Suppose a man loves a woman; he wishes to have her all to himself and feels extremely jealous about her every movement; he wants her to sit near him, to stand near him, and to eat and move at his bidding. He is a slave to her and wishes to have her as his slave. That is not love; it is a kind of morbid affection of the slave, insinuating itself as love. It cannot be love, because it is painful; if she does not do what he wants, it brings him pain. With love there is no painful reaction; love only brings a reaction of bliss; if it does not, it is not love; it is mistaking something else for love. When you have succeeded in loving your husband, your wife, your children, the whole world, the universe, in such a manner that there is no reaction of pain or jealousy, no selfish feeling, then you are in a fit state to be unattached and called a true lover.
A Korean artist Puuung wants to disagree. “Love is something that everyone can relate to. And love comes in ways that we can easily overlook in our daily lives, so, I try to find the meaning of love in our daily lives and make it into artworks.” Writes Puuung on her Facebook page. These beautiful illustrations capturing the intimate moments of a couple’s life will give you all the feels.
This touching story reminds me of a song by Firehouse – ‘Love of a Lifetime’ . The words go like this…
Have you heard of a Love of a lifetime?
A love to last my whole life through….
Wedding of US Marine and Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone and Marine Sergeant Lena May Riggi. Shortly after, Basilone shipped out to the Pacific and fought on Iwo Jima where he was killed in action. Lena Basilone never remarried and died at the age of 86.
A young man went to seek an important position at a large printing company. He passed the initial interview and was going to meet the director for the final interview. The director saw his resume, it was excellent. And asked, ‘
– Have you received a scholarship for school?’ The boy replied, ” No ‘.
-‘ It was your father who paid for your studies? ‘
-‘ Yes.’- He replied.
-‘ Where does your father work? ‘
-‘ My father is a Blacksmith’
The Director asked the young to show him his hands.
The young man showed a pair of hands soft and perfect.
-‘ Have you ever helped your parents at their job? ‘
-‘ Never, my parents always wanted me to study and read more books. Besides, he can do the job better than me.
The director said:
-‘ I have got a request: When you go home today, go and wash the hands of your father and then come see me tomorrow morning.’
The young felt his chance to get the job was high.
When he returned to his house he asked his father if he would allow him to wash their hands.
His father felt strange, happy, but with mixed feelings and showed their hands to his son. The young washed his hands, little by little. It was the first time that he noticed his father’s hands were wrinkled and they had so many scars. Some bruises were so painful that his skin shuddered when he touched them.
This was the first time that the young man recognized what it meant for this pair of hands to work every day to be able to pay for his study. The bruises on the hands were the price that he payed for their education, his school activities and his future.
After cleaning his father’s hands the young man stood in silence and began to tidy and clean up the workshop. That night, father and son talked for a long time.
The next morning, the young man went to the office of the director.
The Director noticed the tears in the eyes of the young when He asked him: -‘ Can you tell me what you did and what you learned yesterday at your house?’
The boy replied: -‘ I washed my father’s hands and when I finished I stayed and cleaned his workshop ‘
-‘ Now I know what it is to appreciate and recognize that without my parents , I would not be who I am today . By helping my father I now realize how difficult and hard it is to do something on my own. I have come to appreciate the importance and the value in helping the family.
The director said, “This is what I look for in my people. I want to hire someone who can appreciate the help of others , a person who knows the hardship of others to do things, and a person who does not put money as his only goal in life”. ‘ You are hired ‘.
A child that has been coddled, Protected and usually given him what he wants, develops a mentality of ” I have the right ‘ and will always put himself first, ignoring the efforts of their parents. If we are this type of protective parent are we really showing love or are we destroying our children?
You can give your child a big house , good food , computer classes , watch on a big screen TV . But when you’re washing the floor or painting a wall , please let him experience that too.
After eating have them wash the dishes with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you have no money to hire someone to do this it’s because you want to love them the right way . No matter how rich you are, you want them to understand. One day your hair will have gray hair, like the father of this young man.
The most important thing is that your child learns to appreciate the effort and to experience the difficulties and learn the ability to work with others to get things done. ”
Story By James T Johnson
Tilak Ram’s humble place in Hashimpura sheltered over 12 Muslims, including many who had no idea what was happening in the by-lanes.
It was May 22, 1987. The Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) along with the Army had surrounded Hashimpura, a settlement in Meerut. The five lanes where Muslims lived had no rear exit, so there was no escape route.
The Army was searching every house. Muslim men, old, young and children were coming on to the road with their hands raised.
Women were on the rooftops, crying, begging the PAC to let go of their men.
Amid all this horror there was one house where Muslims were safe. Tilak Ram’s humble place sheltered over 12 Muslims, including many who had no idea what was happening in the by-lanes.
When some of their fellow community members were herded into a yellow PAC truck, only to be murdered in cold blood in the next few hours, about 12 people managed to save their lives.
“Thankfully, the Army didn’t search our house. There were about 12 people who stayed with us on that terrible day, May 22,” says Ram, in his late sixties now.
The twelve people left Ram’s house only after the curfew was relaxed. Nayeemuddin, one of them, is all praise for Ram.
“He not only saved people’s lives but became a symbol of Hindu-Muslim amity,” he says.
A Delhi court on March 21, 2015 acquitted all 16 accused in the 28-year-old case. All the acquitted are former personnel of the PAC.
Massacre shattered syncretic culture, says neighbour
Ram’s house, which provided sanctuary to 12 Muslims during the PAC-Army search at Hashimpura in 1987, was not a pucca one then but just brick walls covered by an asbestos sheet. It is located right at the front portion of Hashimpura and welcomes anybody visiting what has become now largely a Muslim ghetto. But that was not the situation before May 1987. Many more Hindus used to stay in Hashimpura.
The riots and communal tension due to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid row, and the massacre changed the demography of Hashimpura, says Sher Ali, a tailor master whose shop ‘Gulmarg tailors’, is next to Ram’s house.
Sitting next to his neighbour on a flat wooden charpoy, Ali, with a big picture of goddess Kaali in the background, talks about the history of Hashimpura.
“What used to be a live example of ganga-jamuni tehzeeb, syncretic Indian culture, gradually turned into a ghetto which came to stand for victimhood of the minority community and its constant search for justice for the massacre of 42 innocent people,” says Ali, while remembering the “good old days” when people didn’t use to be Hindu or Muslim but “friends” whose “houses and hearts” were always open for each other.
Ram, who sacrificed a goat for his favourite goddess Kali on Ramnavami on Saturday became nostalgic. “It was fun to live in those times. Ali and me belong to those times and feel a bit suffocated now,” he gestures towards Ali. Together they looked like a rare specimen from the past. “There was no question of any conflict. Muslims and Hindus used to be religious but not intolerant.”
“Satasi ke kaand ne sab kucch badal diya, ham sabke liye. (The massacre of 1987 changed our lives, lives of both Muslims and Hindus,” he says.)
“There used to be religious clashes and communal riots but then things used to calm down. But the massacre of 1987 shook Muslims from inside and even the slightest of tension used to scare us,” says Ali, a man in his early sixties.
When this correspondent begins to take leave, Ram says, “My father Jas Ram was born here and died here. I was born here and I will die here only, as a resident of Hashimpura.”
Ram has a visitor: Sanjay also a resident of Hashimpura, in one of its inner by-lanes. He was just four when the massacre happened. He is happy that his father chose not to leave the area unlike his fellow community members after 1987. He says the situation is not as bad as people think. His best friend is Babu Khan.
“Hatred is in people’s minds and not in their hearts,” he remarks, indicating that all is not lost in Hashimpura.
Really amazing post… reblogging this one 🙂
Heather Havrilesky, Like a Prayer:
I don’t believe in God, but I need some kind of a prayer to repeat when things go haywire. I need a prayer because, as a writer with several unruly dependents under my roof, each day is a rollercoaster, a crapshoot, an exercise in uncertainty.
See how the tiniest events can shift the barometer just enough to stir up a storm? My buoyant mood sinks. The day that felt so full of promise sags, landing in a haze of exhaustion and niggling worries by the time I crawl into bed.
I need a belief system. I need a morning ritual. I need to say some bold and glorious words out loud at the start of the day, to remind myself who I am and what I’m doing and what the point of it all is. Unfortunately, I don’t like saying bold and glorious words…
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The picture of hundreds of people lining the road showering marigold petals on an ambulance as it sped past on an empty road in Vijayawada, during daytime, brought tears to my eyes. I was puzzled by this strange emotion, unprepared for the tears welling up within me however fleeting they may have been. To see hundreds of people showering marigold flowers on an ambulance, led by a pilot car whose siren announced the urgency of its purpose, was difficult to explain. Something very special was taking place, something the people seemed to collectively understand and endorse. With their marigold flowers, they had come to salute and confer a sacred status on the passing ambulance. In it was the heart of a young man who had just been declared brain dead and whose family, after a brief period of counselling, in a supreme act of humanity, gifted it to another human being. For someone to perform such an act of humanity, at a time when they are struggling with the pain of loss, is an act of transcendence that only the gods can understand. And perhaps even they cannot.
Of collective will
The story of V. Raju’s photograph, alongside an article by P. Samuel Jonathan titled “Brain dead man gives life to 8 people” ( The Hindu , March 7), clearly moved me. It seemed to touch something deep within and I felt the need to comprehend not just the tears but the whole episode since it contained more than just a personal emotion. Was it the sense of humility that the story produced in me when I reflected on the gesture of a sister donating the heart of her loving brother to a complete stranger? Was it some deeper understanding of the meaning of life that she had, or perhaps some spiritual feeling of human oneness, that produced such a selfless act? Was there no anger at life’s irony that another can live because one’s loved one has died? Or envy or even self-pity? Where did these emotions go? Did the sister see, in the gift, her brother living on? While that seems a credible explanation, the gesture in fact says much more. Saving the life of another also appeared to count. I wondered if I was humbled by the spectacle of the “collective will” in action as people stepped out of the path of the ambulance, and waited on the side of the road so that it would not be delayed even for a second. The marigold petals being showered on a heart that was not beating, but that contained the gift of life, had something metaphysical about it. I needed to pursue these thoughts a little more.
I did a Google search with the words “green corridor for heart transplant” and was amazed at the stories that appeared on my screen. Chennai. Bengaluru. Vijayawada. Hyderabad. Hearts donated by grieving relatives, harvested in one place and taken to another to bring relief to an anxious family. A heart carried from one hospital to another, in Chennai during peak time, in 21 minutes on a route that normally took more than an hour, ending in a successful transplant. A heart being airlifted from Bengaluru to Chennai in record time to save the life of a woman whose own heart was fading. From the Internet, one read of many cases, within a city, and in some instances across two States, as families, counsellors, hospitals, doctors, ambulance staff, airport authorities, aircraft crew, city authorities, police and the commuting public, cooperated to make the heart transplant a success. The green corridor worked. And just as I was preparing to formulate a thesis about the superior civic virtues of the emerging new public in the South of India, of the South’s expressive humanism — since the numbers were coming mainly from Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad — I read in early March of a similar green corridor which was successful in transporting a heart from Gurgaon to Delhi. It was clear that the time had come to look at the many elements of this new humanism.
The first is the counsellors at the hospital who assist the grieving relatives to bear their loss and also to think about allowing the cadaver to be harvested for its organs so that another can live. This requires not just courage, but also deep empathy, to approach a family in the middle of its sorrow and to ask its members to consider the donation of the heart of the loved one, who has just been declared brain dead, to another. For the family to give up the hope that the loved one will live again, to accept death, and then to think about a gift of the heart to another is an act of spirituality that every priest, of every religion, must talk endlessly about. The counsellor’s job is perhaps the hardest in the world. Yet, some people opt for it because of a commitment to humanity. The families of the deceased, in their act of giving, display a quality of sprit that can both humble and elevate us. Many vipassana camps may not be enough to comprehend the enormity of the gesture.
The system’s response
The second aspect is the hospital authorities and the relevant government body tasked to ensure that the organ donation and transplant are legal. The emergence of a system which ensures that the donation is without coercion or inducement, which coordinates with the various hospitals involved in the transplant, which maintains a database of needy patients so that various persons can benefit from the donation of multiple organs, which communicates the possibility of such a donation to the receiving hospitals, which does this in a short time frame, since time is of the essence, in other words a system that removes all the constraints for the transplant to be successful, is a system that we must salute.
The third element is the police and the city authorities. It is easy, as is often the case with government authorities, to negatively respond to a request by enumerating the many obstacles that lie in its way. These may relate to rules, or to delivery logistics, or to social behaviour. Born from years of habit, theimmediate response of a government official, to an unusual request, is to deny the granting of it. Such negativity is easier to live with since it is a no risk strategy. So, suddenly to witness a different response from the police and the municipal authorities who prepared and imposed a “green corridor” on the travelling public — where all the traffic lights on the route to be taken by the ambulance carrying the donated heart are kept green and all other lights of roads leading to the corridor are turned red — is again a response by the government that can only be applauded.
The fourth aspect is the effort of the ambulance and aircraft crew. Reading the reports, one got an idea of their sense of purpose. As one driver stated, after a particularly tense drive, carrying a heart from one hospital to another in the same city, was for him the drive of his life. Also, of another life. For him, the anxiety of not succeeding, of letting down the patient waiting for the heart, of dealing with the uncertainty of driving at speeds in excess of a hundred, on an Indian road, where a
The fifth aspect relates to the doctors and nurses at both ends, those who remove the heart from the cadaver and those who prepare the receiving patient for the transplant. They have to believe that it will be delivered, that the system will work and that they must play their part in the long chain of success. The receiving team has to check all parameters and keep the patient operated and ready. For all of them this is not business as usual but a commitment to the Hippocratic oath of saving a life. The numbers of such doctors are growing.
Expression of fraternity
The final element is the public waiting for the ambulance to pass. Patiently. Respectfully. Such publics have emerged across many cities in India. Spontaneous publics moved by a higher purpose than just self-interest. It is the first light, I hope, of a new India. What seems so natural in the picture, of people lining up at the side of the road to let the ambulance pass, is actually quite extraordinary. In the picture we see hundreds of people suspending their self-interest, and instead of rushing home to do their personal work as they would on a normal day, willingly waiting by the side of the road for a heart to pass. Can we read in this behaviour their subscription to an idea of the public interest and the common good?
Let us now look at all these elements together. There are no caste, community, or gender biases here. None of India’s prejudices can be seen in this act of giving life to total strangers. What we see instead is the other as part of the self. How different from the politics of today where the other is regarded as a hostile other, to be hated and excluded from our public life. Will this expression of fraternity become a movement and replace the politics of hate that is today being sown? I remember reading, several years ago, of an elderly upper caste gentleman in Bengaluru who had been hit by a car when on his evening walk, who wept when he had been told that the person — who had travelled many miles on his scooter at night, after the hospital had called the latter and asked him to donate his blood belonging to a rare group — was a gentleman who belonged to a community that he had maligned all his life. The old man wept for a wasted life. He wept for his smallness of spirit. My thought train, which had started when I saw the picture of people waiting for the ambulance to pass, now continued. Why is it, I wondered, that we can receive blood and a heart from another, without worrying about caste, creed or gender, but we cannot wear another’s skull cap?
(Peter Ronald deSouza is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. The views expressed are personal.)
For someone to perform such an act of humanity, at a time when they are struggling with the pain of loss, is an act of transcendence.
In India’s new expressive humanism, in the form of the green corridor for heart transplants, there are no caste, community, or gender biases. None of India’s prejudices can be seen in this act of giving life to total strangers.
How different it is from the politics of today where the other is regarded as a hostile other