A child is most fascinating gift of god to mankind. Every child comes to this world with a message that Almighty is still not disappointed with man and there is hope for redemption.
Who will know it better than a mother who feels first kick of child in her stomach and teaches him to take first step. The unbreakable bond between a child and mother has been so beautifully narrated by Nobel laureate Gurudeva Rabindra Nath Tagore in his classic collection, Crescent Moon. It is all about intriguing questions of innocent child and answers by mother with love and affection.
The first query is why did a child leave heaven where he had all the comforts to come to this earth. Tagore says it is for nothing that the child came to this earth.
“Baby was so free from every tie in the land of the tiny crescent moon,
It was not for nothing he gave up his freedom,
He knows that there is room for endless joy in mother’s little corner of heart, and it is far sweeter to be pressed in her arms, than all the liberty of heaven.
Baby never knew how to crawl. He dwelt in the land of perfect bliss.
It is for nothing he has chosen to shed tears.
Though with the smile of his dear face, he draws mother’s yearning heart to him, yet his little cries over tiny troubles weave the double bond of pity and love. “
Next question of child to mother is, Where have I come from, where did you pick me up.
She answered half laughing, half crying and clasping the baby to her breast.
“you were hidden in my heart as its desire, my darling.
You were in the dolls of my childhood‘s games; and with clay I made the image of my god every morning, I made and unmade you then.
Your tender softness bloomed in my youthful limbs, like a glow in the sky before sunrise.
Heaven’s first darling, born with the morning light, you have floated down the stream of the world’s life, and at last you have touched my heart ,
As I gaze on your face, mystery overwhelms me; you who belong to all have become mine.
Tagore just waves his magic wand and his imagination weaves an enchanting world which belongs exclusively to child and his loving mother.
Whenever I peep into my childhood, so many memories make me smile and also sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks. Memories are like antiques, the older they are the more valuable they became. Believe me, nothing is as nostalgic as remembering your childhood. Our childhood has a perfound impact on how we shape up and the values we carry with ourselves.
It is one special chapter of life that stands out in every soul. First memory of childhood often relates to your mother, and I am no exception. I was youngest among my brothers and very close to my Ma. She was my friend, guide, and philosopher. My brothers and sisters referred to me as Ma ka Chamcha. Whenever I think of my mother, peace descends over me, like an embrace of her love. I close my eyes and there she is, smiling at me, beckoning me to her. That feeling can only be experienced. It is difficult to put it in words.
It has been 30 years since I last saw her, but her strength still stays with me, guiding me at every step of life. My mother was a woman of substance. Strong built, medium height with beautiful brown eyes; she had an honest face and long silver hair touching her waist. She was also blessed with a melodious voice that evoked emotions, bringing tears to the eyes of the listener. Since I can remember, she always dressed simply, in a cotton or khadi salwar kameez with a dupatta always overhead.
I remember my mother as a woman who, despite life throwing all possible difficulties at her, stood tall, proud, content, and happy till the last day of her life. I learnt the importance of karma yoga from my mother. She selflessly performed her duties (her karma), without expectation of rewards of any kind.
I remember one such incident when my mother saved me from wrath of my father. My father, a quiet man, who spoke only when necessary, was about to hit me when my Ma intervened, pulled me back and looked father in the eyes, why are you behaving like this, he is a child, but you are mature and grown up.
How does he know, a man in khaki shorts and white shirt is not to be trusted. My father again glared at me and shouted, listen carefully, if you think of going out with this man, I will break both your legs. Finding support from mother, I started crying at the top of my voice. She took me to kitchen, wiped my tears, hugged, and kissed me and made Halwa for me. I gave her a grateful look, smiled, and ate my favourite Halwa to my heart’s content.
Do not worry, I will handle this man when he comes tomorrow morning.
Let me now explain the incident to you. It proves how dangerous little knowledge can be. Man being referred to is from Balkan-ji-Bari a charitable organisation. My father, as well as parents of my friends associated khaki shorts and white shirt with Rastriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, RSS Shakha.
We were living in Block 6, house no. 707 in New Delhi at that time. It was perhaps one of darkest periods of Indian history. An Islamic state, Pakistan had been carved out of India. The hoax was played by Britishers before leaving the country on the basis of two nation theory, advocated by MA Jinnah. Even top Indian leaders also fell for this bate. Mahatma Gandhi’s voice was the lone voice of dissent, opposing partition of the country. Hindu- Muslim riots erupted everywhere.
Lakhs lost their lives and homes in this mayhem. Our family migrated from Rawalpindi to Delhi, penniless and without any resources. It was in this scenario that my father panicked. RSS at that time was in bad books of than congress government, headed by Jawahar Lal Nehru. The organisation was first banned in 1947 after independence and then again in February 1948 after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. I think my father panicked and wrongly linked Bal-kanji Bari with RSS.
Balkan-ji-Bari is a charitable organisation set up in 1923 by Padam Shri Dada Sevak Bhojraj. Personalities like Dr. Rajindra Prasad, Dr. S Radha Krishnan, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Vijay Lakshmi Pandit were associated with this 100-year-old organisation.
Its motto is education and entertainment for under privileged children. Its vision is to bring girl child out of poverty and make them self-sufficient through education.
Myself and my friends could have learnt a lot from this charitable organisation. But that was not to be. But as the saying goes, time and tide wait for non and opportunity knocks at your door only once. If you look at it, the entire universe was conspiring to help us. But unfortunately our parents turned a blind eye to it and we the children were the losers.