When was the last time you looked up from the screen and said hello to a stranger?
After a long wait, I purchased a car last year. Though unpretentious, I love it for the opportunity it provided to travel new places.
I also drive it to office and park along the kerb. And this is becoming a source of amusement. Like every nook and corner of my country, there are stray dogs in the locality where my office is. The resident stray bitch gave a litter some months ago and the pups are now grown up. They have taken after their mother – shiny smooth brown coat, thin slender body and a laid back attitude towards life. It takes a lot to unruffle them.
Since summer is here, the pack is constantly on the lookout for shade to lie down and take a nap. For some inexplicable reason they have adopted the ground beneath my car as their residence. Initially, they would occupy that space when I am not around and scamper away the moment I reached close to my car. But that is fast changing.
The first change was they stopped scampering away until I started the engine. No sir, the whole act of getting in and closing doors was not enough signal for them to move out. It was MY responsibility to ensure they have enough warning and are not harmed when I start the engine and drive away. On more than one occasion, I had to talk to them and announce my presence. You should have seen the look they give me when I do that. I have to hold on tightly to self-esteem.
However, the saving grace remained that their ‘entry’ showed some respect for me; that is they occupied the space after I have parked and walked a certain distance away from the vehicle.
But that was then. Now, they stand up when they see me approaching the slot where I park. And they are already beneath the car before I have stopped the engine, let alone come out or walked away!! Come on guys, give me some space?
Thank God they cannot drive. Had that been the case, they might have as well kicked me out and taken complete possession of the vehicle. They leave no opportunity go by to give me the message that I am nothing but a caretaker who must keep the vehicle clean and ensure it is parked and ready for them before the sun is overhead.
I wonder what opinion they have of me. I doubt they consider me a threat whatsoever. I do hope that does not mean they do not respect me. And I pray that they love me.
ps: a few months ago, when the weather was more pleasant and the sun welcome, they had taken a fancy to the roof of my car.
God, this day and those that follow, gift me:
– the strength to help all, friend or foe
– the strength to love all, animate and inanimate
– the strength to smile, even in adversity
– the strength to speak the truth, always
– the strength to be free of cravings, including Life
– the strength to happily give away all that I think I have
– the strength to follow your will, come what may
– the strength to be you
Whenever I bow to whatever you might call God, I use the above lines one way or the other, in part or full.
What is your prayer?
From the sports page, print edition of Times of India, 12-Oct-2007:
“The only spectators who seemed to have enjoyed the match were the hearing-impaired kids of the Akshar Trust who were provided tickets by the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA). The kids jumped and cheered at every shot played both by Indians and Aussies”.
The other spectators, with all fives senses intact, were gloomy and dejected at the poor performance of the Indian cricket team.
I could not help but smile at that news clip. The differently abled were there to enjoy a sport and they did. The masses were there to enjoy India play a winning match and they did not.
A simple truth and yet elusive. The more you free your mind of boundaries and biases, the more Life gets a chance to make you smile.