Loving Our 'Living Gods'
The air conditioning in the flight was a little too strong for Surya’s comfort. But, it was just a matter of a couple of hours before he would reach his hometown. He couldn’t wait to meet his friends after so many years. He had already arranged for a small party later that night. His secretary had called the best hotel in town, fabulous food was ordered and the tables were to be adorned with choicest flowers.
After all, Surya had never settled for anything mediocre in his life. He was a successful investment banker working in one of the country’s leading banks. He drew a salary that would exceed the sum of all his friends’ earnings. In short, he was proud of his perfect enviable life.
Gowri could not contain her happiness. Her son was returning after three long years. She had spent sleepless nights after he called to tell her about his trip home. She had prepared his favourite food.
Everything was planned to suit his taste. The house was cleaned, the garden was manicured and even the dogs were given a wash. She had so much to tell him. After her husband passed away, she had been left alone. But now, her son was coming to be with her. He had promised to stay for a week. She was so excited!
The doorbell was music to her ears. She ran to the door and there he was standing tall with his face shining against the twilight. “Hello mother! How are you?” said Surya smiling at her.
Over the course of the conversation, however, Gowri’s heart sank. “I knew you would be upset, mother! That’s why I didn’t tell you before. I have to leave in two days. Anyway, I will probably try to make another trip in six months. I will still be calling you once a week, mother,” said Surya trying hard to sound re-assuring. But Gowri could not hide her tears. “You’ve come all this way just to see your friends. And you’re leaving me just as alone as ever,” she cried as she ran upstairs to shut herself away in her room. But Surya was unmoved and cold hearted. He was in a hurry. It was getting late for his dinner meeting with his buddies. He quickly collected his things, took a shower and left with his friends.
Loneliness wasn’t new to Gowri. But, today she was heartbroken too. She gave away all the dinner she had painstakingly prepared for her beloved son. She was not hungry anymore. Even her dogs, Ramu and Moti were surprisingly quiet today. “Maybe, they understand me better than my own son!” she murmured and switched off the lights for the day.
On his way to the hotel, Surya wondered why his mother had to blow this whole thing out of proportion. He was tired from the long journey and had not seen his friends in years. After all, didn’t he deserve the long awaited break from work?
Anyway, he would try to talk to her tomorrow morning, he thought. He was trying to have a great time with his friends. But, felt disconnected. “Maybe I was a little tough on her” he said to himself.
He decided to send a flower basket to his mother to pacify her, and in return, feel less guilty. On seeing a florist, he asked for a bouquet to be sent to his mother. Just as the florist was about to start packing his flowers, a young man rushed to him and said, “If you don’t mind, can I get my bouquet done before you? I am in a great hurry! The flowers are for my mother and she is waiting for me.” While the florist was packing the man’s flowers, Surya was curious and asked him, “Sorry, but I couldn’t resist. What’s the occasion? Is it your mom’s birthday today?”
“No brother, today is the day she made a permanent place for herself in our hearts. Today is her death anniversary!” he answered unwaveringly. Surya was left speechless. Here was a man rushing flowers to his dead mother, and here was he who had left his loving mother alone.
The simple and heartfelt love for his mother was conspicuous by its absence in his life. Surya was about to leave for his home when he heard the man’s fading voice, “Thanks a lot brother! I am very grateful to you! Sairam!”
The bystander’s unflinching love for his mother had touched a cord in Surya’s heart. He had, in an instant, realized how some unforeseen divine power may have been at play here, for how else could he explain the co-incidence of him meeting someone like that in today’s age!
Without wasting any further time, he took the bouquet and went straight to see his mother. The mother, whose love had been his bastion during his struggling days; the mother who had borne the brunt of his swelling ego and confidence, and countered it with more love for him; the mother, who had waited all these years, for her son to come back home. And what a homecoming it was.
Time and again, Bhagavan Baba has impressed upon all of us the importance of loving and respecting one’s mother. The mother, who gives us life and selflessly takes care of our every need as a child, has to be worshipped as nothing less than a Living God. It, truly, is in loving that we receive, as there is no other way to express gratitude to our mothers for their unbridled, fathomless love for us, than by loving them back in return.
~ Illustrations: Mr. S. Sai Aditya
~ Heart2Heart Team
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