Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Unto each his own ... no.

Yesterday an old school classmate called up after 30 years. he has been abroad for so many years. He had done well for himself and got the equivalent of Padma Shri there.

I could only feel sad for someone who has had to stay so far away from the beauty of this country, and not have had the opportunity to work for the country, with the country. After a certian age, titles are just some bits of paper. I told him as much.

'Unto each his own' he said. I wonder. very much.

My village people would never say or think that. They have a dharmam, a sanatana dharmam - where an all encompassing  goodness and morality is defined very precisely. Paapam and punyam are defined. and are universal and eternal. I is not 'to each his own' at all. They all try to live by the dharmam as they accept it. and if they do not, they accept that they are failing it.

I remembered a school poem
'paida kar is desh jaathi ne tujhko paala posa
kiya hua nij hith kaa usne tujh par badaa bharosaa
urrin hona hi paratham sat kartavya tumhaara
uske baad de sakte ho vasudha ko shreest svajeevan saara.

('The country which gave birth to you and nourished you
  Has placed much hope in you for her own betterment.
  To repay that debt is your first and foremost duty
  After which you can give the rest of your life to the world ') 

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