Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thoughts-My grandson, Neel

The other day, my grandson, Neel, all of five, asked me: “Dadaji, when I become Papa (read: by the time), you will have died, no?”

I was astounded, to say the least, not because of what the question implied, but the ease, the simplicity and innocence with which it was asked.

It so happened that the little one was on spree of mischiefs. So I scolded him. As is his wont, he was back to his antics in no time. Both his mother and grandmother were at the end of their wits. I gave him a higher doze. I warned him that if he continues with his mischiefs, I will send him to a boarding school where he will have to stay without his parents and grandparents, and that too with discipline. After a little cross examination, he was convinced that the threat, probably, was real. That did the trick.

He took out his blocks, started building something in a corner of the room and was quite for sometime. Relieved, I was back to my newspaper. But, the child’s mind was working. He was probably worried about the future, that his off springs will have to go through what he was going through. Hence the question- to make sure, I won’t be around to harass his children.

I assured him that I will not be there anymore when he becomes Papa. It would be exaggeration if I say he was relieved, but he was satisfied, went back to his blocks and left me in peace with my newspaper and with my bewilderment.

Only and only a child can ask such questions with innocence and without any awkwardness. Soon, as he grows, we will loose this charm. I was thankful to the God Almighty, that in this day and time of street smart children, my grandson was still a child, by age and in mind. At the same time, there was grief at the back of mind that he will grow up soon and we will lose this fun.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mahatma Gandhi's books eaten by termites

Indo-Asian News Service reports that termites are feasting on Mahatma Gandhi’s books. Some one hundred books and several photographs have been destroyed due to negligence or lack of care in Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. Damp godown, lack of air and sunshine caused termites to destroy these books. The report further says that the books and photographs, which were beyond repair were taken out and set on fire.

This news set me thinking. The entire nation is on fire what with price rise, inflation, lack of political will to tackle Pakistan infused terrorism, land grabbing by China etc. are causing irreparable damage to our country and our people.

We have our own bugs and termites in the form of politicians and ministers, like Mr. Koda, just to name one. I have often read in books and also come across foreigners referring our nation as Gandhi’s India. While we are worried about Gandhiji’s books and making a big issue of it, these political termites are feasting ( if I may use the word ) on Gandhiji’s soul and destroying our nation’s very fabric by their greed and corrupt deeds. We have bugs like Shibus, Kodas, Mayawatis.

At least, in Sabarmati Ashram, the authorities put these bugs and termites to fire and tried to restrict the damage. We, the people of India, re-elect these termites back to power to let them feast on our nation and destroy it.