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Life reflections

Waiting

Recently I read about ‘waiting’ in two posts by my blogger friends. I have been thinking a lot about ‘waiting’. We wait for something good to happen and many wait for something bad. They are sure that life can only be unpleasant. It is a pity. But I believe people hope for the best. They wait for better days.

The general elections (elections to send representative to the parliament of the country) are underway here. We will be voting this 18th. And we will all be waiting for the results. Politicians make a lot of false promises. But they know, and we too know, that those promises will not be kept. But we have to vote. Those candidates will be waiting for the results. Winning will make a lot of difference in their lives. I am not sure whether it will make any difference to the lives of the people. It is really sad that we are forced to be cynical about these ‘leaders’ that we have to choose. But that is life.

We were in the hospital from the fifth to ninth of this month. That world is one where a lot of waiting happens. People are waiting for their loved ones to recover and others are waiting for an end to happen. It is an emotionally charged world. It makes us realise how important good health is. We have to do our best to be healthy but sometimes things are not in our hands. A young husband was telling me how his wife had tuberculosis in the brain. The young woman was healthy and the disease assailed her suddenly, so that there was no time to counter its effect. She is undergoing treatment but no one is really sure in what condition she will come out. She is in coma. I keep seeing in my mind’s eye the husband’s look of utter hopelessness. I last saw him on the 10th. He must still be waiting.

A few years ago I used to go twice a week to the children’s ward in the cancer hospital. I remember that small girl who did not survive. She was so brave and I could see that she and her mother were waiting to leave the hospital. I gifted her a necklace made of small red stones for her birthday. After that I could not visit for two weeks. Later I came to know that she had passed on. She did not have to wait any more.

There is a lady in the Home for the Mentally challenged. I go there twice a week. She is waiting for her brother to come and see her or take her home. Each time she sees me she tells me her brother is coming tomorrow. But he never does. She is a life time member and he and his wife believe she has no claim on them. It is sad to see her wait and that seems to be her destiny.

I listen to lectures by Bannanje Govindacharya on YouTube. He is great Sanskrit scholar. I enjoy listening to all that he has to say about our epics and Purnanas and so much more. He was speaking about how people wait for happiness to come to them. They believe that if they achieve their goal or if they do something they will get happiness. According to our Vedas we will get happiness only if it is within us. Our achievements give us happiness only if we have the capacity or the inherent nature to be happy.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

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2019 Indian general election – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_general_election,_2019

Bannanje Govindacharya – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bannanje_Govindacharya

More groups of people at the High School

“Learning to Wait”

Categories
Life reflections

Waiting

I meet her almost every day and every time she tells me her brother will come to see her the next day. She has been there for more than five years and is a life member. Her brother and his family have paid the money and believe she is no longer their responsibility. In a way, she is no longer their responsibility but can family ties break so easily? It has broken easily for them but not for her. She remembers her brother every day but he has never come to see her. We have many festivals in our country and they are an important part of our lives. During these festivals many there go home to be with their family. They are happy about it. But no one has ever come to take her home. We wonder about the behavior of her brother. Why cannot he understand that she would love to go home with him during festivals? The least he could do is visit her twice a year and take her out for lunch. But he does not understand and he never comes. It is sad. And every time she tells me that her brother would come the next day, I feel like banging something on his head to bring him to his senses. She is always waiting.

That reminds me of a beautiful song from a beautiful old Hindi movie, Bandini. It is about newly married girls waiting for their brothers to come to their home. It is a song which touches the heart. We all wait for something or the other from birth to death.

I remember the days when we were waiting for our grandchild to be born. Life changed when we saw our grandson for the first time. Now we are waiting for the end of October when he and our daughter will be coming for a month. He is three now. 🙂

Of all the different types of waiting, I think the most tragic is waiting for death. A few months ago I read books by Jennifer Worth. They are some of the best books I have read till now. In one of them she writes, “It does not really matter what you think or believe. Death comes for us all. How, when and where we die has always been a game of chance. Our determination to control it has not loaded the dice in our favour. Did anyone ever imagine that it would?” Most of us pray that we should just leave but who knows what is in store for us? Suppose we have to wait for a long, long time for death? Not all are lucky enough to remain healthy, physically and mentally, till the end. There will be changes, changes in our thinking and we may become helpless and dependent. It helps a lot if we are lucky to be surrounded by a loving family. Waiting does not become merely waiting when we have the support of our family. Sadly many have to wait all alone. Jennifer Worth has written, “many a time the tragedy of old age is loneliness and not the surroundings.” Being lonely and waiting for release from life seems so very tragic. One may be alone but need not be lonely. But that waiting might change us. We will never know till we reach that stage in life. It is good to live in the present but thoughts of the future do come to mind at unexpected moments.

“Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.” ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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( Sunset )