Previous: Finding My Way
“Then you will be able to read them whenever you wish. Once written, they’ll be there for my grandchildren too. And for the members of my extended family.”
“I’ll put them online. So they are always there. Forever. For whoever needs them, wherever they might be, whenever they have the time.”
As the picture became clearer, the magnanimity of the idea humbled him. He was no professional writer, no web designer, no graphic artist.
He was just someone who loved stories. And had a few stories to tell. He would have to start from scratch. Would he be up to the challenge?
Would he be able to make it worthwhile – both for the reader as well as for himself?
Because one thing he knew for sure. It had the potential to become the biggest project of his life.
“Stories have great power”, continued Rosh, “But they are also severely handicapped because they are but snapshots in time. By themselves, they are not fluid or changing, adapting or evolving constantly.”
“Life is. So stories can become stale in time, their message blunted, their moral obsolete. They must be reinvented, reinterpreted, re-presented.”
“With great power, comes great responsibility. Stories need to be woven with care, for they can convey more than was intended, or convey that which was never intended.”
“I will try and be responsible. And create them as signposts, not as a rule book. So you can continue to see the world with your own eyes, not with mine. I won’t impose myself on you.”
Josh breathed an audible sigh of relief. Rosh heard it, and felt suddenly tired.
He knew his son. Sometimes you just couldn’t win, no matter what you did. Sometimes you wondered if had got in the way, though you were only trying to guide.
‘My stories will wait for you like fruit-laden trees,’ he thought, ‘until you are ready to eat from them. I may not be able to wait that long. I may not have enough time.’
‘But trees don’t pick and choose who eats their fruit! The fruit doesn’t discriminate between who it gets eaten by! The fruit is available. To all who are willing and able to eat it.’
“I am sure”, he sighed, “that I am not the only father who regrets not having told his stories to his son. Some don’t have the ability, some no time, and for some there was no chance.”
“Now they’ll have a chance. I will also make the stories available to all on the web. Across the globe. Because the whole wide world is but one family.”
‘Vasudhaev kutumbkam,’ he understood it now, though he had heard it a thousand times before. ‘Mundo Uno - One World’.
”अयं बन्धुरयं नेति, गणना लघुचेतसाम् | उदार चरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् || ”
ayaṁ bandhurayaṁ nēti, gaṇanā laghu chētasām | udār charitānām tu vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam ||
“Discrimination, saying ‘this one is a relative; that other is a stranger’, is for the small-minded. For the magnanimous, the entire world is one family.”
“Anyone with internet access from anywhere in the world would be able to freely read them anytime. Without needing to login, without fees, and without ads.”
“On their handhelds or laptops – teenagers going to college, workers on lunch breaks, commuters in buses, executives on planes, mothers in trains, grannies surfing the web. Anyone, anywhere, anytime ...”
The idea captured their imagination.
“Publish a book online”, Isha said excitedly, “Amazon will sell it. You have so much experience. So much knowledge. So much to tell. People could learn so much from you.”
“Not experience!” Rosh smiled feebly, “experiences maybe. Enough to tell a few interesting tales. And retell tales already told, with my own take on them.”
“No,” he decided, “I am too weak to write a book. Too torn. Too disorganized. Writing a book demands discipline and a flow to the story – neither of which I can offer at the moment.”
“I’m having mood swings. So I may not wish to write at all for months. Or I may write continuously for months. I don’t want to be bound to a schedule. Then I won’t be able to enjoy what I do.”
“I have only enough strength to provide brief snapshots in time yet. Of things or events or insights, that I may want to talk about on a certain day. So my stories will be too disjointed.”
“But that doesn’t mean that I can’t tell them. As they are. As they come. My story, the story of my family is an interesting one. It is worth telling, and I want to tell it.”
“So you will know who we are, who we were. What is our culture, what was our history? What were our dreams, our aspirations? What we valued, where we failed?”
“Perhaps they will also help you get a sense of where you need to be going. In your lives. They will give you roots, and I hope, they will give you wings.”
“When you have told enough of the parts”, encouraged Isha, “perhaps they could be knit together in some sort of order. Until then, you could find your feet slowly, taking one step at a time.”
“I haven’t got a book in me, I don’t think” Rosh smiled wanly, “I have stories. Stories I was told, stories I have read, stories that have emerged from my own life.”
“The time has come to tell these stories. Create the latest Upanishad. Before I go. It would be my last contribution. To you, and to this world.”
“I want to tell them now. And keep telling them until my last breath. There is no goal to be reached at the end of my journey. My journey is now my goal.”
Next: Creating An Upanishad