“I have been wanting to visit you and your family for long you know. But, every time I came to the bus terminus, I just wouldn’t get a bus to your place. And I just didn’t have the strength to wait for one. So, whichever bus came in first I boarded it. If it was the one to get me home I would go home straight. Otherwise, to my relative or some other friend’s place.”
(An auto or taxi to my place from her place of work to my place was totally unimaginable as the distance was just too much.)
It had been a while since I had seen this long lost acquaintance. We had been in touch by phone off and on in fits and starts. I wasn’t very comfortable with this kind of now yes, now no kind of relationship. I had visited her briefly but then, the ravages of time seemed to have usurped our relationship. Suddenly, one day, when I was resting one afternoon, the doorbell rang and who should I see but this very acquaintance!
Just imagine! Social relationships, friendship were being determined by convenience, by bus numbers! I just couldn’t comprehend such a thing. I either gave my very best or not at all. But, as I went talking with this friend, and she shared her views, her reflections based on her experiences in life, I realized that her approach to life was exactly the way the bus numbers decided her destination. If things happened, so be it. If they didn’t, there was no point in trying. This was her principle in life. I tried explaining that God helps only those who help themselves. But then, after an ordeal of listening to her problems I realized that I just could not judge her because I needed to be in her position, go through her conflicts, her emotions to understand her completely. But I also understood why certain problems of hers refused to budge and continued to plague her.
Sometimes, life seems one great mess where we are all planted to make a difference, to sort out the mess and make things worth living for. Unlike the Garden of Eden that existed initially with happiness, love, peace and joy, today, we all are surrounded by a garden of unruly weeds of negativity, shrubs of hatred, of prejudice and what not. Most of us are either too lazy or just too indifferent to take the initiative to reform or bring about change. Very soon, what seemed uncomfortable (the garden of weeds, etc) becomes just the right place to be in. And very soon we all begin to love this illusionary world of comfort and pleasure completely forgetting what our minds, hearts and souls really want and need to do.
Clawing into the fissures
Of our desires
Making us foolishly believe
That our wishful wants
Are our needs.
Making us shamelessly impotent
To reflect, act and transform
Despair into joy,
Hatred into love,
Cynicism into belief…..