The Cycle Of Karma
There are events in your life you hold dear. Some events you hold dear, because they transpire for the first time. For me, one such personal event was the gift of a red coloured Hero cycle by my parents when I was seven years old. It was my first cycle, thus making it the object of my love and attention.
I was an unfit kid, a pervasive couch potato. My father was worried because of my unhealthy lifestyle. He felt that my fascination with the idiot box was ruining my attention span and making me susceptible to “bad influences”, namely the loads of television commercials on fried food, beverages and other not so good food products. Not to mention, yours truly was also having several social problems as a result. My girth made me a butt of jokes. I was far too slow and cumbersome to play with. Boys of my age then were not only relatively fitter but also curt enough to fastidiously exclude me from their games and assert my weight to be the dampner. This made me feel miserable; social exclusion coupled with being the object of others ridicule was not a pleasant experience at all.
In all these times, my addiction towards the television set multiplied. As a result, my parents were left worried for their son. My mother, perhaps the coolest individual I ever knew, tried talking some sense into me. In my exasperation, I shared with her the fact that no one wanted to befriend me because of my weight issues. My mother, with a gentle smile promised to help me overcome this exclusion. A couple of days later, th aforementioned cycle was purchased. But then, I had never ridden one before. As a result, my struggles continued. However, my mother, with every bit of patience, did guide me for day,s till I could cycle all alone, an activity that I began to enjoy slowly. She then encouraged me to ride to my friends home, especially those who lived close by. As a result, I started meeting up with my school-mates, who would previously ignore me and developed a deep bond with them. In the midst of these events, I completely forgot to take stock of my previous affection for the idiot box and became considerably fitter. As a result, the hitherto exclusion came to an end. I became a more social person. The cycle, and to a great extent my mother, being the catalyst of this transformation.
A couple of years later, I became too old for the cycle. As a twelve year old, I asked my parents to bring me a newer, perhaps cooler cycle. But I was not ready to let go of the previous one. I had so many memories attached with it. Letting it go wasn’t really easy. I would create a hue and cry whenever my mother would bring the topic up of letting it go. But being the wise zen that she was, she gave it away to an old domestic help whose grandson was five years younger to me, while I was away visiting my uncle. On my return, I was furious with her. I explained my deep-felt anguish at her unilateral action; we had changed cities and my old friends were living way too far, thus making the cycle the testimony of my past memories. My mother very calmly told me these words, “You cannot remain attached to objects. Hold dear the memories that have transpired for they will be with you always, the joys that you have experienced, the lessons you have learnt and the countless other emotions that you will go through. Objects will come and go, but your nostalgia should be with the memories that you have made”.
Till date, I try and follow her advice, though with varying degree of success.
A couple of years ago, the old maid and her grandson visited me at my current place of residence. I was pleasantly surprised when the old lady brought up the fact about how my late mother had gifted her grandson her first cycle, which she herself couldn’t have afforded then. It gave me goosebumps, I felt immensely proud of having had such a humane and wise soul as my mother. The cycle, well, it was the object of my affection, but with my mother’s actions, it had also become the object of much needed compassion and a sense of sharing between the lesser and the more fortunate ones. I did feel like asking him about whatever had happened to the cycle, but then thinking about the cycle of items changing hands for the good, I wished the current owner to take good care of it.
~ Saurabh Kumar | Edited by Afreen Zeb