Previous: Here I Am, Lord
He was hungry. And he wanted to go home.
When the doctors came around on their next rounds, they were delighted to see that he seemed out of the woods.
Happy with his progress, they discharged him from the hospital that evening. Isha and the boys drove him home.
Back home, they hugged him so hard and for so long, that he felt tired just from the intensity and strength of their love.
It was good to be back amongst the living, the loving, the loved. But the journey of a thousand leagues had only just begun.
“What will you do now?” Josh asked him, as he settled back in his bed.
“Let him rest”, Isha admonished, “Another day. There will be time enough for that.”
“No, it is all right”, he answered, “I am on borrowed time. Let’s make the most of it. Come sit with me.”
As they gathered around him, he collected his thoughts. Where to begin? He took a deep breath and made a start.
“All my life,” he said, “I’ve had my hand open this way. As a receiver, to get things. Look, it even looks like a begging bowl now. But I do not wish to beg anymore.”
“Now I wish my hand to turn the other way. Become a giver. The time of the taker is done. It is time to give back. Before I go. But what can I give?”
“What money I do hope will be left over after the dust of Global Financial Crisis (GFC) finally settles, will be needed for us. So I won’t be giving it away.”
“The other way is through Service”, he paused, “Karm-yagya (कर्म-यज्ञ). But will I be able to do much for others, when my track record shows that I haven’t been able to do enough for my own yet?”
“I do not wish to open a retirement home or an orphanage. Nourish the abandoned and care for them, like my father wants to do in the dusk of his life.”
“I ain’t fit enough for that. Not yet. Somehow I don’t think that is my way either. But if my father eventually opens one in India, I will return to him. To help him serve others.”
“Another way is to concentrate on the self. Seeking peace in the twilight of life by meditating, going away to the mountains, chanting His name, wandering in search. None of these are my ways.”
“Where else can one go? It is all here. What more is there to seek? I already have Him. What more is there to become? I already am.”
“No, my liberation is not in seeking more, not in getting more, but in giving back what I do have now.”
“What do I have? I have insights. Experiences. Perhaps a little wisdom. I have a perspective on life, and on many things to do with life. I could share them.”
“Knowledge is learning something every day. It comes from collecting. I have collected all my life. Wisdom is letting something go every day. I wish for less now, not more.”
“Mastery over others excites me not; I yearn to be of service. I am a teacher. I will teach. Gyan-Yagya (ज्ञान-यज्ञ). That will be my gift. That will be my way!”
Josh looked at his father and cocked a brow.
‘Really?’ he thought, ‘This you have decided to give? Nothing of immediate use, just more hot air. More preachy stuff from a moral high ground! More holier than thou?’
But he held his tongue.
“To each their own poison”, Rosh read his vibes, “Yet, one man’s poison could be another man’s elixir. The giver can only give what they have, whether the taker finds it eventually useful or not.”
“That’s why it’s important to find the right person, a needy recipient, for what one has to offer. That is why the Upanishadic thought was gifted only to the worthy.”
“What can one offer others? Knowledge or skills they’ve accumulated from life experiences. Money. Time. Or the ability to physically serve others, if they are healthy enough.”
“I’ll try to give all of these. Try not to preach. Make what I have to share interesting.Entertaining, engaging, enriching, empowering. Like a story. I will tell stories.”
“What type of stories?” Josh was suspicious, “Moral ones?”
“All the stories that I have ever wanted to tell you as your father”, Rosh decided, “but never had the chance to, when you were little. I will tell them.”
“To whom?” asked Josh.
“To you”, Rosh surprised himself with his sudden clarity. The speed at which the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle were suddenly falling into place now amazed him, “Charity begins at home.”
“Me?” Josh felt cornered.
“Yes, you”, Rosh nodded, “What kind of a teacher will I be if I can’t even help my own son? Someone I dearly want to help. Whom I haven’t been able to help ... Much!”
‘I don’t need any help’, Josh almost bolted, ‘I haven’t got the time.’
But he quickly bit his tongue before the words could tumble out. He looked at his shattered father on the bed and said nothing. He didn’t want to hurt him further.
Next: Mundo Uno - One World