“Ka re bhulalasi varaliya anga…” (oh, why did you get carried away by the exterior…”) wrote a saint many a centuries ago, warning his followers not to judge a person by his exterior. Don’t we just value a person by the exterior? His physique, dressings, his etiquette, his body language are some of the yardsticks that we very commonly and conveniently apply to build an opinion about a person, atleast initially.
But are these yardsticks sufficient enough ? A person may be very rustic, may sound very unreasonable, and defy all standards to be called a good loving person, but, may be he is not the same inertly. May be, we have seen only one aspect of that person to judge.
We all, in good measures, all, rush very hastily to judge a person, but when others judge us, we feel it offending, isn’t it ? We forget that others are just returning the favor back to us. Judging a person from his behavior, his exterior, is quite wrong a way. Had our forefathers scared away from exploring the sweetness that a jack fruit bears inside it, just because of its rabid exterior, humanity might have lost a good fruit forever.
Like everyone, i too have this bad habit of judging a person steadfastly. In my childhood & college days, i used to feel that my father, who was a strict disciplinarian person, did not love us like the dads’ my friends. Now, i realize how wrong i was… but its sixteen years late.. a bit too late for this realization i guess.
No, and this feeling was not auto-realization in any way. It so happened, that we were removing our old clutter to empty spaces occupied unnecessarily. When i found some very old papers, old letters from 1958 onwards, i found one paper lying neatly folded between a book. It would have almost seen the dustbin, had i not stopped to check as i found something scribbled on it, it was my dad’s handwriting. And still i remember when he had scribbled those lines. He had sribbled it on a rough paper in the hospital just a couple of days before he died. The paper just made its way through his belongings and never came to light till so many years. What was written on the paper made me feel guilty.. very guilty.. A poem was written, no my dad never wrote poems, it must have been some poet’s poem, and the language seems to be very old marathi. May be my dad had recited the poem in his school years. The poem goes something like this.
It roughly translated as, a girl who planted some plants in her backyard. She watered it and loved those plants, The plants flowered and the girl took very good care of her garden. The girl grew, so did her garden, and one day she got married. She asked her sister to take good care of her loved plants. After some years the girl returns to her home and goes to the backyard to see that the plants were dying as they were not taken good care, it did not get the love and affection. The poet moralizes the poem as not to leave your near and dear ones at the care of others, and not to get involved into worldly things as they will ultimately give you pain.
I, confess, i may not have put forth the exact translation or feelings, neither of the above poem or my dad’s. But it certainly meant that my dad was a worried man, worried that his plants (we kids) may not blossom, may not be taken good care, after his death. He must have been a very worried person then…
Unfotunately, it took almost sixteen long years, for me to realize.. realize how a strict person was inertly..