Walking On Two Different Roads, But Same Path
Posted by Sheetal Sanghvi on Dec 8, 2014
Pratyush's mom, Kavita Aunty, is one of those warm hearted people -- who has attended various retreats, Awakin Circles, and often touched us with her love. Yet, mother's heart being a mother's heart, she found herself worrying over many sleepless nighs, about her son wandering without any money, or food security, and or any other resources.
One day, though, she thought that if some stranger is feeding my son everyday, why don't I feed another stranger myself? So she started her own practice, and a journey from scarcity to abundance.
Initially, she would invite people nearby helpers like maids, gardeners, guards, janitors and so on to come into their house. When her gardener came, she fed him lovingly, shared stories of Pratyush and even confided some of her worries. The gardener replied, "Bhen aap chinta mat karo apka beta raja hai use kabhi kisi chij ki kami nahi hogi main janta hun unko." (Fear not, Sister, your son is like a king. He'll never have a lack of any resources. I know that.) As Kavita Aunty described this anecdote to Shashi, the local Awakin Delhi host, she shared how typically the gardener would refer to her as a "Madam" but this was the first time she called her a sister. "I'm really getting to know the power of deep, soulful connections through this daily practice," Aunty joyfully shared.
On days where she can't manage to invite a stranger to her house, she takes the food out to the streets. Sometimes it takes her 2 hours before someone is ready to receive her offering. Sadly, many people would refuse an offering from this devout woman in her late 60s, thinking that there is something suspicious going on. Kavita Aunty, a long-time devotee of Ramakrishna, just says that she is learning to be grateful for those who accept her offering.
As I was speaking to her, I was reminder of a Gibran quote from the Prophet: "There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward. And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism. And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space. Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth."
Kavita Aunty also shared that this vow is helping her connect with diverse folks because of her daily offerings. Recently, after a two hour search, a taxi driver who was watching her from a distance for a while approached her; after hearing her story, he graciously accepted her food. The taxi driver said, "I've been unwell, so I usually carry my own tiffin from home -- but today, I didn't." It was meant to be. Both of them shared gratitude for their sacred connection as he gave Aunty his mobile number, "If there's ever an opportunity to be of service, please call me." A beautiful shift from me to we.
On one side of the country, a son is walking the banks of Narmada while on another side of the country, a mother is walking the streets of Delhi. Together, they are connected in our larger web of giving, receiving and dancing -- and shining a bright light in their corner of the ecosystem.
Pratyush, Kavita Aunty, and the gardener and the taxi driver, and the countless others -- we're all with you. Thank you.