Friday, July 20, 2012
To Be or Not To Be
I am often reminded of my childhood days when I used to visit my grandparents. My maternal grandfather was a doctor, social worker, writer and most importantly a good human being. He had a story for every night and all the lessons we needed to take. I remember when we used to go to his place he would tell me so many things. He knew “Bhagwad Gita” by heart. He was a doctor by profession but never stopped himself from indulging in hobbies that he loved. He loved music, art, social work etc. He always believed in giving back to society. There is no age to fulfill your hobbies. You can learn playing guitar when you are in your 30’s, go for trekking to unknown places when you are in your 40’s etc. Never ever stop yourself just because you are of certain age. Just remember there are no age limits for learning and for stopping to have fun. Until and unless you bring this balance in your life, work and play, you will never be a happy person. Always keep something’s just for yourself. Do them because you are happy doing it. You will see how much difference it brings to your life and mind.
You know the most important thing that I learnt from both my maternal and paternal grandfathers was “to be myself”. Both never changed for anybody. They had principles by which they lived and those were never compromised for anyone. They were humility personified.
My maternal grandfather did his studies and became doctor against his fathers’ wishes. He would take tuitions, do part-time jobs to finance his studies and fulfill his dreams. He went to England and studied medicine and then came back to India to practice in his village. He started his career with his stethoscope.
My paternal grandfather had a very tough time growing up. He had to walk barefoot for 10 kos to reach his school. He never gave up studies because he knew that without education you stand no chance to lead a life that you want for yourself. He was a very honest Government officer and a much disciplined person. All his life he would get up at 5 am in the morning and take bath and then carry on his daily activities and retire by 8:30-9:00 pm. My father has shared with us so many times that our grandfather would fly down in his chartered plane [yes he had an official plane of his own for making trips all over Bihar] to Patna. From there he would come on his official vehicle to our Muzaffarpur house and leave the vehicle there. He would then board the “bailgadie ”[bullock cart] from his home to go to our village. He was never ashamed of his roots. His humble roots were what gave strength to him. All the values he learnt, he practiced them. I had the opportunity to spend lot of time with both of them and learn so many things. Some of things did not make sense then. My father and mother have always practiced what they were taught by their parents and never felt shy of abiding by them even in adverse times. Now I realize the importance and value of these principles. Having principles does not make you prudish. It only provides you with that “invisible line” which must not be crossed even when you face undesirable situations or people.
Always remember there are no short cuts to success. Every story has its own journey which has to be travelled to be able to comprehend its importance and beauty. You can learn from others but your story my darling has to be scripted, directed and acted by you.
So don’t change yourself ever for pleasing anybody else. If there is to be a change, it should be because you want it for yourself. Change is the only constant in life. If we have to survive we have to change. Change however doesn’t mean giving up on who you are or what you believe in. Never ever give up on what you stand for. Always make your rules and stick by them.