4 dham final

A TALE OF TWO SONS

 

 

A ‘Shravan Kumar’ in the Present Day

Most of us have heard the story of the devoted young lad who carried his old parents in baskets for a pilgrimage.  I was filled with awe when I read the tale of a young man who has been carrying his old and visually challenged mother in a similar manner in this century; in fact until a few month ago, in 2003! The following picture caught my attention:

image001

This picture was posted on the Internet in March 2013. The text connected with it said that a 36 year old man , Kailash Giri of Hinota village of Jabalpur district in Madhya Pradesh is on his way to Puri with his 80-year-old mother in a makeshift swing. The gist of his story is that he had lost his father and an elder brother when he was young. The mother had brought him with a lot of love and care. In fact she made every effort to ensure that the son grew up strong and healthy. He fell from a tree and hurt himself. The mother could not afford the expensive treatment, but she ‘cured’ his bones through prayer and penance. She had just one desire : to visit the “Char Dhams” (Abodes of God located in Dwarka, Puri, Badrinath and Rameshwar and shown on the map above) Consequently, he got a device made out of a strong bamboo and set out on his pilgrimage several years ago. It is said that he walked four to five kilometers every day and rested in a roadside temple. For meals and other human needs, he depended on charity. 

This journey was not sponsored by any organization and our hero has neither taken any pictures nor  kept a detailed record of where all he has been. But local press reporters have been covering it from time to time, and on the Internet I found several posts on this long and tortuous journey. To my mind, it seems that there could be some exaggeration in the narrative. But the following pictures posted between 2009 and March 2013 give enough evidence of the spirit of the young man and his devotion to his beloved mother.

image003

Here, you see him feeding his mother, who is apparently visually challenged

image004 edited

In this picture, he is on the mountains. Accordingly, he is wearing clothes to protect him from cold weather

PUBLISHED by catsmob.com

And here, he is back on the plains, in a different location.

Whichever way one looks at it, the spirit of the young ‘Brahmchari’ and his devotion to his mother can not be questioned. An enterprising journalist has prepared a brief video clip, which takes about five minutes to run. One can ‘fast forward’ it to save time. The link is given below:

PART II THE TALE OF ANOTHER ‘SON’

India is a land of great diversity. In an age when a son can be so devoted that he gives up all his creature comforts and literally carries the ‘load’ of his mother on his shoulders, I saw a press release about a son who has chained his 91 years old father in the house for the last two years, in Bangalore. This story fills one with disgust. I have a lot of details about this unfortunate man, who is ‘blessed’ with four sons and two daughters. He raised them as well as he could but only one of his six children is willing to let him ‘live’ with them. His picture is give below:

old man chainedI am not sure that you can call it life…He is merely existing! 

The crime which this hapless man committed is that he had lost control over his bowels. His son and daughter-in-law complain that if they leave him free, he dirties the whole house. When the neighbors tried to intervene, they said, “You keep him if you can!” And so this went on for several months. Indeed his other children did not even come to look him up. Finally, the neighbors brought this to the notice of the Police and they have taken him to NIMHANS for treatment. The latest report is that he was terribly under-nourished, and is now improving. In this case also, there is a video clip on the Internet, but it is a nauseating film to view. I am merely giving below the news item which appeared in the press last week. It says:

                                                                  By Sheela, Team   Mangalorean

Bangalore: Anantaiah Setty, 93-year-old man was rescued   near Banashankari Temple, where his son had chained him from the last 18   months. 
   
  On getting intimation, the Bangalore city police raided the house of Suresh   Kumar and rescued Anantaiah from the terrace, where Suresh had chained him   under the overhead tank.
   
  According to DCP (South) H S Revanna, the old man was in a inhuman condition.   There was no proper place to save himself from the hot sun, rain and cold.   The place where he was chained was stinking and the old man was not in a   position to stand properly. His legs were tied with a chain and he was lying   with his legs bent on a old mattress. An empty plate was also found next to   him.
   
  Police have shifted the old man to Jayanagar General Hospital. A Suo motu   case will be filed against his son and daughter-in-law for illegal   confinement and physical abuse, said Revanna.
   
  The incident came to light after a 34 year old woman Hemavati was rescued   from house arrest by the police. After watching this news in TV channels the   neighbours of Anantaiah, informed the TV channel about the confinement of the   old man. The police along with the TV Channel raided the house of Suresh and   rescued the old man.

 

EPILOGUE … A FLASHBACK IN OUR HISTORY

We have a rich history. Here also, we can find a parallel for BOTH the above stories in History. The tale of Shravan Kumar is recorded in the Holy Ramayana. Here is how it goes:

 

Shravan Kumar belonged to the time when King Dasaratha ruled Ayodhya. He was born to a Vaishya father and a Shudra mother.[1]

One day his parents told him that they had become quite aged. They, therefore, wanted him to take them to the forty places of pilgrimage, it is a typical Hindu belief that a pilgrimage to the various shrines and holy places undertaken in old age, purifies the soul. 

The blind hermit and his wife mourn their son, who was slain accidentally by Dasaratha

In those days means of transport were scarce and costly, and Shravan Kumar could not afford it. He, therefore, decided to place his parents in two baskets and carry the baskets on his shoulder to the various places of pilgrimage. He took a strong bamboo stick, at its two ends he tied the two baskets with strong ropes, and placed his father in one of the baskets and his mother in the other. Carrying on his shoulder this bamboo stick with a basket at either end, Shravan started on the pilgrimage.

According to the legend in Ramayana, while hunting in the forest of Ayodhya, King Dashratha heard a sound near a lake and unleashed an arrow, hoping to hit an animal.

When he crossed the lake to collect his kill, he found that his arrow had struck a boy who was bleeding.The boy, Shravan Kumar, told Dasaratha, that he had come to the lake to collect water for his sick and aged parents, who were both blind and who he had been carrying on a sling.He requested the king to take water to his parents. After telling his tale, Shravan succumbed to his wounds and when the king took water for his parents and told them of his tragic mistake, they were unable to bear the shock. They cursed Dasaratha that he too would experience “Putrashoka” (grief due to loss of a son). Sanskrit – “putra” is child/son and “shoka” is grief.

King Dashrath did indeed die in grief. Both his beloved sons were in exile when his end came!

A painting of Shravan Kumar with his parents deserves to be included in this piece. Here it is:

Ramayana sravan

Till this date, when a son is very obedient and caring, he is called “Shravan Kumar”

The Tail Piece

I was looking for a parallel in history for the man chained in Bangalore. The closest I could think of is the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan. He wanted Dara Shikoh to succeed him. But the war of succession started long before his demise. Aurangzeb proved to be a better soldier and managed to kill all his three brothers. After defeating Dara Shikoh, he ascended to the throne and placed his father under house arrest in the Agra Fort. It is said that he was treated well, but Aurangzeb never met him during the  seven years which he spent as a virtual prisoner. 

An Acknowledgement 

This story is based on a piece forwarded to me by Ms Tulsi Bhandari. Deep within, she has a very sensitive soul, and anything which she sends is worth reading and seeing at least twice. Some of the pictures above came from her…and that impelled me to do this piece. It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the debt of gratitude which I owe to her. 

 

 A POST SCRIPT

My good friend, Jagwant Bath has sent in a suggestion which is given below:

The young man is obviously very fit, and can be assumed to have basic intelligence and perhaps may also be literate. He could have tried to get a job, worked hard managed some savings and taken his mother around in relative comfort as no doubt thousands of sons are doing in India. Instead he chose an option in which the mother would have gone through considerable hardships and both of them subsisted on the hard earned money of others. Am sure they would have often been a traffic hazard too… Perhaps, such things happen only in India!

I gave a detailed thought to the suggestion. Indeed, he could have taken his mother to the ‘Char Dham’ by train. The entire pilgrimage would have been completed in a few weeks. And it would not have cost him a lot of money. He appears to be quite capable of earning that much and saving it for the pilgrimage. But I think it would not have the same effect. In the process of physically carrying her on his shoulders, he has made a statement…in fact he carried a message to thousands of people, without speaking a single word!

And one thing more. Travel by train would not have been the kind of experience which he gave to her now. She met hundreds of people, ate a wide variety of foods (I am told they were treated with great love and reverence everywhere) If they had gone by train, they would merely been to four temples. I remember, when I was in Sikkim, some senior officers used to land at Bagdogra, and then go to Nathu La and a few other posts by a chopper and claim that they had SEEN Sikkim. I think that to get a feel of the place, one has to travel on those treacherous roads and then climb a few pickets (if necessary, on a pony) Then spend some time with the men there to get to know their problems.

All in all, I think what this modern day Shravan Kumar has achieved is significant. If he depended on charity for food and lodging, no great issue.  In our scriptures, those who bring to us a Divine message are entitled to such hospitality. The Budhha whom millions of people worship encouraged the ‘Bhikshuks’ to accept charity. And the Priests of all faiths do that. Finally, I am not sure that such things happen only in India. People hold bicycle rallies to communicate a message in many parts of the world. And I have also heard for trans-continental flights on vintage aircraft. And then there are adventurous people who go out on sail boats to long distances. In all these cases, they can make use of modern technology and travel without risk. But the purpose is to do things in the manner in which our ancestors did them. There is an old world charm in it!

There are times in life when journey is more significant than the destination! And, as they say, Success is a Journey, and not a Destination!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. KOHLI VEENA says:

    there seems to be some limitation of words …so it seems couldn’t get my full view across …please have a relook thanks interesting topic

    u/me

  2. Prabal Sen says:

    My dear Sir,

    super, lot of effort taken by you to piece it together.

    Sent a comment few minutes back in the website.

    warm regards

    Prabal Sen

  3. Jagwant Bath says:

    I am quite sure there is no exaggeration to the story. And that is the point. One would expect that given the conditions in the days of Shrawan Kumar what he did may have been the ‘right’ thing. However is it the same given the present conditions?

    Though most of us may not consider it but it is perhaps important to care about the impact that a persons actions has on others. Very good for the person and his ego and his (imagined) good karma. Wonder if even the mother, given a choice, would have liked to go through the ordeal. One can imagine being bounced around in a basket for thousands of kilometers and unfortunately while being visually impaired. But what about the aam aadmi ? Surely it is likely to have been an impediment to traffic and, though I hope not, have caused an unfortunate accident or two. Of course we will not know and in the context of the enormity of this ‘unique’ performance these ‘small’ things would easily have been overlooked, even as we tend to do so now.

    India is a great country. It is only here, to my admittedly very limited knowledge, that things like this, and the ‘Kabadia’ experience happen in modern times. I hope I am correct , but those hundreds and thousands of people who carry the water of the Ganges mostly on their shoulders are called Kabadias. During this season they tend to dominate the highways and I have personally seen the traffic chaos that this causes. Again, at least I don’t know the resultant loss of life and injuries due to accidents caused, besides the obvious harassment.

    But surely we dare not to meddle in matters of faith based on our traditions thousands of years old. Never mind that this is the Twenty First Century. No harm. Except that unfortunately the recent great tragedy of Uttarakhand and the possibility of a tragedy in the J&K pilgrimage may some how be linked to this attitude.

    Now about running, hurling iron and other such activities. Physical fitness is generally considered to be an asset. Participation or even preparation for such activities requires and develops a higher level of physical fitness. In a crisis situation the improved levels of speed, strength, flexibility and other abilities achieved can be of considerable value.

    Finally, by and large such activities do not cause any harassment or risk to others.

    With warm regards,

    jagwant

  4. KAPIL DEV SHARMA says:

    Very Touching,We should respect our elders so that youngers will follow your footsteps.
    Thanks with regards,
    Kapil Dev Sharma
    L-7/2,Dlf Phase-2,Gurgaon Haryana India
    9899771155

    • surjit singh says:

      Kapil Dev ji,

      Thanks. There is a very profound message in this tale, and you seem to have understood it. God Bless.
      Surjit

  5. Prabal C Sen says:

    Dear Sir,

    Touching indeed.

    Mr. Kailash Giri of Hinota village .

    Also Mr. Jacques in Germany and the lady of 60 years ( in France?) visiting her widowed godmother in her late nineties – every week ( comments by Ms Bhanot)

    Reminded of a song of the sixties

    ‘ He ain’t heavy he is my brother’ by The Hollies (Bob Scott and Bobby Russel)

    The lyrics :

    The road is long
    With many a winding turn
    That leads us to who knows where
    Who knows where

    But I’m strong
    Strong enough to carry him
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
    So on we go

    His welfare is of my concern
    No burden is he to bear
    We’ll get there

    For I know
    He would not encumber me
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    If I’m laden at all

    I’m laden with sadness
    That everyone’s heart
    Isn’t filled with the gladness
    Of love for one another

    It’s a long, long road
    From which there is no return
    While we’re on the way to there
    Why not share

    Background of this ballad :
    ( from internet site ‘ Songfacts’)

    Hollies guitarist Tony Hicks : “In the 1960s when we were short of songs I used to root around publishers in Denmark Street. One afternoon, I’d been there ages and wanted to get going but this bloke said: ‘Well there’s one more song. It’s probably not for you.’ He played me the demo by the writers [Bobby Scott and Bob Russell]. It sounded like a 45 rpm record played at 33 rpm, the singer was slurring, like he was drunk. But it had something about it. There were frowns when I took it to the band but we sped it up and added an orchestra. The only things left recognizable were the lyrics. There’d been this old film called Boys Town about a children’s home in America, and the statue outside showed a child being carried aloft and the motto He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. Bob Russell had been dying of cancer while writing. We never got, or asked for, royalties. Elton John – who was still called Reg – played piano on it and got paid 12 pounds. It was a worldwide hit twice.”

    What kind of a village is Hinota to produce Kailash Giri ?
    Hinota may be worth a visit.

    regards

    Prabal Sen
    Ashok leyland MDC
    Hosur
    Tamil Nadu

    • surjit singh says:

      Prabal,
      Yours is easily the most researched comment. You have not only read the piece but also all the comments! Great!
      And the poem you have sent is lovely. I have saved it for use when I need it.
      Surjit

      • Prabal Sen says:

        Sir,

        Please refer to your kind words.
        I am encouraged to add few lines.
        A movie was made on this theme in Hollywood with Spencer Tracy ( as Father Flagnan, I think – the man who originated a ditty on this theme) and Mickey Rooney. I saw it in a TV channel called Turner Classic Movies, during 1999 -2000. The Hollies picked the idea from this movie. The TCM movie channel has been taken off the air by TATASKY, recently.
        What a pity.

        Thanks and regards

        Prabal Sen

  6. Satish Manocha says:

    Dear Sir,

    Thanks for such good information and views.

    Satish Kumar Manocha

  7. ''colls'' says:

    In my life
    I have seen many
    only seek comfort
    but never share..
    have a drink
    but never offer..

    life as you have already said
    is a long journey
    the journey is most enjoyable
    till one reaches the destination
    when none come
    to receive one
    then it’s the end ….

    This far no further….

    I once composed
    ‘’’let them say
    what they want to
    as all are born to…’’’

    Those who have sacrificed
    did so
    not having praise in mind
    but around the world
    different folks we find
    each one a different kind!

    colls

    any views are welcome on my email friends…

    • surjit singh says:

      Dear Sergeant Major,
      Your words are delightful.
      It is a pity that you chose to join the Army, rather than pursuing your firs love. It is sad, but true that very few people understand poetry in the Military. Stories and anecdotes they can digest, but verse goes over their heads.
      During the last few years, I have discovered that people have an aversion words, in any form. If something can be said in pictures (or video clips) it sinks in faster.
      Yes. The holy Geeta tells us, “karma phal ki ichha na kar” And that is what you have said at the end of your poem IT IS AN ETERNAL TRUTH.
      sURJIT

      • ''colls'' says:

        Grateful for ur sweetness and citation
        Army alone taught me poetry
        As I came across all colours
        in all walks of life
        rosy as well as discoloured petals
        if they don’t want to understand
        it’s up to them
        upon your shoulders rests
        all poetic men
        Amen!

        SGMT a long distant man…

  8. YVR Vijay says:

    Sir,
    As usual you have hit the nail on the head. The journey is more important than the destination. Otherwise the destination for any life form on earth is “Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust”.
    Regards
    YVR Vijay.

  9. Ratna Pakrasi says:

    Dear Surjit ji,

    I am with late KD’s family. They are doing well. And Jessie joins me in greeting you and Surinder.

    I enjoy your mails. Thank you.Hope Surinder is doing well.

    With warm wishes,from both of us.

    Jessie & Ratna

    • J Thomas says:

      Dear Ratna and Jessie,
      Glad that Ratna is in LA. Hope you both and families are doing well.

      Joseph & Elsie Thomas
      Bangalore

  10. Gul Dost says:

    Sir,
    As per my estimate the total weight on the shoulders of the modern day ‘Shravan Kumar’ is at least 80 to 90 kilograms, (even if we assume that the old lady is no more than forty kilos) To carry that much weight over a distance of five kilometers day after day for several years and then take it up the mountains seems incredible. Couldn’t he use a wheeled carrier to make his job simpler? Indeed, a rickshaw would have made it even better!
    Be that as it may, the Story does convey a message. God bless the son, and may the Lord be with the mother, who went to so many places, even though she saw nothing!
    Gul

    • surjit singh says:

      Thank you.
      In my opinion, some kind of a wheeled device would have been better. But the man was driven by his sentiments. And I think people who go by the dictates of their beliefs and value system must be lauded for that.
      Surjit

  11. ''colls'' says:

    mubarakaaan
    so many lovely comments
    happy birthday gift to you
    from me toooooo

  12. Tulsi Bhandari says:

    Sir jee,

    Kaisi vidambana hai, kuchh karo to koi dekhta bhi nahin

    Aur kuchh na karo, to daad mil jaati hai!

    Moorkh Tulsi

    • surjit singh says:

      Tulsi ji,

      In the scripture, we have a couplet, which says:

      “Aapus ko jo jaane manda

      Sou ganiye sabse changaa!”

      (It means, “One, who considers himself inferior, should be counted as the best)

      So by prefixing that adjective to your name, you have elevated your self, in my estimate!
      May the Lord be with you, always and every time!
      Surjit

  13. Inderpal Singh says:

    Dear Surjit ji,

    Wish you a very happy birthday, belated though.

    Thanks for the write up on respecting parents.

    Love,

    Inderpal

  14. J Thomas says:

    “IN TAMIL, it is known as thalaikoothal. A leisurely oil bath. An exercise in love and health when given to newborn children, a ceremonial beginning to festivals, and the universal answer to pitiless summers. In Tamil Nadu’s small industry hub of Virudhunagar, however, it is the beginning of slow murder. The marker of the devastating poverty that makes a son kill his own aging mother.”

    Read the full article at http://tehelka.com/mother-shall-i-put-you-to-sleep/
    “Mother, shall I put you to sleep?” Tehelka, 20 Nov 2010

    • surjit singh says:

      Thomas,
      Quite frankly, the right thing for the errant son to do was to put the father to sleep, and face the consequences. What he did is inhuman and disgusting. As things stand, the couple should be punished, in my opinion.
      Surjit

      • J Thomas says:

        That opens up the whole issue of euthanasia, which is legal only in a few countries. BTW the old man sure has some resilience and will to live.

  15. Amit Sharma says:

    The second story is revolting but the first story gives you hope. Hope for love and care when required on growing old.

    • surjit singh says:

      Amit,
      Life is a mix.
      Wise people are able to learn from the positive side, and refuse to even look the other way!
      Surjit

  16. HP Singh says:

    Sir,
    Read ur latest article. touched by extremes depicted by you. hope to look up articles regularly henceforth. pls convey our regards to most graceful Mrs Surjit. we wish u keep good health always and i hope to keep learning from ur inspiring stories.

    regards,

    Harman

    • surjit singh says:

      Harman,
      Thanks.
      Do keep in touch. And we look forward to meeting you when you visit North next time.
      Surjit

  17. Virender Kapoor says:

    Sir, this is very nice.
    regards

    Virender Kapoor

  18. KOHLI VEENA says:

    Shravan Kumar attained glory!
    He is an inspiration for many …

    Then came Satya Kam
    who had a similar experience
    of looking after aged parents

    Then came yours truly

    Satya Kumar

    was posted to Dehra Dun
    in the last leg of both parents life
    and they were though long abandoned owing to military service
    finally, were well looked after and they both died happily within a year of each other..
    If this be a theory of incarnation so let it be
    Tis….

  19. Virin Bajaj says:

    Good.

    I am blessed 4 times over.

    Father of two wonderful daughters and grand father of two very sweet grand daughters.

    Unlikely that you will find a similar second tale with daughters.

    Worth a research!

    Regards.

    Viren

  20. Jagwant Bath says:

    Dear Sir,

    Just a few thoughts:

    The First Story:

    Very touching and very impressive.

    Very laudable?

    The young man is obviously very fit, and can be assumed to have basic intelligence and perhaps may also be literate. He could have tried to get a job, worked hard managed some savings and taken his mother around in relative comfort as no doubt thousands of sons are doing in India. Instead he chose an option in which the mother would have gone through considerable hardships and both of them subsisted on the hard earned money of others. Am sure they would have often been a traffic hazard too.

    Perhaps happens only in India.

    The Second Story:

    Sad and tragic. More so there are other such instances too, in India and in other countries also. It may be said to be our duty to report any such extreme case to the authorities at the earliest. In this case it appears the neighbours should have done it much earlier.

    Regards

    jog

  21. Yashvir Tuli says:

    Thank you Surjit sir,
    Very touching episodes of two types of “Sharavan Kumars” but the themes, and their consequences, can be clearly understood only by persons of Indian origin – in the age groups of 75a nd 85, what you and me are. Unfortunately, the outside culture – of Europe, Islamic countries anfd those of African races, where a father has become an unknown commidity – have brought decadence in Punjabis as well. Canada and rural punjab are random examples.
    Coloenl Y V Tuli (Retd)

    • surjit singh says:

      Yash ji,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      How about sending us a feedback on your meeting at Vadodara, (with pictures) when your return.
      Surjit

  22. Harry Dhaliwal says:

    Hello Uncle, I will see you in August. My wife and me will be there for Dad’s 80th birthday.

    Ryan has decided to go for mechanical engineering. His classes have started. For a change he is hitting the books hard.

    More when we meet.

    Warm Regards,

    Harry.

    • surjit singh says:

      Harry,
      We are also looking forward to meeting you. Do bring a lot of news, and I want to spend some quality time with you!
      Surjit

  23. Mirza Yawar Baig says:

    General Sahib salaams

    A recent study by Help Age India showed that not only lack of care but even violence against the elderly is on the increase in India in an alarming manner.

    My question always is that though we all speak very nostalgically about the good old days of our youth and the values that we were brought up with, how is it that we failed to pass them on? Who but we are responsible for the pathetic younger generation that we are now seeing in action?

    Trust you are keeping well.

    Yawar

  24. Ritu Bhanot says:

    Namastey Uncle ji,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this interesting article.

    In fact, the photograph has been around since quite some time now (This picture was posted on the Internet in March 2013.). Unfortunately the second one is just so common. How many people mistreat their elders like this? And there’s no apparent reason. Just greed… and the fact that we are becoming more and more individualistic.

    I’m not sure if I can be like the first one but I’m sure I’ll never be like the second one. I guess it’s a question of love. When you love someone you take care of that person and this is indeed no way to treat someone you love.

    Personally, I don’t think that being individualistic really implies going to this other extreme. It is callous and cruel attitude. Are we losing humanity? And some people say that this is the result of our being victims of westernisation of the society but I can assure you that that certainly is not true. People in the west aren’t that cruel either. One of my friends (above 60) visits her widowed and childless Godmother every week and does everything she can to take care of her. The old lady is almost hundred and now lives in a specialised home for old people where she has all facilities. She lived in her own house till she could but then it became dangerous to leave her alone and so all family members and friends discussed and now she has her appartments in this old people’s home and everyone visits her as often as they can. My friend (the Goddaughter) lives quite far (not in the same city) and does everything she can for the old lady.

    Another friend of mine (in her 40s) takes care of father of one of her childhood friends who refused to live in Germany where his children live.

    Jacques goes to visit his parents as often as he can, does all their shopping. His parents don’t want to leave their village.

    So it’s not a question of being influenced by the west. It’s that we are losing our own moral values and humanity. And that is the sad truth.

    Cordialement/ Best Regards,

    Ritu Bhanot

    Linguist
    117 Residence des Arts
    13 Rue du Hohwald
    67000 Strasbourg, FRANCE
    http://www.ritubhanot.com

    Tel.: 0033 (0)6 50 04 68 49

    • surjit singh says:

      Ritu,
      You are a role model, whom many should emulate.
      I am now looking forward to receiving another piece from you. And this time, there should be some pictures with it!
      Surjit Uncle

  25. Jagwant says:

    The First Story:

    Very touching and very impressive.

    Very laudable?

    The young man is obviously very fit, and can be assumed to have basic intelligence and perhaps may also be literate. He could have tried to get a job, worked hard managed some savings and taken his mother around in relative comfort as no doubt thousands of sons are doing in India. Instead he chose an option in which the mother would have gone through considerable hardships and both of them subsisted on the hard earned money of others. Am sure they would have often been a traffic hazard too.

    Perhaps happens only in India.

    The Second Story:

    Sad and tragic. More so there are other such instances too, in India and in other countries also. It may be said to be our duty to report any such extreme case to the authorities at the earliest. In this case it appears the neighbours should have done it much earlier.

    • surjit singh says:

      Jog,
      I have received similar suggestions from two other friends on phone. It makes sense to me.
      But I think, this young man had a message to give, and this was the only method he could think of. He took a leaf out of the Ramayana for his mission.
      Or, as you said, “To each, his own!”
      Surjit

  26. Ghansham Singh Ahluwalia says:

    The present story is a comparison of Good and Bad,in this Yuga. We can learn some lessons and pass on the advice to our kids, but personaL example has to be set first.

  27. Isha says:

    Nice article.
    The parent-child relationship, as pointed out here, can fall anywhere over a spectrum ranging from amicable to hostile.
    I agree that sometimes children are deeply influenced by external factors when it comes to their dealings with their parents, but sometimes, it is the upbringing itself that causes an imbalance.

    • surjit singh says:

      Isha ji,
      Thanks. Your words are always chosen very well.
      The purpose of the journey of this young man was to deliver a message, and I think he has done it very well.
      We now eagerly await your wedding. And if you and Prakarsh send us another piece, I would be glad to post it.
      Surjit

  28. ''colls'' says:

    I have read Shravan Kumar’s life style
    of looking after his blind parents
    Then came Satya Kam
    who had a similar experience
    of looking after aged parents

    Then came yours truly
    Satya Kumar
    was posted to Dehra Dun in the last leg of both parents life
    and they were though long abandoned owing to military service
    finally, were well looked after and they both died happily within a year of each other..
    If this be a theory of incarnation so let it be
    Tis….

    • surjit singh says:

      Sir ji,
      The man called Satya Kumar Kohli is no less than Shravan Kumar. I have seen you in that house near the Clock Tower in Dehra Dun. And I saw what a caring son you were. And you maintained very cordial relations with your brothers and sister.
      Surjit

      • ''colls'' says:

        eh mere bhai
        diamonds kee ankhein hain teree
        aour memory ussey bhee takdee

        shukriyaa kaissey na karoon
        umr hai baakee thoddee
        prarthnaa karta hoon
        dostee amar rahey hummaree..

        khush raho jahan bhee rahon
        yehi ek hee hai sirf ek…
        jindagi hai saaree
        iss koe banna kay rakho pyaaree…

        Thanks friend and more brother
        I learn from you still…

        at times eyes swell
        when there is no water
        in the well…

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