Sunday, December 11, 2011

Paper Boats

“Noted philanthropist commits suicide, community stunned.” “His giving knew no bounds”.

But you don’t find it strange at all, it makes perfect sense to you. To be that kind, you must be extraordinarily sensitive. And when you are that sensitive, you needs must suffer, more than others. With extraordinary kindness, comes extraordinary pain.

“The Buddha when he was a small child of 7 or 8, was once taken to watch the annual Ploughing Festival, where his father, the King, ceremonially guided the bullocks in plowing the first furrow. At the end of the day, they find the little child seated upright in the same position they had left him, deeply disturbed by the plight of the tiny creatures who lost their homes and their lives in the plowing.”

Siddhartha had no choice but to go away. You cannot live with such sensitivity, a state of being-without-skin. You must either die, or go away, seeking detachment.

The other day, you notice a small green insect upside down, almost drowning in the bath water. You stop, lift him up gently with an old toothbrush, finish your bath quickly, and hasten to keep him on a potted plant in the balcony. You are in a hurry to leave for office, but you catch yourself going back to check whether he’s okay. Looking at the small green insect merging with the green leaves, a whole childhood of paper boats comes back to you.

Every monsoon season, you spent a lot of time rescuing small insects and bugs drowning in pools of rain water, in the hilly green area you lived. You walked around after the rain, looking out for them. And for those that could not be reached with twigs, you made small paper boats and pushed them in their direction. When they clambered on to the boat, you started breathing again. You died with each one that did not make it, that you could not save, across that wide open space full of rain water pools.

Going back yet again to check on the little green insect, you catch yourself. No, not again. The road to deliberate death is paved with paper boats.

* Photo from Google Images


leo said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I immensely enjoy reading your blog. Please keep posting.

Asha said...

Thanks so much, Leo.

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