And one thing I can say for sure is over these years no one has ever been able to replace the charm and innocence these characters bring to us. Kids love them, I still love them. And I have stored all the books so that one day my kids can have an access to these too
Big brother: Please give me that toy. It’s mine and I want to play with it.
Little sister: No, It’s mine. I won’t give it to you.
Big brother: Think again. I won’t allow you to watch TV. I won’t let you watch Doraemon or Pokémon.
Little sister: Please take this. When did I say it’s mine?
Big brother: That’s like a good girl and my sweet sister
Often we end up into situations where we don’t feel confident in our own potential. But there is a voice that keeps reminding us of our worth and don’t fail to encourage no matter what. That voice is not our heart or our soul, it’s that friend who is with us through our thick and thin.
Hassan the quiet and the most important character from “The Kite Runner” is a reminder of that friend who genuinely mean when they say or feel – “For you a thousand times over”.
A short story by O’Henry. This was also a part of our English curriculum. My memories as a student have always been vague as I was never interested in studies. Surprisingly, there are a couple of stories from the English textbooks that I can recall. I would rather say, I don’t just recall but also think it still drives my approach toward different circumstances.
The Last Leaf is one of those. It is a story about a young girl Johnsy, who is struck with illness and is not able to recover due to her lack of willingness. The falling leaves of an ivy wine tree near her window in the hospital turned out to be her reason. Day by day she counts the number of leaves left and is confident that with the last leaf falling she also has to die. Her mother Sue worried about her condition reaches out to old Behrman. Behrman – a failed artist. Despite his 40 years in the field, he was still not able to create that masterpiece which he always wanted to.
Hearing Johnsy’s imaginations and Sue’s worries he gets ready to help her. While Johnsy is asleep, Behrman goes to the other side of the window and takes his position. A cold rain was falling with some snow.
The next morning, Johnsy insists her mother open the window shade. Sue obeys. To Johnsy’s surprise there stood one ivy leaf without being affected by the rain and snow. Later that day, the doctor says he is positive now of Johnsy’s recovery since she was responding well. He leaves the room referring to another patient that he had to attend. It was Behrman struck by Pneumonia too. His chances of living narrow.
That afternoon, Sue came to Johnsy’s bedroom and said –
“I have something to tell you, white mouse. Mr. Behrman died of pneumonia to-day in the hospital. He was ill only two days. The janitor found him the morning of the first day in his room downstairs helpless with pain. His shoes and clothing were wet through and icy cold. They couldn’t imagine where he had been on such a dreadful night. And then they found a lantern, still lighted, and a ladder that had been dragged from its place, and some scattered brushes, and a palette with green and yellow colors mixed on it, and – look out the window, dear, at the last ivy leaf on the wall. Didn’t you wonder why it never fluttered or moved when the wind blew? Ah, darling, it’s Behrman’s masterpiece – he painted it there the night that the last leaf fell.”
Such a touching story! Behrman’s masterpiece didn’t lead him to gain wealth or fame but saved the life of a little girl. Gave her the hope to live and in the process lost his own life. In our own lives, we are tangled in the web created by ourselves and make them our yardsticks to measure our success. Success is not about our capability to fulfill our materialistic wishlist. If today, we are able to give a ray of hope to someone, that comes back to us in the form of self-contentment and gratefulness.
Let there be a little bit of Behrman in each one of us!
Here is a picture from my own garden of the Arabian Jasmine. Every time it blooms – it gives me happiness. And the bud? It symbolizes hope, isn’t it?
A decade ago when I read the book, “Who will cry when you die?” by Robin Sharma, it had a lasting impact on my outlook towards life. For those who haven’t read this book, it’s all about living your life as if it were your last day. Ever since, I have read a few more books and anecdotes of people who have experienced unexpected death and how it changed them and the people around, their family and the loved ones.
“The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch and lately “When breath becomes air” by Paul Kalanithi. Both of them suffered and died of cancer. Reading about them and their urge to live the life to the fullest in their last days makes me feel even more grateful for the time I have.
If we get a day to live, I think we should not regret the past and feel sad for our unfulfilled dreams. Regretting and being sad steals us of many happiness. Generally for many, an adventurous life is all about travelling and exploring the unknown. For me, there’s more to this –
When I live as if this were my last day, I won’t find excuses for things I want to achieve, instead this will be my sole reason to go for it. Maybe, it’s talking to my loved ones, learning a new language, learning to play a musical instrument, learning anything that makes me feel more confident and enriches my experience.
I clicked this picture of my favorite things. As I wrote, it’s never too late to enjoy the things that you always wanted to. For me it was going back to my childhood when I bought these soft toys whom I call Robbie and Rosie. Now they are at the mercy of my nephews and niece. Or, it was just filling a book with colors or jotting down my personal thoughts or my goals for me to look back how far I came in life.
How often does it happen while you are travelling using a public transport that you are compelled to over-hear a conversation not because you want to but you have to because of loud fellow-passengers. In one of my commute days, I happened to overhear a phone conversation between a Mom (my fellow passenger) and her son (which I guessed from her talks). This is how it goes. This might probably remind one of your conversations with your parents 🙂
Son: Hello Mom, how are you?
Mom: Forget about that, first tell me why didn’t you pick up dad’s call in the morning.
Son: Aahh.. hmm..
Mom: He has been trying to reach you from last few days. Why don’t you respond?
Son: Mom, I’m so so sorry. I.. I was was just having a severe headache. So I was taking rest.
Mom: Severe headache? Do you have a migraine or what? You should have picked up his call. He does night shift and keeps himself available before 6.30 a.m. so that he can talk to you before you leave for college. And you.. you don’t even bother to respond neither on phone calls nor his Whatsapp chats.
Son: Mom…. I… didn’t I tell you last time my net isn’t working.
Mom: Net isn’t working? Whom do you think you are trying to fool. I can see you post daily on Facebook.. Commenting on the pages of political parties.. But, why are you following these pages.. Why don’t you keep yourself away from all this? I want you to focus on your studies.
Mom: Ok, so how’s everything else? What time is your college? Are you allowed to take mobile phones? Ok then take care son. Will call you in the evening.
PC : Google
“Because I live in the world of my imagination where everything looks exactly as I want it to be.” ~ A child.
What a child needs is something attractive (to them of course :)) and the moment they get hold of it, no one can stop them. My niece and nephew often reminds me of this and most recently through these artistic drawings that they mercilessly drew on the walls of their house. They definitely have a story for what they do but do they care about the outcome or how it looks. No. What keeps them going is the sense of satisfaction in keeping themselves active and engaged in their “adventures”.
Made me think, why spend money on wall paintings for my new house. Let me call these little artists and give them a day to fill the house with innocence.