Republic Learned from a Tiny Hand
I am indebted to write, however last week, I was met with some routine issues and I got a bit busy; I never forgot you. I always enjoy writing to you. Somehow I write what bleeds my heart. Do you remember that I wrote to you about tricking? Yes, it was about me tricking my daughter everyday when I leave home. As much I hate to listen to the heart-rending shrieking of my daughter, I decided not to trick my daughter again. The impetus came from an incident that brought tears to me. It so happened that when I returned home another day, I was really tired. My elder daughter, Tess (who is 7 years old) usually brings water for me, without being really being asked for. It has become a custom and a responsibility for her. Well, today my elder daughter was nowhere to be found. Little Arielle (who is 1 year old and truly a Lioness-cub), who is the naughty one jumped over me to be seated on my lap as I sat on the chair. My wife then reminded me that I had forgotten to buy some things she had asked for. Arielle who was so far playing her games had just left my lap for something more interesting. I knew this was the best time to leave home; she wouldn’t know. So I made my move, slowly closing the door behind. I thought I did a good thing. She did not have to see me leave. It took some time to return. By this time, she was well asleep. It was then my wife told me:
“I had a tough time controlling her crying. She wouldn’t stop.”
“Well, do you know why she had come to the kitchen?”
I shook my head.
“She came here to get water for you.”
That caught my attention. “Then...”
My wife continued: “She asked me for the steel tumbler. She then showed me that she wanted water. I thought it was for herself. So I gave a little. But she just took the tumbler and ran straight to where you were sitting. She saw that you were not there, and so she went to the bedroom. You weren’t there either. She even went to the bathroom with the tumbler. You were nowhere to be found. When she realized that you were no where she dropped the tumbler and started sobbing. I did not know how to comfort her. She wouldn’t stop, until she was tired and fell asleep”
I looked at the sweet little one who dozed off, crying for her father. What was going on in her newly formed heart? She knew that her elder sister did not fill the role. Did she know that she had to take her sister’s place? Did she know that I was thirsty? How could a one year old girl think like that? Did she feel rejected? Are children so smart and understanding? I took an oath never to trick her again. Tricking was a greater sin! Honestly, it taught me a good lesson on parenting. Never deceive your kid just to keep her/him from crying. Let them cry and learn to face reality. I never tricked her again. Now I just tell her that I will be back soon (Though she would not understand a word what I am saying!), and allow her to see me go, while waving to her goodbye. Yes, there are cries and shrieks. But there is never a feeling that she was tricked. Further, it is witnessed that she stops crying sooner.
The trust you have of your loved ones is one of the greatest treasure you have. My daughter trusts me and I am not going to break it. Do you know who else trusts me? I am proud to have the trust of a wonderful team and there is no greater delight in knowing that you have a wonderful team with you always. They uphold my hands every time and keep it from falling down. I don’t normally fight the battles; I am not on the arena normally; I don’t have that action-packed life. But I keep my hands up in the air. We win as long as I have my hands in the air. They look to see if I still have my hands in the air. I do fall tired, and my hands are the weakest hand of all; yet it is my hand which matters; no one else! I have asked God a million times whether I should have my hands in the air still. He says ‘yes’. Neither God nor the team compromises!
On 26th of January, I was assigned to Akbarnagar for the republic day celebrations. It is mandatory that every JP jan (JP member) should attend the celebrations at any of the four slums. They usually have the hoisting of the flag; singing of the national Anthem; some displays of patriotisms and finally a laddu (a delicious Indian sweet) is distributed. I went to Akbarnagar with the usual Indian pomp and patriotic attitude. I expected to see the same. While the kids were diligent to do all that was necessary, there was also excitement in the air. I spoke to them about India being a Republic and Dr. Ambedkar. In the meanwhile, I noticed something.
Well, what caught my attention was a curious sight of a little girl and her brother. It struck me like a thunderbolt. This little boy who was sitting on the lap of his sister had a plastic flag in his hand. He was holding the flag high for a long time. It was strange since the boy wasn’t bringing down the flag. Little did I notice that the boy had his sister’s hand supporting his. He held it for so long, that she never let go of his hand until the programme was over. I was impressed! She had him hold the plastic flag for longer than an hour! It reminded me of all the support one needs in serving a country which needs the love of God! What a lesson I learned that day! That was true republic! It is not just elections that make a republic; it is also the strength you derive from people.
I will uphold the flag of India, and I will serve my country. I will show them who God is, and I will tell them what his ways are. I may not be elected in the common pattern, but I am still a representative elected by God in your favour. However, I need some hands that hold these weak hands. I have always had that strength, because it was not just a few hands who upheld me. If I am not talking about you, who else?