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Monday, 27 April 2015

Wisdom bartered for a Chicken Pizza

That day was anything but special. I was sitting alone in my home. My family was away for the wedding of my cousin. I too wanted to attend it. But I was having my exams. I persuaded my parents not to attend the same and stay with me during my examinations. But they were adamant. They had an explanation. According to them if you want to live in the society you will have to attend such functions. “Otherwise who would come for your wedding?” Asked my mother. I found this explanation to be utterly ridiculous. To add fuel to the fire my father told me that I was no longer a child and was a grown up adult who could take up his own responsibilities. I wanted to ask him why did he forget this fact when I asked him to take the car to my college. But I was seething with anger and left for the terrace. I thought that the cool air on the terrace would calm my hot head too.

I could hear the revving of the engine and knew my parents were away. I clambered down the stairs, locked the house and went out for a stroll. I thought the chicken pizza would lift my spirits. Since childhood all of us associate food with happiness and I was no exception. The eatery was crowded. There was not a single table empty. So out of compulsion I asked to pack my pizza as I wanted to eat it at home. 

While on my way home, I saw a woman sitting in front of her house. Her house was nothing but a shanty made up of tarpaulin sheets. She had kneaded the dove and was making the rotis. She did not have a rolling pin or a platform. Just slapping the dove in her two hands, she was rolling out big well rounded rotis. A ten-twelve years old girl was roasting those rotis on the earthen stove and placing the roasted rotis in a paper. There were twelve rotis already placed on the paper. 

Must be a big family I said to myself watching at the five children who were playing with the street dog. Out of them one was a toddler and was sitting in the lap of another girl who appeared to be his elder sister. The girl who was roasting the rotis was probably their eldest sibling.

It was five in the evening. It wasn't dark. I wondered why she was cooking so early. The curiosity coursing through me compelled me to ask her as to why she was cooking so early. She told me that her house did not have the electricity connection and she had to cook before it fell dark. Her husband would return after a day's hard labour and would get angry if the food wasn't ready.

At that moment I realized how fortunate I was. Something moved within me and made me handover the pizza which I was carrying to the woman. Seeing the fancy box in their mother's hands all her children assembled around her. They were asking for their share. But the woman was adamant. She told them that all of them would get to eat it only when their father had returned. That too from the leftovers of their father.

I returned home. I did not recollect when was the last time I had thought beyond my needs. I did not recollect when was the last time I had gifted something to my parents.  I did not realize when was the last time I had told them how much I loved them. I was too busy in thinking about myself. This little incident which had happened that evening was an eyeopener for me. I had learnt a new lesson which had filled my heart with immense happiness.

I realized that real happiness did not vest in throwing big parties, flaunting expensive gazettes or cars. Real happiness lies in being considerate and caring for your loved ones. From that day onwards my idea of happiness changed. Now whenever I am happy I share my happiness with the unfortunate souls.  Rather it is the other way round. Whenever I do something for others my heart is filled with joy. If I have money I buy sweets for the urchins. If I don't have money I gift them my used clothes. If I have neither I just go and play a game of football with them. Their radiating smiles makes every pore of my body dance in joy. Indeed real happiness lies in giving and whatever you give returns to you multiplied.
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