The Wisdom Gardener - Part V

Previous Parts

The Wisdom Gardener - Part I

The Wisdom Gardener - Part II

The Wisdom Gardener - Part III

The Wisdom Gardener - Part IV

Subbu looked at Sendhil and told him, “Come on, Sir, You should give him a topic to speak." Sendhil gave a little thought and said, “From the time Mr.Rai and his wife came to the party, I kept wondering how they live their lives. I want to peek a bit into their regular life, and so I would request him to speak on that.”

Rai smiled and said, “That’s nice to hear. Rather than speaking plainly on my life, I think it would be better for me to speak how different is my life compared to yours.”

Saying these words, Rai requested everyone to close their eyes and make a little walk around the garden and then come back to their respective seats. As per the request from Rai, everyone closed their eyes and started to move from the chair.

Once everyone closed their eyes and started to move, they began to lose their balance as if their eyes have been supporting them all this time. Some kept falling, and some kept messing up with the table and the chairs. After fifteen minutes of struggle, everyone returned to their chairs and opened their eyes to newfound freedom.

Rai smiled at the noises and the subsequent discussion after them getting settled down in their seats.

Rai started his talk. “Thank you, people, for living my life for fifteen minutes. I know that you must be wondering how difficult it must be for us to live the same all our lives. If walking in a peaceful garden is that difficult, then walking in a crowded lane should be a nightmare. Anyways the first answer that I would like to tell you is that we have conditioned ourselves to see with our eyes closed. Maybe the description of our world is false, but it suits us to live it the way we live.

During our growing years, I felt very angry with God for making me blind. I always used to curse him. My friends used to describe things around for me, and it made me eager to gain vision. However, for a person like me who is blind from birth, eyesight is the distant dream. I slowly started to console myself for what I have, and I began to live my life the way I am.

Music had taken a significant role in my life as I started to gain an interest in listening to them. It was one day when I realized that there are people who are deaf and dumb too, I felt how unique this world is. If you take music away from me, I think I might fall dead, and here I see people who can never realize what music is. This gave me a reason to say sorry to God for the entire curse I had given to him.

You might find it funny that I compare my life to somebody whose life I consider is inferior to me. However, this is natural for everyone to live life in comparison. Even if you go to a shop, your decision to buy anything will be anchored by the comparative study you do with similar other items. In that case, comparing your life with someone’s life is inevitable. But my question is how much one must compare and what all one must compare.

And if you have decided to compare your life with someone, you must not restrict to just one thing. It would be best if you did it entirely starting from his birth to death. By doing this, you will realize one important truth which is always neglected by humans. It is the law of averages.

No matter how big one person is, at some point in time, he will reach a similar bottom to average out on his bigness. This applies to everything starting from one’s wealth to his character. But the person who understands this and accepts it is the one who will remain happy irrespective of the situations thrown at him.

If you still want to compare then start comparing with the people below you in all dimensions. I would suggest you live a day without speaking, or without opening your eyes then you will realize how blessed you are to have those virtues. I also recommend you to live a day without electricity and mobile. I would also recommend you to sleep on the platform for a night. By doing all this, you will start to appreciate what you have rather than what you don’t have.

And finally, one thing what I would like to say you are that no matter how big you become or how small you become, you will always find someone above you and someone below you. So the best thing for you to do is to have your dreams but limit your contentment so that the world has lots to offer you. Rai’s talk was appreciated with the claps. Sendhil and Priya never thought that they could listen to such an insightful talk from a blind man. After the claps, Subbu requested Gopi to take on the stage.

Gopi stood up, smiled at everybody and asked, “So any topic for me?” Without giving anybody a chance to provide a topic, Subbu said, “Why don’t you speak something on addiction?”

Gopi smiled at Subbu, indicating that he can speak something on that topic.

Gopi started his talk.

“Subbu knows me personally, and he also knows my history of drinking addiction and even my son with the smoking addiction. So I think he had chosen the right person for this topic. As you all know that I am the milkman for this colony, but the other thing which you don’t know is that I have been a real estate broker who had been instrumental in the development of this place.

My wish for money and my late-night drinking habit had ruined my wealth and also my beloved wife. My wife had developed cancer, and I could take her to the doctor only in its final stages. Her pain did not last long as she died within a week time, and my never-ending pain had just started. I felt I lost everything I had been working for. I took to the habit of drinking seriously, and slowly it began to take over my life. In due course, my son started to hate me for all that I had done, and he began to live detached from me.

My addiction had slowly engulfed my wealth, and also my sons love for me. One fine day I realized that I had lost everything except for this habit. I did not have money for my drink as well as for my medicines. I began to roam like a nomad, and it was then an NGO spotted me. They took me to their place and started to rehabilitate me. They also provided me with training in gardening and cattle maintenance.

Once I walked out of the rehabilitation centre, they provided me with some seed money to buy a cow. This was the start of a new me in the making, and today I am a happy owner of 20 cows and a plant nursery to take care of. It took some time for me to get my son’s accept me. Today when I look back and see where I had gone wrong, then I believe it all started with my drinking addiction.

Addiction to me is only a side effect of a bigger problem. People take solace of addiction to pause their worries and get over the day temporarily. When this becomes a habit, then it becomes more dangerous than the other concern.

I would like to share a story with you people which I had read a couple of months back, and it impacted me. It was about a small dog which was roaming in the street. The owners of the dog had to forgo it, as they planned to move away from the country. The poor dog had no other option to but to roam around the street looking for food. The other stray dogs did not accept its presence and began to chase it. The poor dog, instead of adapting to the new environment, kept running and running to a new place every time, only to be treated the same way. One fine day the poor dog found a dry piece of bone near the garbage disposal area. The poor dog jumped to joy and grabbed the bone in its mouth.

The bone was too dry and sharp for the dog to hold onto, but it continued to ignore the pain and tried tasting it. The sharp corners of the bone slowly started to tear the dog’s gums, and blood began to ooze out from the dog’s mouth.

The dog felt the taste of the blood from the bone, and it started to feel elated. One old stray dog which was passing by this small dog saw the blood from its mouth. It told the little dog to drop the bone as it is dangerous to hold onto it. The little dog, on the other hand, laughed at the old dog and said that no matter how much the old one tries, it will not drop the tasty bone from its mouth.

The little dog continued to enjoy tasting its own blood amidst all the pain. For me, addiction is similar to the dry bone that the poor dog tasted. All that one enjoys in his addiction is his own bl