India celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘The Father of Nation’, on 2nd October and I too decided to start my morning by recalling ‘Gandhian Philosophy’ and came around an incident where Gandhi once stuck his shoe in a railway track. He tried hard but it didn’t come out. Suddenly, Gandhi ji took out the other shoe; threw it right there and started walking bare feet. The companions surprisingly asked the reason behind this action. Gandhi ji replied, “If someone succeeds in slacking this shoe here, don’t you think a pair will be more useful to him? That’s why I thought of leaving the other one too and moreover what am I going to do with single shoe?” This is empathy and detachment at the same time. He was not sad because of his own loss but more concerned about the one who would be benefited from his loss. It’s simple but deep thinking; it’s wisdom. Happy birth anniversary ‘bapu’!
Mid-day came with an impromptu visit to my home-town, to get the full benefit of holiday on weekend and a brief rejuvenating dose of crispy sunny mountain ambience. On the way, I witnessed a slum habitation. Sitting inside an AC-car, you feel grateful to God and Destiny. Children with their half covered bodies were busy rolling in the sand. They appeared not to have bathed for ages. You can only sympathize with their condition. Lost in thoughts, I didn’t realize when we left the misery behind with a new issue waiting ahead; a traffic jam in the form of long bee line hovering the ascending hills. However, it wasn’t as swift as ‘bee’ and even a slug would beat us.
A journey of mere four hours stretched to more than seven hours, thanks to ‘restless’ habitants of plains and the so-called ‘tourists’ of the mountains. Either they don’t know the traffic rules of hills or they are blind. They kept worsening the situation and we, the soft-spoken, patient and ever-smiling, hill people watched them creating nuisance by constant honks and chaotic moves. It was annoying but we survived it, patiently 🙂 (Remember the path of ‘Ahimsa’ and ‘Peace’, is what Gandhi ji would have followed). The exhaustion not apparent to begin with, resulted in excruciating migraine attack in the midnight and along went my plans to beat the ‘Sun’ and witness the ‘AlpenGlow’ during the dawn.
After spending the next morning in the cosiness of the quilt past a heavy dose of painkiller, it was the time for a flashback; to visit down the memory lane; to go through stuff lying unattended for years. Each and every thing told a different story flooding the ambience with the unusual and charismatic aroma of the past. It was mesmerizing to see my wedding dress and the accessories. This stuff acted as some sort of portal to a treasured ‘analepsis’, transporting me to a life, already lived and cherished. I felt as if living those moments afresh. I felt a strong connection to every article; every piece.
But, for how long?
For how long am I going to preserve them like this and for how long, am I going to stay attached to them? I am a strong supporter of evolution then why have I been stuck at this point? Suddenly I started having the visuals of those ‘half-naked’ slum people who are badly in the need to be covered.
There are loads of clothes which are so dear to me but so ‘out of fashion’ and ‘use’. There are people in dire need of clothing; they have nothing to do with style, trend or fashion to say and I am busy here, building up memories! What if I contribute a little part of my memory-world and make someone’s life a tad comfortable. Of course, I can do that. In-fact, I did it and that’s how I celebrated Gandhi ji’s birth anniversary.
Hence, a brief visit brought many emotions to play; patience, pain, attachment culminating into empathy, detachment, peace and above all …relief. Relief, that I paid my little tribute to Gandhi ji and humanity.