Just before the Navratri, I decided to visit Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra, Jammu. Two of my friends pitched in, and even my elder brother decided to join. It was supposed to be a fun ride (albeit, a long and tiring trip) and some penance for deeds that I was not proud of.
Thanks to Black lotus, I have discovered that the best way to seek forgiveness from the self and let go of guilt is to do kind deeds. Along the way, we were passing through a town where my father’s best friend stayed. We always addressed him as Tayaji (Uncle), but it had been over 30 years that I visited his place.
My elder brother proposed that it might be a good idea to say hello briefly. I did not think twice and nodded in affirmative. Most kids that grew up in the 80s and 90s in small towns in India have left their homes to make a life in major cities. Most of these towns are now inhabited by the older generation who are lonely and wondering what’s next in life.
Not for my Uncle and Aunt; they are a busy couple. They were away to their farmhouse where they had grown many vegetables, fruits and medicinal herbs. My Uncle is passionate about Ayurveda and is a leader of many his age in taking up a Vedic life. Their elder son lives with them, and the younger one is in the US. I could feel that bonhomie was missing here.
My Aunt was very touched to see us and hugged us profusely. It turned out that it was their marriage anniversary and no one had wished them so far – neither sons nor daughter-in-law. Soon it was a celebration at home and what was a surprise visit by us, gave supreme joy to all in the family! Divine arrangement!
Spread love, its in short supply!
~ Nitin Om Patnia