The last Thursday of September, 2016 I had four different experiences that provoked me to leave everything and think?
- That morning flooded with clouds in sky I was scanning paper and found a news item typically recalling my memory banks. A row of bullock carts on Karnataka roads carrying families. Reason was draught, lines underneath said, and they moved away in migration. They were migrating to Goa and elsewhere. I took that picture and posted on status on my FB. Saying not only birds, human beings too – but for reasons? Set my mind thinking how for livelihood we keep migrating. Bullocks do not know where they are destined to go, but the men who wield the canes knew. Human endeavor finds new pastures and arenas as birds in migration from extreme cold weathers do.
- I was to speak at an engineering college later during the day and was travelling through villages crossing city limits. I noticed a fish vendor on the outer ring road. He was on his scooter with a plastic container behind. He closed the cell phone, as car approached. A cat on his side was looking for fish. Having noticed, the fish vendor picked up a fish and gave to the cat. Share is a concept that nature teaches us. What is shared is not the point. Giving away what you can is the essence. Fruits and flowers are gifts after honey bees and butterflies do their act of cross pollination, shared by nature.
- Probably it was 1986 or 87 that we went with our daughters to a hill side house of our relative. The two had seen the touch me not plant earlier. They never played with it to see the natural phenomena of protection from environment. The engineering institution where I went to give a lecture had shrubs that reminded me of the 1987 episode. I played it myself in an attempt to learn further. I recalled what Nelson Mandela said “it’s not how many times you fall; but how many times you rise”. It was 12.24 p.m. when I touched the leaves of touch me not. And I noted the duration of time when those leaves that got folded to return to its original condition. Any Guess? Less than one and a half minute. We all fall, make mistakes and think we are lost. I saw even “touch me not” takes less time than my expectations.
- As I was immersed in the process of finding time taken to rise, I saw a security guard coming up to me. Involved in a chat I asked about him and what he did before. He worked for 26 long years as a soldier in the Indian artillery. He continues to work not to idle. When asked about his siblings, he mentioned that his daughter after her MBA was a teacher at the same institution. I requested whether I can meet her. Jyotsana came out and I engaged my attention between father and daughter working at the same institution. Pride of work, probably I thought, for both. But daughter who described her father as a proud soldier mentioned he is also a transformer. From the frontiers of attack survived the bullets she says he transformed the whole family with knowledge.
I think I made my day on that Thursday, thank God.
Lesson learnt – Learn Lessons, as there is no expiry date for learning. The more we know, the better are our perspectives. Knowledge is the path of enquiry and understanding. Nature and our observations make us appreciate the laws of nature and order. We think who we are and what we are. Often we desire more of things we want to possess. We tend not to share our kitty. These instincts based on pleasure and pains are not the causes of desires. They give us pleasures because we desire. We are the cause. The first two observations lead me to think of a way to be content with our desires to an extent we can.
Anger is a reason that tends to make us fail. When we miss gaps between ideal and real anger persists. The third and fourth observations on that Thursday highlight this aspect. Anger conquers our relationships. Anger kills happiness and pleasures that we derive through desires. We tend to judge even a positive criticism. We accumulate stress like a rubber band. Over-stretched, it breaks hearts. We need to be like the touch me not plant. Forgive and forget, and rise once again. Friedrich Nietzsche says when we are sentimentally in illusion and tends to relish stings of doubt and denial it’s time to take a TONIC. As an infant takes breast feed. We breathe in fresh air of consciousness. Need to inhale afresh as otherwise chances are that illusion kills us. Transformation and NOT conformation is the idea. Deviation and not re-scheduling of old embedded ideas.
“Each moment is not only something new but something unforeseeable. Change is far more radical than we presume” – Bergson. “For a conscious being to exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to create a new self identity.”
“As you observe people in their settings, you should not only look for the nuances of human behavior but also strive for motivation and emotion” – Tom Kelly
The insignificant touch me not plant gave me a lead to explore and see what probably was not understood by me.