A Time to Ponder

This morning, a prevailing mood was in prominence.  The mind was set to claim my thoughts.  Just before this piece was written, I had found an old clipping lying amongst my current papers.  The aged paper belonged to: The Food Section of New York Times.  Balduccis, the food lovers’ market enquired, ‘What’s on your menu for Thanksgiving?’ I spiraled sideways and in silence, I was asking my children, ‘Hey, what do you have on your menu to thank us, Parents?’  The question may exclude charm, but it goes to the great beyond, and I hope I am right to assess that you don’t require Buddha’s hand to guide you to the following topic that keeps popping up in front of all of us.  Dear readers, you don’t need to take my word for any of this; meanwhile, I am in the mood to express on a formative issue which is also getting explosively big with wide-ranging effects on any society.


Parenthood.  Every family is drawn to the subject of Parenthood.  There’s a possibility, every tenth of an hour, the term comes on the lips of someone or the other.  The pulse of history is audible to show that by and large, headlong, senior citizens tumble into disappointing mood as the truth sinks on what they are being offered back by their children.  The famous Indian film, Baghban, catches the throb.  In a way, I was given the opportunity to receive a box of lessons from its account.  Apart from the storyline, not only is the versatile actor, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan’s performance extremely credible with understanding the gist of his dialogues also takes one out of the movie and ahead of a screen’s mutterings.  The film certainly threw me (three viewings) in the bitter-sweet past, present, future of my life.  Wearing an invisible crucifix around his neck, Bachchan in the movie’s pertinent ending reviews his lachrymose journey fraught by the selfish, unyielding approach of his offspring.  So conversant to his boundless nature of long-running sacrifices for the sake of his children: the perfection derived from his own integrity determines his final decision.  What are the rights children have over their parents versus parents’ basic expectations.  Restoring lost dignity for his spouse and himself, Bachchan’s speech clearly implies a pardon that is not to be over-extended to neglectful children.  His emotions sustain fairness and firmness and in all parts release a relevant combination of facts: What’s not.  And what’s wanted.  He is strong and orderly in showing how important it is to get back one’s deserved respectability that he and his wife had lost through their children.  When he gets that, he becomes usefully more accessible to himself and to the community.  And why not?  On what grounds should the faithful elders be margined as not good enough?  By evading these questions, every individual is deliberately taking away his own rights from himself.  You don’t believe each one of us has to grow old?  You don’t think these obvious disparities will spin back to raise their hoods to repeat history in the future not far away too long?


It would be worth remembering that parental controls are released in the belief of giving freedom and responsibility to our offspring to grow well and naturally.  In contrast, the biggest loser is the one who does not benefit from this privilege.  Assembling the same wave, it is a terrible feeling when parents are subjected to children’s court-verdicts.  They cut deeply, more so, when life has already attracted the toll of wear and tear upon parents.  I don’t believe it is constructive to identify falling instances to end up labeling them as: Father’s Failures.  Mother’s Misjudgments.  In that sense, it often feels a hunt is on for all the parts where our kids failed and we are held responsible for their misadventures.  My faith prods to say that such forwarding comments are memorable for those grown-up children who are really whimsical kids.  Rewards are being sought by them without intelligent analysis.  Trophies are expected by them without proven ability.  The intention to mention this is not to go out and beat one’s head against the despondent wall of regret or remorse; nor is the intention to seek a lion’s share of praise for the meritorious aid given to children to build their own forts.


On top of all this:  The Bhagavad Gita discloses – Each generation passes down the torch of its culture to the next generation, its children, and it is for them to preserve, tend and nourish that torch and hand it over carefully to the succeeding generation, if not more, at least no less bright, than what they got it.  This is an essential part of Kula-Dharma (Family Duty), which has everything to do with living, thinking, and acting in order.


The Bhagavad Gita ¾ It is a religion-neutral, Indian classic, imparting profound wisdom, in the form of a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna. The Bhagavad Gita can be considered as a fundamental guide to seemingly complex issues.  It addresses life’s most difficult dilemmas – such as, how to deal with adverse situations, as well as, how to have peace of mind.



Geeta Chhabra


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