Oct 22, 2010

Standing upto his name!

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Flip, he'd sent the shoe in his right foot flying high up in the air. Gravity was bringing it down now. He ran towards it and caught it, back on the hook of his upturned right foot. Next, Flip went the shoe from his left foot, flying high and back. Walking to school early in the morning through lonely lanes, this was his way of making the stretch interesting. It's amazing how he managed to get to school on time!

My Pa-in-Law aka Vijay was quite a bright student I'm told but he preferred to do things his way. A little too differently for comfort. He always managed to get on the teacher's nerves. Once the teacher had caught him scouring the floor under his desk. "How do you manage to slip off the bench everytime I ask you'll to take notes?" inquired Father D'Mello. Vijay rose off his knees and stood trembling, staring into Father D'Mello's angry eyes. "I'm only collecting some lead for my clutch pencil, Sir!" answered a genuinely hassled Vijay, producing a tiny box that held a collection of about a 1000 lead stubs. He proceeded to demonstrate how he could insert one of the broken but sharp lead pieces in the tip of his clutch pencil and write. There were many such lying on the floor under the desk between pencil shavings. "He saves trees this way he says." came Vijay's bench partner's voice shimmering, to his rescue. "Or saving money, is he?" butted in a louder voice from the back benches, in rebuke. 
And the class roared with laughter.
 "Just see that I don't find you under the desk during class, again! you can do it in the recess." rumbled Father D'Mello and pardoned him. Probably, Father D'Mello had realised that this young chap had understood more, foreseen more, than any other boy of his age had.
Vijay was unperturbed by his classmate's comments and that they would poke fun at him. He had gone on doing what he thought was right, with conviction. 

Vijay's was a joint family living together in a humble two florid home at Wadala in Mumbai in the '50s. When at home Vijay loved to dress up like a soldier. He imagined he'd join the army one day. He had disciplined himself and even at a young age he considered himself a man of great responsibilities.
A khaki cap on his head and a baton in hand he'd walk about with taut shoulders and an air of supremacy.  
One day they found him walking up and down the aisle of the front verandah on the ground floor, hollering like a hawker.
"Anyone's got shoes for this pair of laces? Lend me a shoe for this lace!" This seemingly funny exclamation had a deeper meaning which only a few had realised. One shouldn't let nothing go to waste. Not even a shoe lace!
He had grown up in hand-me-downs and was never ashamed to tell me about those days. Those were the days when kids were taught the value for money but not all his ideas originated from that principle. He primarily believed in Saving our Resources. In those days such ideas weren't publicly acknowledged and propagated like today. 'Go Green' is only being advocated now.

"We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them. We say we love trees, yet we cut them down. And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved. ~Author Unknown"

These anecdotes narrated by Pa-in-law
and this quote
Modern technology 
Owes ecology
An apology.

~Alan M. Eddison 
...have had an immense effect on my thinking.
This Diwali I will celebrate the light he has thrown upon my life. I will celebrate Vijay's victory over those who ran him down. The victory of his good over other's evil rebuke.That he stood his ground and believed in himself. That he passed down some great values to me which I, in turn, intend to give to his grand-child.

This post has been written including the prompt words from 3 Word Wednesday
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