Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Tiny Flame

Life is predictable. So much so that you could just see through everything. But just as much as life is predictable, people are equally the opposite. And perhaps it's the capricious streaks in people that adds the tang to our living. And of all the people, who's more unpredictable than yourself?

Well you might defy saying "I know myself". And you might come up with ten strengths and ten weaknesses. But is that it? I would repeat, Do you know yourself? Are you sure? Well, I am unsure myself, I always suspected we just know ourselves just as much as we want. 

Don't you think, you as a whole, there is a fraction of you, is what you are not? Who you are but don't want to be? Some might call it sub-conscious. Agreeing to that, there would also be a part which is hidden and unknown to us. Something that would surprise us. That's confusing and fussy, I agree. It came rushing to me that afternoon when I went to pick my sister from her school as my mother was unwell. I must have been in first year junior college.

My sister and I was walking towards the train station and just before climbing up the slope to the platform, I bought two Cadbury ├ęclairs. Passing one to my sister, we started walking up the slope. There was a child begging half way up the slope. I don't remember walking to him but I do remember him receiving the chocolate from me. I don't even remember his face and the whole things is just a distant memory. I returned to my sister who stood there watching me. 

When I reach her she asked me, "Why did you give your chocolate?"

"I don't know", I said shrugging. Honestly, I din't know. Why did I do that? However, I did realize that it gave me tremendous happiness and at the same time a feeling of nostalgia. It was a small gesture but it made a very significant impression on my sister and me. Suddenly the ordinary afternoon turned into a special memory and even though I cannot remember giving the chocolate to the child I do remember vividly the few steps I walked from the child to my sister, the honestly amused face of my sister and her asking me, "Why did you give your chocolate?"

Well it's not that I turned into savior of humanity but it did stir something in both of us. I did surprise my sister, and also myself. Something unlocked in me. A tiny flame had lit inside as I took the few steps. It lit in me and my sister. It is interesting what can bring about a change. At times something undistinguished. It can even turn you upside down. More than anything, it catches you off guard and surprises you. And sometimes it also show the hidden potential in you. Potential to understand compassion.

It is a long road for humans to completely unlock it's potential for compassion, as for every happiness gained, also has a streak of confessed and denied selfishness. But not all can be Buddha. Yet a flame, however small can light the path to take one step ahead. Perhaps that is life, one step at a time.

And suddenly, you realize, you are not as tiny as you think!

Written for who's looking up stories of beaming Life, Optimism and Hope!


  1. I think that it is these small acts of kindness that eventually sum up to a larger whole. Keep up the good work, and be happy!

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