Dont simply love- BE LOVE
India- a country torn apart by invaders, crusaders and now their suppressed versions- the politicians. Any other place in the world map would have been fragmented had they gone through even half of India’s heroic past and never once did this country give up on their sole message- the message of peace and love.
It may be easy to ignore the underlying force of humanity in our everyday lives but there are certain neighborhoods, that didn’t try to hide this in the slightest possible way.
Sometimes, all we want is a visible force, something to put our faith into and this little lane in Daryaganj does exactly that. How many times do we find a mosque, a church and little shops owned by Hindus and Sikhs? All in one lane? Clearly showing the co-existence of the communities that are often heard to be seething with hatred towards the other.
Coming from a house where we have been taught to accept people based on their character, I consider myself lucky to have found friends in every fold of life. My fondest memory from my childhood days are the lazy afternoons I spent with my dad’s favorite employee- Alam chacha. A highly skilled man who was exceptional with kids and specially a case like me who knew how to drive people insane.
I loved pretending to be a teacher and most days after school, I would go upstairs to the workshop and teach my dad’s employees my day’s worth of lessons and they always did their best listen to me intently. Naturally, like every school, my make believe one had a lunch break too and even though it used be way past their lunch time, they patiently waited for me to return home so that we could all have lunch together.
The first day I met Alam chacha, I wanted to taste the delicious looking mutton kofta he carried in his tiffin and as I inched my hand closer, he said, “didimoni aap mat khao mera khana neeche dadi daatengi!” I was a 5 year old and I couldn’t fathom why he would say something like this. Later that night I had to ask mom the reason and she explained to me something jumbo about him being a “muslim” and my grandma being a “hindu”, she had some extreme problems with us mingling with them. I also remember my mom carefully saying that, “never hate someone and never pay heed to what your grandma says. However, you may want to keep some stuff away from her eyes as long as we live here”.
After that incident, I dont have any memories of playing “teacher teacher” with them again but some few years later when we moved to a new place, I did remember chacha getting us some lovely ID delicacies that we gorged on but he always made sure it was never anything else apart from “sewai”.
Chacha is still one of my favorite people on earth. Whenever I am home, I make it a point to visit him (he has a hot son, that is the secondary reason) but he somehow unknowingly taught me a lesson of differentiation that nobody should have to learn. Nobody should have to belong to a family of extremists who keep you away from other humans. Nobody should be taught baseless things about other fellow humans that keep us from mingling freely with the other. Nobody should in the first place, be separated in the form of religion when the message of God is same across all borders, that is, LOVE. And everybody should be reminded that religion is man-made, God is not.
Going back to the lane where I was walking through to meet Farhan who was waiting for me at the other end with his hunky dory camera, if they can all learn to stay with each other despite all the personal differences and little factors that can easily tear them apart, we can too. And for the record, I never felt more at ease anywhere else in Delhi than I did in that tiny lane.
The message of life is very simple. It is only a four letter word which is now confined to couples who use it to remind each other of their existence. If only we looked into it a little deeper, if only we decided to apply it in our daily lives and reminded ourselves constantly to love our neighbour as our own who knows how many problems could have been avoided? Who knows how many of us would be friends by solving conflicts just through mere “sorrys” and “thank yous” and how much destruction the world be spared of.
But you know what?
IT IS NEVER TOO LATE.