One thing among several that my mother likes most about the festival Diwali is that she gets to do the cleaning and redecorate the house according to her. From the new carpets in the drawing hall to the new curtains, all of her choice. But there is something else, which I like about this cleaning spree of her’s. Amid all this comes a point in time when my old toys, some sketch books, old letters which I used to address to my father when he used to be out of town for work, in the most illegible handwriting of mine, come to surface. In the course of several such discoveries of paraphernalia, I found a Disney puzzle game which brought back the one of the most beautiful and meaningful memories of my upbringing.
As I sat down to unravel the mysterious puzzle, I remembered it had a piece missing, which made the puzzle incomplete and as a kid it was very devastating for my nerves. It was a Diwali gift from my father and I had lost that one piece for which I cried almost for an hour before my father came and reasoned out that the puzzle was complete even with that missing clue. He said “Every game in life teaches something. Look what this has in store for you.” What followed is a lesson which I still cannot fail to remember.
“Every puzzle draws a parallel to the life”, he had said with a pedagogical undertone. “What makes a person complete?” he asked me. Unaware as I was I looked up to him and waited for him to answer himself. He sighed and replied “Like your puzzle, with every clue, your brainteaser, it moves ahead towards completion.” He took two pieces that were a perfect fit, joined them and kept it aside. He asked me to remember the five basic virtues:
• Humanity- “Lord Rama was a King, mightiest of the all, yet humility and humanity was his essence. Humble and generous to all your subordinates and charitable and dutiful to the almighty. With this attitude, you will win the heart of plenty.”
• Responsibility- My father took two more pieces, joined them and kept it with the other earlier two puzzles. He added “When we move ahead in life, we have our responsibilities that are needed to be fulfilled. It just takes us nearer to our goal of self realization. You see, how your puzzle takes shape when you take it as your responsibility to complete the task. Just sitting and brooding would have never made you accomplish this far. As you grow up, remember your responsibilities and take them with grace and longing.”
• Perseverance- This time, father had a little difficulty in finding the exact clues to the next link in the puzzle, but with a the focused eye, he brought out two more pieces, clubbed them and bingo the puzzle was even more unraveled. He said “Never get bogged down by the obstacles in life towards accomplishing your goals. Do one thing at a time, but stay focused and you will see the beauty of your efforts. Aim for the goal you have set and with determination, strive and strike till you find your way out of the storm.”
• Friendliness- The next two puzzle clues he asked for my help. I took out two pieces with sheer expertise, and placed them myself. “That was smart” my father told to me. “You are just like my friend who helped me in this difficulty. Remember to be a friend in good times and in bad ones. Help others and ask for help when needed. Your true friend will be by your side always. Share, what you have and you will feel happy.”
• Thankfulness- The puzzle was almost done after two more pieces that he added and said “Be grateful for what others give to you, and show your love, trust and understanding. Being thankful to the almighty for what he has given to you, being thankful to your guru for the knowledge he bestows you with, and being thankful to your parents for you should know what.” I didn’t get him then. I know it now however; and I am thankful to my dad for what I am today.
But, the puzzle was not yet complete. He took the last piece he had in his hand and fitted in. The puzzle still had that one missing clue. With my wide eyes staring at him looking for an answer, I asked “What about the lost clue. It is spoilt. The puzzle is incomplete.”
“True. Just like our life” he said. “With our ego and pride, we let loose some very important people from our life. We leave some, and some leave us and Diwali is the festival to mend those bonds ruptured by hollow egos. We never realize that our life is incomplete without those very essential friends, relatives, colleagues whom we forgot to wish just because our ego got wounded once.”
We can make our life complete. We can make the clock reverse. This Diwali burn your egos with the crackers and call up your old friends, pals, and anyone you have not forgiven from long.
Wish them a very Happy and a prosperous Diwali, move ahead and rise above, coz….thatslyf..!!