Remembering my revered father on this World Earth Day. He was serving in Railways and had a transferable job. We lived in railway quarters, a different home every couple of years. Those days Railway quarters had a huge backyard. We would grow beans, okra, greens and flowers for family consumption.Once my father decided to plant a coconut tree. He got a sapling, squatted and prepared the ground. Then put the sapling in the small pit, closed with more mud, watered and got up with a face shining with fulfillment. We, children asked him ‘ What is the use of planting a coconut tree? We won’t be around to enjoy the fruits’.
My father, with such serenity and simplicity, said ‘ so what? Someone else will enjoy’. That day he not only planted a coconut tree but also a seed of sanskar (values) in his children. Years later, when he was no more, I felt a great desire to see the coconut tree he had planted. My husband and I along with my cousin visited our home which was now occupied by the current Railway officials.
We introduced ourselves and told them the reason for our visit. They were happy to receive us. However,I did not sit down for any pleasantries.
I walked past to the backyard. There indeed stood the majestic coconut tree full of fruits. I just stood there gazing, transfixed! I relived those moments of planting the tree and my father seemed to smile from heaven.
The family said ‘ We always remember the person who planted the tree with gratitude, although we do not know who it was’. We talked about the person he was. His love for doing good to others, not just people but also to animals and plants, to honor God given resources. As a young girl, I used to be picky about my choice of food. If I did not like the taste of food, I preferred to leave it in the plate than force myself to eat what I did not relish.My father’s voice echos even today gently but firmly telling me to honor food. The tears glistened and I learnt the value of doing good for the sake of doing good, because we cant help but do good.
I had not dreamt in my wildest dreams that some day Sri Sri Ravi Shankar would make an unannounced entry in my ordinary life and give me an extraordinary vision about all that was initiated by my parents and the extended family members that include my grandparents very prominently. Vasundhara,a Sanskrit word which means ‘Possessor of wealth’ is our Mother Earth. Our ‘ Mother Earth Day’ is everyday , not just once a year, as we express our gratitude to her during Disha Pranayam (Bowing Down process).
Praying for green earth and brimming rivers,
Jai Guru Dev