Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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Human lives are invariably entwined with others.’ Apart from biological bonds, a person’s gregarious instincts ensure this.

There are certain relationships in life that seem to leave no space for negotiation or compromise, and which are impervious to any dilution in their intensity. Such is the axiomatic acceptance of these equations that it appears unthinkable to contemplate any query regarding their genuineness. The most obvious examples of this are relationships between parents and children. The latter love and respect their parents and are naturally loved by the former, and this is a Divine bond. However, as with every rule, there are exceptions. And, when the exceptions are of extreme intensity, they jar one’s senses.

There is a story of a young soldier who went to the battlefield to do his duty. When the war was over and the cannons fell silent, he wrote to his parents and told them that he was returning home. He also wrote to them that he was bringing with him a very dear comrade, someone who was a very close friend, and who would now stay with them. The parents replied that they were both welcome.

Then the soldier wrote another letter where he added that he had forgotten to mention that his friend had unfortunately stepped on a land mine and had lost both his legs. Apart from this, flying shrapnel had cost him an eye and an arm, and had disfigured his face beyond recognition and, therefore he was practically a cripple because of his terrible injuries. He expressed his gratitude to his parents that they were prepared to accept his helpless friend as a permanent guest.

The soldier received the following reply to his second letter:

“We feel sorry for your friend, but please do not bring him home as he will be a great burden on all of us. Your description of his physical condition leaves no doubt that he is now useless, and will not contribute anything to help in the house in any way. We are not prepared to play nursemaid for the rest of our lives to someone who was foolish enough to get so badly wounded.”

A few days later the soldier’s parents got a tragic message from the military authorities, that their son had committed suicide. In a state of shocked grief, they rushed to the place where he had died, and were numbed to see that he had lost both his legs and an eye, and his face was disfigured. In other words, the “friend” of the son was a fictitious person, invented by him to gauge the kind of welcome that he may expect, and the response of his parents had broken his heart.

Some time ago, a film actress instructed her attorney to publish a notice in newspapers that she has disowned her parents and brother, and that they were misappropriating her money. The said notice was widely published, and the world, that is ever curious about the lives and deeds of the rich and famous, was thus treated to the sensational news of the rift between a movie star and her family.  The question of the alleged cheating is secondary. What is relevant is that in one stroke, the affectionate bonds between parents and their child were broken.

The world’s population belies one basic fact. The teeming billions of human beings that inhabit China and India distract from the realization that every normal birth is a miracle. From conception to delivery, the newborn is vulnerable to un-imaginable risk factors. Contemporary medical science, advanced though it may be, comprehends only a fraction of the intricacies involved in the birth of a new life.

A child is born. Thereafter, the mother nurtures her offspring with indefatigable efforts. Every moment of her child’s infancy and childhood is a treasure of love for her, and its interests are watched over by an instinct that is so protective as to be fierce. Then the father and family play their own indispensable role, and the addition to the family is warmly groomed towards adulthood. It is sad indeed, if after attaining maturity, an adult decides to destroy a relationship based on years of love and care. Particularly unfortunate is the fact that it was this relationship in the first place, which enabled it to be in a position where it was capable of earning name, fame and wealth. The sense of betrayal must surely be agonizing.

Julius Caesar was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy hatched by his enemies. The only exception was Marcus Brutus, who was misled into joining the others as he had been persuaded to believe that Caesar’s death was in the interest of Rome. Nonetheless, while the question of whether his sense of patriotism was warped is debatable, his betrayal of one who loved him dearly is definitely shameful. Shakespeare has written that when Brutus stabbed Caesar,

“…..This was the most unkindest cut of all;

For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,

Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,

Quite vanquish’d him: then burst his mighty heart…”

There are, fortunately, also instances that reflect a sublime degree of selfless sacrifice for a member of one’s family, and one such case can be cited from the town of Mirzapur. A girl was congenitally blind. Her parents brought her up with great love and care, and when they grew old, her brother took over and ensured that his sister lacked nothing. As time passed, she studied vocal music, and after securing the first position in every examination, she became the first visually impaired candidate to qualify for the National Education Test (N.E.T.), conducted by the University Grants Commission. She has now been appointed as a Lecturer in music (vocal) in a degree college.

In a country where male domination and chauvinism ignore the law, and an irrational bias against the gentler gender leads to pre-natal female foeticide, the support that this blind girl was given by her family is heart-warming indeed.

We must all remember a glaring fact that is often ignored. We are capable adults only because of our parents and family. We too will become old and feeble. Nobody wants to be a burden on others, and self-pity is the last nail in the coffin of a human being’s dignity and self-respect. However, should one require the support of one’s family and it is not forthcoming, the will it to live succumbs to dark despair.

An army General retired after years of distinguished service. A young officer, whom he had trained and groomed, rose to the same rank after a few years. At some function, the newly appointed General saw his erstwhile General Officer Commanding, and ignored him. The old man walked up to him and softly said:

“Son, always remember that as you are now, so once was I. As I am now, some day you will be. Prepare yourself to follow me.”


 written by:Neeraj kant verma



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