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2013 – a ‘tera year’

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The other day, I was chit-chatting with my son Gaurav who is doing his B. Tech in mechanical from VIT, Vellore in Tamil Naidu. He was visiting us during his winter vacation.  During our conversation I casually asked him “Son I hope you will look after your mummy and papa when we are old?”

He smiled and countered me with another question “Papa are you raising a Nurse or a son?” I immediately realized that we our so often obsessed about ourselves, always thinking what other will do for me, and in the process we make ourselves dependent and vulnerable.

Happiness comes when we empower ourselves to look after ourselves, and think of ways by which we can help others.

Later that evening, I sat down and thought that instead of assisting my son, who was learning to live on his own in the hostel, which he has never done before; I was putting unnecessary pressure on him by burdening him about a future that was still very distant. I was glad that I took his counter question in the right way. I imagined what damage I would have caused in our relationship if I would have blurted out that here I am working day and night to provide you with a bright future, and you already are becoming selfish and self centred. If I would have done that, I would have put a kink in our relationship and made myself miserable and vulnerable.

Later that day, I reflected, was I as a son doing everything to make my father who is old now, to make his life comfortable, and I realized, the truth was ‘No’.

The resolution I have made this year is that everything that I expect from my son to do for me when I become old, I will do for my father. I will live in the present, and not in some distant future.

Let the year 2013 be “what can I do for you year” instead of “what have you done for me lately year.”

There is story of Guru Nanakji. When he was very young, he was already spiritually enlightened. The story goes, that his uncle who had a business of selling blankets, would distribute 20 blankets every Tuesday to the poor. On one particular Tuesday, the uncle had to go to attend to some urgent business, so he asked Guru Nanakji to open the store and distribute the 20 blankets. Guru Nanakji started distributing the blankets one by one and was counting as he was instructed by his uncle to distribute twenty blankets. As Guru Nanakji came to the number thirteen, he started distributing blankets by counting tera(Hindi number thirteen) , tera, tera … after a few hours his uncle was informed by an acquaintance that his nephew Nanakji was distributing blankets to the multitude who had gathered in front of the store and he was distributing to whoever was coming by saying tera tera  … the uncle came rushing to stop his nephew from emptying the warehouse, but when he entered the warehouse, he was surprised that the blankets were stockpiled the way he had left the warehouse.

Let this story inspire us to dedicate the year 2013 as a tera year, so we can think of using our potential to make this year a tera(informal you in Hindi)  year and not mera (my, mine in Hindi).