Sometime in November I had been to been on a bike trip to Mysore with Pavan.A.C and a couple of his friends. Though I really liked to go on a bike trip to Mysore, this one is something that I will not look forward to have again. The lack of preparation made me really tired and not to mention the dust, the hot wind and the charred faces at the end of the trip. But this blog post is not at all about the trip or the adventure. This is about a discussion that we had with Swami Maheshatmanandaji during our late night debates. Well actually this was more of gyaan transfer than a debate.
This is one of the several things that he told us. When we were discussing about the facilities provided to us as V’Shala in comparison with students outside we simply agreed that we are a lot lucky than several hundreds and thousands of children studying in other schools. At that time swamiji said that we are way too well off and blessed than what we actually think or just said. It’s not just the extra facilities or amenities available to us that make us the fortunate ones. The very fact we could live a “Student Life” during our childhood is something that a lot of unprivileged and unfortunate children do not get. This was something known to me and did not appear like some hard truth, but the gravity of the words was way stronger than I could imagine. To justify this he cited an example.
During the last vacations when he had been to bus-stand to see off some students going home, he saw a child in his early teens drunk and swaggering on the road. Well this is the treachery of the nature, I thought. Not all the fingers are same. But the treachery actually runs deeper than this. Swamiji continued and told us that it’s not the boy’s fault at all. The boy, by birth, has every right to be a student, to play like any other child of his age would do, to learn, to experience the joy of learning, to dream of great and big things and make every possible attempt to achieve them. He is deceived of all these. Instead he probably became an unskilled labor doing all sorts of small and petty jobs to earn his meal. Fortunately or unfortunately he got a little extra money which he used to purchase illicit liquor and now he is on the roads, unchecked, unadvised and without and help.
I protested to this saying that it’s the law of the nature and about he being unadvised, I said that he surely would have been told by someone about leading a healthy and successful life. Swamiji sapped back at me suddenly in strong disagreement. Here are his answers for my protests:
It’s not the responsibility of the nature. Is it nature that has taken care of us till now? Well it stuck me that parents/guardians are the ones who come into play here. They are the ones who nourish us, take care of us and make sure that we reach good heights and make us capable of leading a respectable life. This is probably what is missing in that boy’s life. Either he is not privileged enough to have a life with his parents or he is not fortunate enough to have parents who can give him a life. And about the advice, only words will not suffice and all that he would have got would be just that. As Swami Vivekananda said “Don’t advise hungry stomachs, they can’t be receptive”, this boy should be first shown some light and then advised to reach that light.
Then I realized what he earlier meant by we being way too privileged than what we talk or think. The only solution is to set a balance in nature and that would be possible only on a one-on-one basis with the privileged youth standing up and deciding to take care of one underprivileged. More about that in another blog post. As of now just realize that if you are reading this you are one of the most privileged in the mankind.