Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lesson from a Train Journey


I recently read Subroto Bagchi's 'Go, Kiss the World!'. I think it was one of the most inspiring books I have ever come across. The story of Bagchi and the journey he made from small town Orissa to corporate America is truly remarkable. What I found most touching was the title of the book itself. Bagchi's mother was on her deathbed and he went to visit her one last time, before heading back to work on the other side of the globe. He kissed her on the forehead, to which she replied, 'Why are you kissing me? Go, kiss the world!'

In one of the chapters, Bagchi writes about how his life was transformed by certain 'personal angels'. These 'angels' come in the form of ordinary people, but they make a profound impact on your life, due to what you 'take' from them. One might come across them anywhere and anytime; it's up to us to take the lesson and implement it in our lives.

I came across one of my 'personal angels' two weeks ago. My family and I were traveling to Bangalore for my cousin's wedding. It was a jolly trip, filled with raucous singing and teasing and much laughter. We had all gotten together after a very long time, so it was a very enjoyable journey indeed. As the train pulled into a small station, Amma jolted me from my nap. She said that there was someone selling earrings! Now, I simply love these trinkets and I eagerly nodded, waiting for them in anticipation.

To my surprise, I saw two young lads, no more than eleven, moving around the compartment selling earrings and other trinkets. When they approached us, we began speaking to them. I learnt that they were brothers, and were working during their vacations, so that they could get a little more money to take home to their mother. At first, I felt a stroke of sympathy- To be working like this at such a young age! Oh, the horror of it all! But as I chatted with them, I realized that they weren't feeling sorry for themselves at all. In fact, they were proud of what they were doing, and their eyes glowed with glee when we purchased a few of their lovely accessories. In one word, these 'angels' taught me perseverance. Yes, they were in a tough position, circumstances that cannot be explained. Appa calls them 'accidents of birth'. I am born into a family of wealth. Is it due to my merit? On the other hand, if I am born into poverty, is that also my fault? One might answer these questions by referring to karma in past lives, but really, isn't birth an accident? You might well have been born into the other side!

But I digress. The essence of the anecdote is that these two brothers, Sarat and Prashant, didn't let circumstances dominate their determination and will to win in life. They will certainly make it. And as Bagchi says, they will not only 'make it big, but also make it good'!

4 comments:

  1. Many a time the lessons we learn in life are taught by these ‘personal angels’. Each one of us comes across them at some point of time. I salute these youngsters who will truly become someone big one day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifully written.... surprising what 2 eleven year olds can teach you what so many people couldn't.... Will definitely read this book. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Nav! Yup it's an amazing book, am sure you'll find it inspiring :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. your writing is very inspiring...and this article reminded me of ABBA's 'I believe in Angels...'...:)

    ReplyDelete

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lesson from a Train Journey


I recently read Subroto Bagchi's 'Go, Kiss the World!'. I think it was one of the most inspiring books I have ever come across. The story of Bagchi and the journey he made from small town Orissa to corporate America is truly remarkable. What I found most touching was the title of the book itself. Bagchi's mother was on her deathbed and he went to visit her one last time, before heading back to work on the other side of the globe. He kissed her on the forehead, to which she replied, 'Why are you kissing me? Go, kiss the world!'

In one of the chapters, Bagchi writes about how his life was transformed by certain 'personal angels'. These 'angels' come in the form of ordinary people, but they make a profound impact on your life, due to what you 'take' from them. One might come across them anywhere and anytime; it's up to us to take the lesson and implement it in our lives.

I came across one of my 'personal angels' two weeks ago. My family and I were traveling to Bangalore for my cousin's wedding. It was a jolly trip, filled with raucous singing and teasing and much laughter. We had all gotten together after a very long time, so it was a very enjoyable journey indeed. As the train pulled into a small station, Amma jolted me from my nap. She said that there was someone selling earrings! Now, I simply love these trinkets and I eagerly nodded, waiting for them in anticipation.

To my surprise, I saw two young lads, no more than eleven, moving around the compartment selling earrings and other trinkets. When they approached us, we began speaking to them. I learnt that they were brothers, and were working during their vacations, so that they could get a little more money to take home to their mother. At first, I felt a stroke of sympathy- To be working like this at such a young age! Oh, the horror of it all! But as I chatted with them, I realized that they weren't feeling sorry for themselves at all. In fact, they were proud of what they were doing, and their eyes glowed with glee when we purchased a few of their lovely accessories. In one word, these 'angels' taught me perseverance. Yes, they were in a tough position, circumstances that cannot be explained. Appa calls them 'accidents of birth'. I am born into a family of wealth. Is it due to my merit? On the other hand, if I am born into poverty, is that also my fault? One might answer these questions by referring to karma in past lives, but really, isn't birth an accident? You might well have been born into the other side!

But I digress. The essence of the anecdote is that these two brothers, Sarat and Prashant, didn't let circumstances dominate their determination and will to win in life. They will certainly make it. And as Bagchi says, they will not only 'make it big, but also make it good'!

4 comments:

  1. Many a time the lessons we learn in life are taught by these ‘personal angels’. Each one of us comes across them at some point of time. I salute these youngsters who will truly become someone big one day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifully written.... surprising what 2 eleven year olds can teach you what so many people couldn't.... Will definitely read this book. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Nav! Yup it's an amazing book, am sure you'll find it inspiring :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. your writing is very inspiring...and this article reminded me of ABBA's 'I believe in Angels...'...:)

    ReplyDelete