Monday, February 21, 2011

a nice little story to end -2

Well, the boy knew to whom he can turn to! Duly an appeal was made to his 'brother' while going to school that day. "Dont worry boy, I shall give you something.” Reassured the boy went to school happily. On the day of Guru poornima kannan was given a mud pot containing a little butter. Seeing the boy's disappointed face Gopalan said, “Give this to your Guru and he will receive it happily.”

When kannan reached the school there was already a small crowd of parents and students. The materials brought by them filled the courtyard. Kannan went ahead and presenting the mud pot prostrated before the teacher. All the boys laughed at the “present”. Silencing them the teacher blessed the boy and asked “Dear boy, who gave this to you?”
“My brother!” came the answer.
But the teacher knew of the family. Certainly there was no brother! The pot was handed over to the wife of the teacher and their little boy came and put out his hand. The wife gave that boy part of the butter. Naturally this triggered an avalanche of hands being put out in front and she went on putting some butter in each hand that was put out before her. When all the children had had a share, she started wondering how so little could have been sufficient to all the children. She looked around and roughly some thirty children were licking their hands! This is amazing! Now all the children came for a second helping saying the butter tasted so nice! How can this be sufficient for another round? But another round was over and still there was some butter left! By now all adults around knew that they were witness to something miraculous!
The entire village started to turn up for the butter. When everyone had had their share finally the pot was empty! Of course no one had any idea how this could happen!
The entire village moved to meet the mother of the boy. They asked her, “who is the brother of this boy”? She could not understand what they were talking about. The miracle was narrated to her. She in turn asked the boy who replied, “Oh mother, he is the same one you told me about, who is engaged as a cowherd!”
“Where did you meet him, my child?”
“In the forest!”
“Let us go to the forest.”
The crowd moved to the middle of the forest and kannan started calling out “gopalaa, gopalaa!”
No one came!
The people started murmuring among themselves that the boy must be bluffing.
Now kannan called out “Oh brother! Come to my rescue! People call me a liar!”
Presently a sweet melody played on flute was heard. The people could not see anyone though the flute sounded so near but the boy started jumping up and down saying “I knew you would come! Tell these people who you are!”
The boy pointed to empty space and cried “This is my brother!”
Soon people knew who it was!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

a nice little story to end ...

We end this section on Bhakti for the present with a nice little story.
Kannan was a six year old boy. His father had passed on when he was three. His mother earned a little working long hours helping with odds and ends. A six year old needed to be sent to school but there was no school in that village. The nearest was in the next village reached only through traveling dense forest. Well there was no other way. If one wanted to educate the boy that had to be done. If the mother had to take him to school daily that would take a lot of time and then how can she find work? It logically followed that there will be no food if there is no work.
She told the boy,” oh Kanna, aren't you a good boy? Mother can’t take you to school everyday. You have to go yourself. Being a good boy he said, “ oh mother if you so, ok!” he set out with a stout heart but in the middle of the forest his courage deserted him and he started crying! Who cares if you cry in the middle of the forest? He ran all the way to school crying in fear. The teacher seeing him come in crying understood the problem and pacified him.
That day's lesson got over and the students set out for their home. The teacher sent Kannan home with a man in company saying, “ oh, boy! Without some one to accompany dont travel in the forest.”
The next morning it was time to leave for the school. Kannan told his mother, “Mother! though I am afraid of the forest, since you say so, I shall go through to school. But my teacher has forbidden traveling with out an escort. What can I do? Now this was a dilemma! Such a good boy who is ready to face fear of the forest to study! Can he be denied education for want of an escort? To whom can I turn to in adversity except the God! Thinking thus, she said, “ dear child! Don't worry, go to school. If you are afraid call out to your brother. He will come and help you.”
“ I have a brother! I did not know. Why does not he stay with us?”
“ Oh he has a lot to do. Always busy. But he will help you if you really need him!”
“What is his name?”
“His name is gopalan.”
Enthused the boy set out to the school and reached to middle of the forest where his courage once again deserted him. But now he knew wha to do! He called out, “ Gopalaa! Gopalaa!”
nothing happened!
Now the boy was nearly terrified. He called out in desperation. “Oh Gopalaa, I am your little brother! I need to go to school but I am afraid of this dense forest. Please come at once and take me to school.”
Still nothing happened.
Now kannan was really afraid. “ I knew you are angry with me. That is why you have not seen me so far. Mother told me that you will take care of me! Did I do anything wrong? If so please forgive me. I surrender to you!”
Now a flute was heard and soon a cowherd appeared playing it. A little calf followed him. He stopped on seeing kannan.
“Are you my brother Gopalan?”
“Yes, I am!”
“Would you take me across this forest?”
“Yes, I would. Let us go!”
On the way kannan plied him with questions. Why was he not known so long? Was he angry with mother and himself? No he was working hard and had no vacations. What was his job? Oh pretty much everything; mainly taking care of cows. What took him so long to appear before him? Oh he was on the other side of the forest. Soon and on. Soon they came to the edge of the forest.
“I take leave of you dear younger brother, I have much work to do.”
“Oh fine, now on I can take care of myself. I can go tot the school. No problem!”
“Bye then study well!”
“Oh I need your help to get back too. Will you come every morning and evening and take me across this forest?”
“Sure I will. See you.”
The teacher saw that the boy was composed and assuming that some arrangement has been made, inquired no further. The mother saw that the boy did not complain but reported meeting his brother who accompanied him. Surely this is a figment of imagination on the part of the boy. Well as long as he could go to school without complaining, it was fine.
From that day on kannan had an enjoyable time. Gopalan taught him many things about the forest, the animals and birds in it, the plants, trees etc. they also sang and danced all the way through the forest. The daily stories the boy narrated to his other was heard with much amusement! What an imagination this boy had!
Things went on smoothly till guru poornima arrived. That is the day the students paid their respects to the teacher with what ever little money/ material they could afford. The boys were discussing what each one will bring. One said, my father has the granary full and so I shall bring a bog of rice. Another said he would bring oil. Another talked of a lot of vegetables. Kannan was asked what he would bring.
“ oh I don't know. Whatever mother gives me.”
The peer pressure made the boy appeal to his mother for something to submit to his teacher.
“What can we afford dear? What comes out of work is just enough to make the two ends meet! Dont worry too much. The teacher knows about our family and will understand you can not give him any money or material. Just pick some flowers on the way to school and put them at his feet and prostrate before him.”
Kannan was upset! Is this all he can do?...
(to continue)