Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wise Old Words.....

Underneath the happy countenance is a sea of wisdom that sprang from a life lived to the hilt.....
Image Source here

Advice comes in a variety of ways, from a variety of people. Sometimes solicited, sometimes unwarranted, it can make or spoil one's day. But good advice stays for long, and sometimes for good. Coleridge, the famous English poet has rightly put it words:

"Advice is like snow - the slower it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind."

Words of wisdom are like the foundation of a good building. The edifice cannot be strong without a good base, and wise words act like a sturdy support and prevent it from falling to pieces. We all have had our share of good as well as bad guidance. I am going to share here three chance meetings with complete strangers. The conversations almost always ended with a message, just like it happens in short stories with morals. All conversations revolve around children, and in all three instances, the people I met were probably grandparents in their lives.

1) On on my walk back from my son's preschool, I chanced upon an old couple. The lady was blind. The gentleman had gone looking for their's doctor's address. The lady was feeling scared and I remember making her sit comfortably on a bench nearby as we waiting for her husband to arrive. When the husband came, he was all ears to my son and his friend. He watched the two kids running around and told me in brief his own story of becoming a parent. The couple had been unfortunate for having lost many of their kids before birth and only one daughter, their loving daughter, had survived. The gentleman told me to observe and celebrate each day of my child's growing up. He said, "Give them all your love, for they grow up really fast." The words touched my heart as I thought of the moments the couple might have spent on her daughter and their unborn children. I thought about my own parents who had given me such a good life. And I looked at own son running around, growing up. He was born only yesterday and here I was taking him to preschool. As I write this, I realize that he is in big school now and has a sister who is two. Time really flies and they do grow up fast! 

2) Another trip to the park to let my little one expend her energies. As she tries to overcome her fear of swings, an uncle who has come with his grandson observes us. He notices that I am talking in my native language although I am in a foreign land. He starts talking and we discuss a few things. He talks about his own country and mine. He talks about America, about the safety women enjoy here, about the integrity of people living here. Then we talk about education, about culture and about our language. The discussion leads us to a point where I say that learning your mother tongue is important. And then uncle says, Yes you are right. Mother tongue is like our root. It tells us where we came from.' And those words stuck to me. Although I had not given much thought to it before, I realized that learning one's language was the beginning of an understanding of one's culture. It was the first step towards attaining consciousness regarding one's identity.

3) A trip to Walmart with my son who happened to be in a sulky mood and with my daughter who was whining for a bike. My husband was at the check-out counter. A gentleman came and said hello to my son who responded in not much of a proper way. I ignored. The gentleman asked my son how many toys he bought today to which my son replied, "None." "Oh, that's great. Do you know how many toys I had when I was your age? I had just a cardboard and a pencil. It was my spaceship, my pirate ship, my rocket, my boat, my castle my house, my everything. And I played with my imagination....." As my son stood dumbstruck at the thought of not having a toy, the gentleman went on to explain how things were different in his times and how this cardboard and his imagination helped him develop love for rockets. Even today, he told us, he belonged to a club where they made rocket models. The words that he spoke still echo in my mind - A cardboard box and a pencil and lots of imagination - that is what they should play with. I remembered Einstein's words "Logic will take you from a to b, imagination will take you anywhere.'

Being a mother of two, I cannot just forget these lovely reflections by complete strangers. They were all people touching the twilight years of their life. And they shared with me something that would help me steer my way through the journey of motherhood with love and care. Upbringing is a huge uphill task that weighs heavily on a parent's mind. It is not just the right education, but also the right conduct of life that we ought to teach our children everyday. What the three gentlemen shared with me were ruminations that would guide me in many ways as I bring up my kids.

“I am participating in the #SachchiAdvice Contest by MaxLife in Association with BlogAdda.”
Also linking it with #Monday Musings on WriteTribe 





14 comments:

  1. it is true.. when i was a child I dont remeber having toys.. the old cycle tyre was a toy.. the swing on a tree was a toy.. and various other things ..

    the kids nowadays are missing on a Healthier enjoyment..

    loved the quote Logic will take you from a to b, imagination will take you anywhere... IT does

    I always imagined myself to be a army man fighting a war etc etc .. and look I am almost one now :)


    Bikram's

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    1. Thanks for your wonderful feedback Bikramjit...wasn't it fun to play in those good old days.....even I feel that kids don't need as much toys as we give them as parents feeling that they would be good for them......but things change....Imagination is a delight to have and poor is the person who doesn't have it, right....!.....Good to hear that you are materializing your dreams.....:)

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  2. Beautifully written, Sunaina...and I loved the Einstein quote..it's true to the core... :-)

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    1. Thanks Maniparna.....and yes, that quote on imagination is so true.....:)

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  3. Nicely narrated in free flowing lines.Thanks for sharing!

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  4. This is a wonderful post. Sometimes strangers give us some amazing pearls of wisdom on the path of life :)

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    1. True Purba......Thanks for stopping by.....:)

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  5. Read a post with so much of substance after a long time. Keep going

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    1. Oh that's quite an encouragement.....Thanks for your kind words Sumandebray.....:)

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  6. There is so much of substance in this post Sunaina... very well expressed :-)

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  7. All the pieces of advice ring so true Sunaina. Children grow up sooner than you realize, Mother tongue is the beginning of understanding your culture and imagination takes you everywhere. Excellent !

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    1. Thanks Somali....they sure are words of wisdom guiding me everyday when I teach my kids to speak and value their language, and think creatively.....:)....and they are growing fast....and I am growing fast with them too......:P

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