Most of you know I am from India. I am also from the part of India which is being drowned in water for the past few days/weeks because of the slashing monsoon rain.
Many of us who have moved far away from our motherland still have our loved ones there, and we use every means of technology available to keep the thread alive. But over the last few days, people from around the world who are originally from Chennai (State Of Tami Nadu) felt helpless as we watched the rain water slowly drown our city.
No power, no phone, no broadcast, no news magazine. What do we do? How do we make sure our loved ones are OK?
All I wanted to know was that my Dad who is 83 yrs old is OK. Just knowing he’s OK would mean a LOT!
I’ve been reading bits and pieces of news and comments to keep myself updated. Here is one such comment from one of the Chennai citizens on the Facebook: Lesson from Chennai Flood –
Life’s not about Earning Money, It’s about living together and helping each other…
U had ATM card, but NO ATM
U had your mobile phone but NO charge
U had your house but couldn’t stay there,
U had your car and bike but couldn’t drive
These things failed to help you at the right time, but many kindhearted people did!
Facebook now has a ‘SAFE’ status so people could mark themselves or others SAFE. This is a way to let the world know that a particular person is safe and OK. I also came across so many heartwarming stories and incidents of how people who had nothing were willing to give everything. Age didn’t matter – high school students who were strong enough waded through the water and distributed milk and biscuits, while the aged cooked for hundreds of people and opened their doors for their neighbors and strangers. Auto-rickshaw drivers (these are the popular 3-wheel taxi’s) provided free shuttle to people. Milk vendors and food vendors went above and beyond providing service without taking advantage of the situation.
These are people who live on day-by-day earnings. They don’t have BIG bank accounts, but they sure do have BIG Heart. Yes, they may be FAR behind in certain infrastructure and advanced technologies, but compensated in every way by living from the Heart.
Watching and reading about peoples homes flooded, immersed bridges, and broken levies, etc., was over-whelming and heart breaking, but it also brought tears of joy to see everyone coming together and helping each other in this time of crisis and focusing on the BASIC needs.
Being a spiritual aspirant, as part of my meditation practice I do a Universal Prayer everyday at 9:00PM for the welfare of ALL Brothers and Sisters around the world. My only resort was to pray; to pray as many times as possible each day to reach out to those in need.
One of my friends in the US called; she was in such a state of distress. She said this is the very 1st time in her 20 years of living in the US she wasn’t able to contact her aged parents in Chennai. Her concern and anxiety was so clear in her voice. She is one of those people who is very proactive, a problem solver, a remote manage her parents life, and needs an update everyday of what they ate and when they went to sleep, etc. Now what do I do? I explained that life always presents us with opportunities to progress, here is one for you. Start praying, not only for your parents but for everyone. She was honest enough to admit that she had never prayed before, leave alone praying for strangers. But she has come a long way in her life and she’s in a beautiful place where she is more open and realizing that there is more to life. This incident opened her eyes and heart, and now she prays not just for her close family but for ALL.
I am reminded of Kabir’s wise words:
Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare, Sukh Mein Kare Na Koye
Jo Sukh Mein Simran Kare, Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye
दुःख में सुमिरन सब करें सुख में करे न कोय,
जो सुख में सुमिरन करे तो दुःख काहे को होय !!
In bad times we pray to God, not in good,
If we pray in good times, there won’t be bad times!!
Finally I learned that my Dad is OK. More so he is surrounded by people who live from their Heart. I am at peace!
Still there is MORE rain in the forecast, but somewhere deep down in my heart I know this will pass too…..and everything happens for a reason, and ALL is GOOD.
Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi
PS: The city needs generous hearts to rebuild lives. Connect with your reliable sources and please lend a hand with your Heart.