I was about 6 yrs old when I got to know that my parents marriage anniversary was around the corner. My grandma used to tease me on what would I gift them. That was huge predicament that I was faced due to the apparent shortage of funds. The other day, I could hear the scrap dealer shouting "paper dedo , paise lelo" . I ran into the house and searched for paper. During those days, we did not have newspapers being delivered at our place. I picked up the lantern and ran out. I asked him if he could take this. He took it happily and handed me over a 1 rupee coin. I tip-toed into the home feeling proud of my selling ability. I took the 1 rupee coin and went up to the nearby shop. I did not have an idea of what I wanted to buy. The shop keeper asked if I wanted the orange candies. I told him that I wanted to buy a gift for my parents and gave off the money to him. He giggled and told me that it was not enough. He told me that you should buy them a gift when you become big and start working. I came back dejected over the rejection. We used to have frequent power cuts during those days. The dusk was upon us and the power went off. My dad started searching the lantern and could not find it. He was at his wits end after searching the entire house. I got scared and ran up to him. I told him that I had sold the lantern. He got angry and shouted at me. I started crying and ran straight to my mom. Later, my mom asked me why did I do it. I replied saying that I wanted to buy a gift to make them happy. My mom started laughing and hugged me.
She taught me an important lesson in life in simple words. She told me in Oriya and obviously in a way that a 6 yr old can understand but when I try to recollect her message..it flashes in my mind as :
" Dear Mama..you are an angel but that does not mean that you can take shortcuts to happiness. Life is huge and you will have your own chances to make your near ones happy. You got to love everybody and be there for them when they need you. That's the best gift that you can give to both of us. You got to be the Gabriel wherever you can"
Well I retired as Gabriel in the play :) I know Gabriel was the "male" angel in many references but guess that's permissible :) Looking back all the years, I guess I now realize the significance of growing up as an angel. There are few who choose to ignore the angelic side and many who nurture this side. I believe that people who walk into our lives out of nowhere to bail us out are angels. I am sure that all of you would relate to this when some stranger helped you out in some unknown way. Sometimes we become the strangers and help people out. Thanks to her, I try to keep my cool in this insane maddening world where envy is a prime and anger is a terror. I ain't perfect but we got to keep trying :)
It would be wishful of me to wish that the angel in each one of us is dominant and the evil side is passive. The world would have been one happy party :D
Keep the Gabriel alive ! "Put a Little Love in your heart and the world will be a better place" :)