The girl with courageous heart

Morrisville, NC. ISKCON rath-yatra.

“Thank you for helping me.”, her words oozed with gratitude. “You don’t have to say it so many times”, I said. She laughed. And that one smile made me and my problems tinier than ever.

I was giving people directions for parking slots and that’s when I saw a woman trying to get the wheelchair out of her car’s trunk. I sensed she needed help. I walked fast towards her and asked if she needed help. “Yes, Can you please take the wheelchair and the stroller out of the trunk? Thank you so much!”. I got everything out and proceeded to see who needed the wheelchair. A young school going girl was struggling to get her right leg out. She had apparently gone through a surgery and had a cylindrical structure around her leg with metal rods inserted into the bones. I didn’t know how to make her struggle less painful and did whatever I could to settle her in the wheelchair comfortably.

As I carried her towards the venue, she started the series of “thank you”.

“You don’t have to say it so many times!”.

“No, my mom is pregnant. She has to do so many things for us in this condition. You are helping us, I am so thankful to you.”

“No problem, should I drop you there in the shade?”

“Yeah that would be good!”

“Ohh I am sorry!” I struggled to get the wheelchair smoothly across a water pipe.

“It’s okay!”.

Another volunteer helped me to lift the wheelchair and place it across.

“What happened to your leg?” I asked hesitantly, anyway.

“It was a birth condition, I got it operated last month. It’s not even a month. I have to keep it this way for another 6 months.”

“Ohh…. Don’t worry, time will fly faster than you think.” I didn’t know what to say.

“Yeah, but it pains so much. And this weighs five pounds. It’s even difficult to lift the leg with it.”

She was frustrated, agonized. But she was strong.

I was thinking of what to say next and that’s when her mother arrived. “Thank you so much, god bless you”.

“No problem mam, take care, I will take your leave now.”

The girl was not smiling, but she had great courage. People live with tremendous problems showing great determination. The more we see, the more we realize, we are tiny creatures taking our problems too seriously.

The man with smiling face

I saw him first few months back. He was the calmest and the most composed man I had seen after entering the US. We shared a class in last semester. He always had a smiling face. The smile kept floating even when he asked intelligent questions to the professor. We only talked once, the night before the final exam and we discussed many concepts at length. He was not tense. He managed his time very well.

Today I was walking towards my home and I heard someone calling me. I looked around. It was him. I don’t know if god wanted us to meet, but it was definitely not a coincidence. We discussed again various concepts at length, but on a completely different subject. About consciousness, spirituality, getting out of the trap of physical pleasures, being equanimous, how to be involved in everything without getting stuck to anything.

I can see a way he has followed that can help me. And I learned one thing, that being with such people is really important to make sure you don’t digress from your path. Not talking to the people who can’t understand these things is not the solution but talking more to the people who can understand it, is. Getting more people involved for the right cause is not as difficult as it seems. But discussing it with people who are still a little far away from understanding it defeats the purpose.

Goenkaji, who taught me vipassana said, that the one who needs to show that he is following something, lacks the very thing which he portrays to follow. Following your principles without making noise is the correct way.  I never knew the person he was until the right time came. He never showed the person in himself that helped in stay calm until the right time. And here I am, making noises all the time and doing nothing. What a shame.