19 September, 2007

Friendship and Promise


Last weekend after taking my family out for shopping, we got into the local bus to return home. As we got into the bus, and were settling down to our seats, we saw two old ladies who asked whether we live in such and such place. One of them kept looking at my teen age son and asked us whether he is our son. I replied ‘Yes’ with a slight hesitation. She said “Oh... he is a lovely lad “. She continued “The other day I was walking with my shopping bags and he came and offered help. I have never come across a teenager offering help in this country so far. I was very glad about it “. As parents we felt very happy. We had moved just few weeks before and our son never told us anything about it. I was very glad about these comments and felt proud of him.

This reminded me of an Old gentle lady next to our house when we moved into a new house, 20 years before. Any part of this world, it is easy to make friendship with Old people and kids. Probably they are the ones who have time and are innocent with their experience and inexperience. We had just moved in and I smiled at this young girl of 5 or 6 years. She invited me to her house and her Grandma was the only one in the house. Her parents had gone to work and her elder sister to school. This Grandma immediately offered me a lemon juice and became a good friend. She started treating me like her grandson and told me that I resemble her grandson as well.

From that day, we became good neighbours and our family became closer to them. I was a bachelor then. The Grandma took me for granted and sought my help during any time when she felt difficult. Years rolled and we became very close. One day she took a promise from me. I could not avoid it. She liked me so much that she wanted me to be one among the four people to carry her dead body to the burial ground when she died. It was difficult to promise, but I promised. Years rolled and I was constantly in touch with them. She became very close to our family. I made it a point to keep enquiring about her health whenever I had to travel out of place. Suddenly one day I received the bad news. She died somewhere and her body was brought in. I could not control tears rolling on my cheek when I had to lift her body. The burial ground was at a quite distance from their house. Many people were taking turns in the other 3 positions. Lot of them offered me to handover to them. I refused. I carried her until the burial ground with a heavy heart. She often talked about this promise whenever she met me. It was personal between both of us. So, though at times I felt a bit difficult while carrying, I continued without resting my shoulders.

While we were returning few of those who came to the graveyard were talking about the weight of the Grandma’s body and how they felt difficult to carry her. Suddenly one pointed out to me and said “This gentleman is so strong. He never allowed anyone of us to exchange or take his position”. I did not want to tell anything to them. I just smiled and said that I was very close to her and just wanted to do it myself.

Even today I feel satisfied that I could satisfy my ‘Grandma’ friend. That was one of the best promise I kept for my friend.

Last week I felt happy, that my son is doing the right job.

29 comments:

revatechnic said...

thats a really touching post balaji, i am proud of your son too. pass me regards to him... "HI BALAJI's SON!!!"

Jo said...

What a lovely post... I believe only the values we practice, and not just preach, can be transferred to the next generation and you set a perfect example which your son followed. Proud to have a friend who value the relationships...

Jason said...

Nice :)

Sundar Narayanan said...

that was a great post Sir.

I am now trying to see how many outstanding promises I have out there..

:)

Jeevan said...

It proves how much affection the grandma got on you to request to carry her. I felt greatness for you to fulfill her promise and it haven’t wonders me that ur son following your way. Convey my wishes to Aakash and to keep continue his helpings.

MM said...

WOnderful to read that humanity still exists, Balaji!! And glad to hear that people still do care...

:)

Balaji S Rajan said...

Reva,

Welcome here after a long time. Thanks for your comments. I shall pass on your wishes to my son too.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Jo,

Thanks a lot. It was not my mention to publish this which had been a secret between me and the Grandma from Palghat. Thought, need to put this somewhere which could atleast bring in change in one person out of many who read it. Nowadays I find many youngsters being ruthless. I want atleast my son to be better than people of his ages. I know that you too value these things. Thanks again for your encouragement. I was overwhelmed when that English Lady spoke to us. The best part is my son never told us anything about this incident.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Jason,

Welcome and thanks for your comments.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Sundarji,

Even I may have few outstanding promises. But this was something which was worth mentioning.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Jeevan,

Thank you very much for your comments. I shall convey your wishes to Aakash. Yes... that Grandma loved me a lot from the first time she saw me. She was a lovely lady. She treated me very close and at times believed me more than her son. She was great and taught me a lot. I miss such nice people. Once when I got her some gift for Diwali, she cried and hugged me with happiness. It is a great feeling Jeevan. She would have reminded me of this promise innumerable times and so I became emotional when I fulfilled it.

REFLEX said...

Like father like son.....

Swatantra said...

Hi Bala,

It is an amazing thought puts together...

Your friend Jo at the top has written truly Values we practice can be transferred.. Your son is amazing.. I am sure he has also read this post of yours.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Reflex,

Welcome after a long time. Yes... fathers are the best role models for their sons isn't it?

Balaji S Rajan said...

Swatantra,

Thanks for your comments.

Yes..Jo had put it right. I am not sure whether my son had read this post. But I shall ask him this weekend.

Loga said...

Very touching post..Your posts always reminds me to do good to others and this is one among them

manipayal said...

Truely a touching incident and so nice of you to have kept up the promise.Great Work.

backpakker said...

Thats a great story- very touching ...I always believed that great upbringing brings out the best in children ...your son has obviously taken after you and your wife

Sanjeev Unnikrishnan said...

That was a touching story.I would like to mention that value system has been given very high priority in your family. That is why your son has been nice to the old lady. He has seen his father respecting elders.

This post reminds me i need to give back what i can to my elders.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Loga,

Thanks for your comments after a long time. Glad that my posts are motivating someone to do good.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Manipayal,

Thanks for visiting. Welcome again. Thanks for your comments too.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Backpacker,

Thanks. Oh..yeah. it was a touching story. I cannot forget that patti. She has influenced a lot in my life. I am glad that my son is getting it from his elders.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Sanjeev,

Welcome and thanks for visiting and putting your comments. Only because of people like you, I continue blogging. Glad that my post could make you think.

Dan said...

very touching

Rama Iyer said...

A very nice post which shows the importance of values which transcends everything else. Very touching!!
Do convey my best wishes to your son. God Bless him

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! You are a fantastic human being! Krishna and I were discussing about the way you have brought your kids up. You and your wife are the best parents that we've seen so far. Very polite and respectful kids you have. Really appreciate you!
- UmaKrishna (UKMakkaL)

Balaji S Rajan said...

Dan,

Thanks

Balaji S Rajan said...

Rama,

Yes... Importance of values. That is the key word. I shall convey to my son too.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Uma,

I am nothing. I am trying to follow few of my elders who had been my motivation or force behind.

Thanks for your compliments about my kids. I was overwhelmed by your comments. We work so hard in bringing them up and when someone like you appreciate, it gives us great pleasure and all the pain goes away. Very few realise these values and importants. Thanks for identifying that.