” Extending one hand to help someone has more value, than joining two hands for prayer. â€
– HH The Dalai Lama.
Dear all, my fourth journey is rather simple yet truly re-memorable, so just could not resist myself from sharing it with everyone of you out there.
My father and me sat down for our morning cup of Kangra tea and I reminded him of the Sunday trip which he had promised me to accompany. â€œBut canâ€™t we go to some nearby place, some meaningful place?â€ he asked calmly sipping his cup of tea. Sounded pretty reasonable to me as I saw dark clouds hovering over the Dhauladhars and monsoon winds gushing past our attic.
â€œSon, I had visited a Leprosy Home somewhere around 1965 and we could visit the same today, bringing in meaning to our trip by sharing some moments with those people. After all life is all about love, caring and compassion.â€ Said my father. Suddenly, lightening struck outside and had a wakening effect inside my mind too. I remembered the spiritual discourse on Compassion given by HH The Dalai which I had attended a few days back. I could understand my fatherâ€™s intent and the true purpose behind his wish to visit the Leprosy Home in totality. It was out of his deep sense of compassion….for the lonesome, sick, unattended, underprivileged…..
Yet why was my father was choosing this wonderful Sunday for such a place…..my untamed mind was questioning me again and again, to rebel and persuade him for some happening, exotic, commercial destination instead.
It had started to rain as we drove through the lush green picturesque tea gardens towards our destination. My rebellious mind was still doubting my fathersâ€™ decision….
As we approached the Leprosy Home, Palampur and drove past the residential quarters of many of the inmates, I could draw and sense a deep relation between my fatherâ€™s motives and HH The Dalai Lamaâ€™s discourse.
After customary meeting with the warden, we then collected all the inmates of the Leprosy home together. Tashi, a Tibetan inmate was the unconstitutional head of the group and painstakingly he introduced the rest of them to us. They were a total of nineteen of them from all walks of life. Ten of them were Paharis and balance Tibetans. Each had a different story, a different background, but they had one thing in common, a similar tragedy had struck them all at some part of their lives and now they were sharing their lives together in this house of solitude…correction…house of love and compassion….
As I started to interact with them, slowly I started to realize two interesting qualities amongst the inmates. One, that inspite of the fact that none of them could ever recover fully again, not one of them had given up the hope. They all had the indomitable spirit and passion in their hearts to be fully cured. Two, all though they came from different societies, different cultures and different religions, and probably under the worst of the times of their lives, yet they all respected each other. They cared for each other. They loved each other and lived in peace, harmony and tranquility with each other….a thing which we common people avoid to the hilt in our so called modern housing societies…..
After distributing the lunch which we had brought for the inmates we spent some time listening to their views about life. And to tell you, some of them were really inspiring. To wrap up the proceedings of our visit, my father gave them a short talk and boosted up their morale promising them more of such friendly visits from one and all.
As we drove back home, the untamed, selfish, ever craving mind of mine had given way to pure love,respect, kindness, gentleness and above all compassion for the needy….some of the qualities I always admired in textbooks but found them hard to experience….
In retrospect, sitting back in my attic at night, as the cool breeze blows down from the Dhauladhars, I start to pen my thoughts, my mind was generating a deep sense of gratitude for my father as he had risen me to a higher level in his vast ocean of wisdom.
This indeed had been the most meaningful of our Sunday trips…..
Lastly, dear readers I would request you all to take out sometime from your tight schedules and visit the Leprosy Home, Palampur or the one at your hometown with your parents and children.
Five positive points accruing out of your visit:
- You would have a reason to cheer as your parents would feel a sense of divine pleasure distributing food to the needy.
- Your children would develop a more humane attitude towards life and in turn would follow your humble footsteps later in life.
- You would see and realize for yourself how life treats you if you become victim of diseases, hence making you realize how lucky you are to be healthy and must make the best out of every moment of your lives.
- You would feel for yourself the happiness your visit would bring in the hearts and minds of the inmates. They definitely get a reason to smile and brings back meaning to their otherwise lonely lives.
- At the end of the day when you sit back and reflect back at your daysâ€™ event you would feel that this would have been the most meaningful trip of your life….
Truly, life is all about love, caring and compassion…..
go feel it for yourself……