or reason Nankau whipped the donkey mercilessly and even cursed him loudly and that too quite often.

    One day Gopal asked Nankau. ‘My dear friend what on earth is the matter with you? As I always find you quite irritable, and you often keep whipping this poor soul in great anger for no fault of his. Why do you do this? Especially, when he is so obedient and does all your work?’

    Nankau ruefully replied, ‘arrey yaar! This donkey has been very inauspicious for me. Ever since it walked into my life I have been facing some problem or the other. Enough is enough. I now want to get rid of him, somehow. Even earlier, I tried to sell him but no one seemed interested. Maybe, because, I cursed and criticized him so much, in front of others that no one is ready to touch him even with a barge pole.’

    During his stay Gopal could assess the worth of the donkey. So, one day he told his friend, ‘brother, just in case you are unhappy with him. You could sell him off to me, and instead buy another one for yourself.’

    Nankau was delighted at this God gifted opportunity and didn’t want to lose it. So, he readily agreed, and sold the donkey to Gopal. Who happened to be a kind master and thereon he looked after the animal quite well.

    In the meanwhile Nankau bought a mule for himself. Thinking it will do more work, than the previous animal used to do. And, although, it had been a while since he had sold the donkey. Yet, he couldn’t forget the animal and often used to curse him for all the misfortunes in his life. But, now with the mule around he was hoping his luck would change and he will be a happy man.

    And by now Nankau had passed a couple of lacklustre months with the mule. Who, as compared to the donkey looked tougher, but very reluctantly did as much work as the donkey used to do. So, under the present scenario, Nankau didn’t have the wretched donkey, to curse and blame for his own failures each time things went wrong in his life. Therefore, the nemesis of his life was clearly missing, because the donkey was now someone else’s property. And the mule was too new to be held responsible for any ill luck. In other words he had no voodoo in life whom, he could have cursed for his misfortunes. And, he didn’t have the courage to blame and curse himself for his own mistakes, and this started worrying him beyond compare.

    One day when the mule was transporting sand from the river to the contractor’s site. The hind legs of the mule got stuck in the muddy waters of the river and as a result, it could not move. Soon, it slipped and fell, and fractured its leg, and within a few days the wound developed into gangrene and he died.

    Nankau was shell shocked at the mishap. He now had no means of transporting the clothes meant for washing, and was now constrained to do it on his own back. But then he had limitations. As he couldn’t carry too many clothes. So he started losing business. And, since the mule was now dead. He was also deprived of the daily rent that he used to get from the contractor. And that cheat of a contractor didn’t even bother to pay Nankau any compensation for the dead animal. So overall, he was at a loss of a lifetime.

    Suddenly, he realized, he now had no one to curse for his setbacks. Because, the ultimate anathema of his life—the donkey, stood sold. Therefore, it was not influencing his life anymore. So, the big question now in front of him was, who then was influencing his life if not the donkey?

    He decided to visit his learned friend Gopal for answers. Where, in his house, he once again found the nemesis of his life, the donkey, standing in a healthy and happy state. As Gopal was taking good care of him. Nankau, narrated the sequence of events to him.

   Gopal, first gave him a patient hearing and then said, ‘Dear Nankau, when I visited you last time. I knew you were a victim of your own circumstances. But you always wanted to play the victim card for every adversity that you came across in your life. For which you always wanted a villain whom you could blame and where this speechless donkey came in handy.

    But the real solution of life is to look for the hidden donkey within you, before you start cursing any other donkey outside. Moreover, you are just a human being, who is bound to make mistakes. So, if at all, you need to blame someone for your mistakes, blame the villain in you. And, for that, keep him alive. So that you don’t have to look for a villain outside, like this donkey.

    With this Nankau had got the message of life. He patted the donkey and returned home.

    Moral of the story: We often blame others for our own misfortunes which is not correct. When things start going wrong in your life confront the donkey that lies within you and don’t look for one outside.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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SHORT STORY: REAL VICTORY

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

    Once there lived an arrogant farmer in a village. His name was Sher Singh. He was as dreadful as a tiger. Even for small reasons he used to pick up big fights. He never spoke to the people of the village in a polite manner. And he never visited anyone. Nor did he wish anyone, he came across on the way. The villagers also found him arrogant and avoided speaking to him.

    In the same village. One day a farmer by the name of Dayaram came and settled from a distant location. As compared to Sher Singh he was extremely simple and helpful. He spoke to everyone in a very polite manner. And he always tried to help the villagers. Soon every villager started respecting him and also started seeking advice from him.

    One day few villagers thought of giving some good advise to Dayaram—‘Brother Dayaram! Never visit Sher Singh at his house. And as far as possible. Try and stay away from him as he is a big fighter.’

    Dayaram laughed and said—‘If Sher Singh tries to fight with me I will kill him.’

    Some villagers laughed at this. They knew Dayaram was very kind. Forget killing. He couldn’t have even abused anyone. But someone went and sneaked about Dayaram’s comment to Sher Singh. Sher Singh on hearing this got very angry. And, since then he started looking for opportunities. To pick up a fight with Dayaram. One day he left his bullocks in Dayaram’s fields. They grazed his crop and even destroyed it. But Dayaram quietly drove them out of his fields.

    Another day. Sher Singh changed the direction of the drains. That carried water to Dayaram’s fields. With the result water started flowing in the wrong direction. Leaving his fields dry. But Dayaram without any confrontation. Quietly set the drain right. And in this fashion he kept harming Dayaram. But Dayaram with his cool nature did not give him an opportunity to pick up a fight.

    One day a relative of Dayaram sent him some Kharboozaas (melons) from Lucknow. As a good gesture he decided to distribute them in the village. He sent one to each farmer. But Sher Singh refused to accept it. He sent it back saying, ‘I’m not a beggar, and I don’t accept alms from anyone.’

    During monsoon, one day. When Sher Singh was returning home from the market in his bullock-cart loaded with grains. On the way it got stuck in a mire. Near a nullah (watercourse). Where, his feeble bullocks were unable to pull the cart out of it. When the news reached the village everyone felt—‘Since Sher Singh is a crook. Let him spend the night by the side of the nullah alone.’

    But Dayaram, with his robust bullocks. Immediately left for the nullah. To help Sher Singh. People tried to stop him when they advised—‘Dayaram! Sher Singh has troubled you quite a lot in the past. And you often used to say. If he fights with you. You will kill him. Then why are you going to help him today?’

    Dayaram replied—‘Today, I’ll definitely kill him. And, you all, will be able to see that by morning.’ After this he left.

    When Sher Singh saw Dayaram coming with his robust bullocks to help him. He arrogantly yelled—‘You please go back. I don’t require anyone’s help.’

    Dayaram didn’t slow down. He continued walking towards him in the same pace and said—‘Abuse me if you feel so. Beat me if you wish to. But right now you are in trouble. Your cart is stuck and it’s getting dark. So, I just can’t agree to what you say now. And I must help you.’

    Dayaram, quickly released Sher Singh’s bullocks from the harness and installed his own. Thereafter, his robust bullocks pulled the cart out of the mire. Sher Singh then drove his bullock-cart home. He realized the goodness of Dayaram and politely said to him—‘Dayaram you killed me with your kindness. Now I am no more that arrogant Sher Singh.’ Thereafter, Sher Singh started relating with everyone, with extreme love, kindness and humbleness. To win over evil with goodness is the real victory in life. Dayaram, was able to achieve that.

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SHORT STORY: LESSON FROM A CRANE

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

Once upon a time a pair of crane used to live in a farmer’s field near a village, along with their newly hatched babies. It so happened that before the babies could grow up to fly. The field of the farmer was ready for harvest. This got the pair worried. Fearing their nests would now get destroyed.  And, before the farmer cuts the crop. They should leave the place and move to a safer area. But unfortunately the babies were unable to fly. Worried, the mother crane told the babies—‘in our absence if any one comes to the field, learn to remember what all he says.’

One evening when the pair returned home with food for the babies, they said—‘mother-mother today the farmer had come. He inspected the fields by walking around it. At one or two places he also halted and kept staring at the crop. He was telling himself that the crop is now fit for harvest. Today, I’ll request the villagers to cut it.’

The father crane upon hearing this told the babies—‘don’t you worry. The crop will not be cut so soon. It will be long before it is harvested.’

After sometime one day when the pair returned in the evening the babies were nervous. They started saying—‘we should now leave this field immediately. Today the farmer had come again. He was murmuring to himself that the villagers are very selfish. They are not making any arrangements for harvesting my crop. Tomorrow I’ll send my brothers and have the crop harvested.’

But the father crane was still not worried. He told his babies—‘the crop will not be harvested soon. In a couple of days you will also start flying. So there is no cause for any panic.’

By now many days had passed. The babies had started flying and were now fearless. One day in the evening they told their parents—‘this farmer is only scaring us. He had come even today. When he started saying. My brothers don’t listen to me and all of them only make excuses. The grains of my crop are beginning to dry up and have also started falling. Tomorrow morning I will come myself to cut the crop.’

Upon hearing this the father crane panicked and said—‘come on! Hurry up! It hasn’t got dark as yet. Let’s fly off to another place which is safer. Tomorrow, the crop will definitely be cut.’

The kids said—‘why will the crop be cut this time. What makes you say that?’

The crane replied—‘till now the farmer was depending on villagers and his brothers. Therefore, the hope of crop being cut was not there. People, who leave their tasks for someone else to perform. Their tasks never get done. But those who get ready to do it themselves. Their jobs no one can stop from getting it done. If the farmer has decided to cut his crop tomorrow, sure enough he will do it.’

The pair along with their kids left for another place forthwith.

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CASUAL CAUSERIE- MY HOME ALONG THE COUNTRYSIDE

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By Aolla Tripathi

The cock would crow in the nearby village almost at the stroke of dawn. The chatter and chirping of the birds wafted in the air, as I would linger on my bed a little longer, listening to it for some time. There is almost a languid laziness about the whole morning scene. I would get up yawning, bleary eyed. The footfalls of the cowherd, approaching, can be clearly heard. It is mingled with the jingle of the tiny bells around the neck of the cattle. The herd is almost always accompanied by a village urchin, the nominal ‘cowboy, just the antithesis of the gun slinging gunfighter of ‘ O.K. CORRAL ‘. All he has on his body is a nicker, a nondescript stick and a flute in his hand. Swarthy, he looks unruffled and happy.
The boy would ride a buffalo or rather recline on its massive back as the herd made its way to the green countryside a little beyond our house. The cattle spread out and settle down on the verdant pasture. The whole scene affords a blissful quiet occasionally broken by the lowing of a cow or the laboured chug of a passing train clambering up a gradient. The tracks are bare and empty with no nocturnal traffic. Where do they vanish at night has always been a mystery to me much as what the ‘cowboy’ eats during his long sojourns with his cattle.
It has rained last night. The trees are still dripping and the sun is trying to break out of a leaden haze. Our good friend ‘Gungadin’ appears once more with his merry band and heads straight to the Watch Tower which has always remained unmanned, why, a riddle as tortuous as the ‘Riddle of the Sphinx”. Though intended for Security it is only poetic justice that the young ‘cowboys’ use it to keep watch over their cattle. Well, this tower serves them during the rains. On a clear sunny day they would be rather on the sleepy meadows without a care in the world. It is not long before the strains of a folk song are audible. The little group is singing. The difficult rhythm of the folk song is soon abandoned; the easier ‘Filmi’ songs are tried out. Mom is up in arms against my slow motion cameo to the morning chores. I remind her it is a holiday. I hurry with my rituals and chores while sneaking a peek at them. This entire rustic scene is soothing and gives a restful continuity to my life. Years back life was not so humdrum. There was so much variety, so much innocent pleasure: Opening the coop and feeding the chickens, fetching water from a nearby spring, stealthily eating berries and oranges from the fenced orchard. Then there would be all the time in the world to laze around near the spring watching the seasonal brook going down in all its eddies and whirls. The water used to be surprisingly warm in the mornings. We wended our way over the ridges and ledges and ere long we were at the water point.  The noisy torrent of the stream would add to the din of our impromptu singing. The ‘soprano’ would take up a new piece as suddenly he would discard a new one. Alto, tenor, bass and all would join in the fun. While all this went on someone was sure to filch our meager repast. Oh! It was great fun. All the magic of youth and joy of life was there. I wonder if you have tried filling water in a bamboo stump. It is tricky- especially if you are collecting from a stream. Having apparently filled the thing and congratulated yourself for doing a good days work, you were more likely to find the ‘container’ less than half full on return home.
But it was the small fishing trips with my dad I enjoyed most. We would, for hours by the swimming pool, be waiting for ‘Godot’, as it were. Noise was forbidden. A tongue-lashing was in store if I made the slightest sound. There would be sudden ripple, a gentle tug on the fishing line amidst a flurry of movements up would emerge the silvery. The anglers are a queer lot. I have known some who would spend a whole day waiting for a catch. Catching fresh water prawns is another thrilling corollary, meant for the experts, I believe.
My mother, one of those traditional stay-at-homes would discourage these outings and would rather that I helped her out at home. I used to sneak out on some pretext or the other. Over the hills and dales and down the vale –that is how I used to love it-a far cry from the concrete jungles where I live now.

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