A silent source of inspiration
by Shubha Shanbhag
The story is about one of those hectic weekdays (Wednesday 30th October 2013 9.20 a.m).
My day started in a somewhat complaining mode (why can’t I get enough sleep? Why can’t I sleep as long as I want to and especially in the early morning hours, why is my office so far? Why do I have to travel this long and waste precious hour of my life? Why this machine like hectic schedule, home to station, station to office, office to station and then station to home again? Why can’t I get a good break? Why I am not blessed with perfect health, a peaceful mind and healthy body? And so on.
With all these endless questions in mind, I started to get ready for office (If you get 5 peaceful minutes to have your morning tea during the hectic morning “get ready” schedule, is itself a privilege). Finally, I landed onto the platform and was waiting for my train. Eyes were hooked to the railway track (the train was delayed); and I was impatiently listening to the railway announcements.
I looked at all the ladies standing on the platform, to check if they all were in a similar state, as of mine (tired, frustrated, and stressed). And yes, it was same for most of all. They looked tired, stressed, in a hurry, sweating and restless types. To know that I am not the only one brought me little solace. Within a few seconds the train would arrive and we all would compete, push, pull, run, and rush to get into the train.
While I was thinking about the best move and place to get into the train, I saw a distinguished smiling face from far away; she was smiling continuously and to each one who looked at her. (It’s surely not the era where we are used to smiling at anyone and that too without a purpose) Her smile was very pleasant, a serene one. She was trying to talk to a lady on the other side of the platform and she was using sign language to communicate. I assumed that since the distance between them is large and that is why she may be using hand signals.
Just then the train arrived and we all had this small elbow fights and could manage to get in.
I got a seat; achievement of the day. To my surprise the lady with the happiest and smiling face was sitting in front of me. I was exhausted and sweating badly. I could see that she was least affected by the crowd, the rush, the noisy fan, a nasty lady poking her waist. She still smiled. She kept on smiling. She removed a cell phone from her purse and started typing something, and then she showed it to another lady sitting in the other row. She was again using sign language. By now it was clear to me that she was deaf and dumb. The other lady to whom she shared the text in her cell phone screen was using facial expressions and body language to communicate to her. For few seconds sympathy filled in my heart. (It was a very wrong emotion and I figured it out at the end).
I was observing this smiling lady. Each action of hers was filled with energy and her eyes sparkled whenever she used them to communicate something. There was no sign of depression, demotivation, or any negative feeling on her face. I wanted to talk to this smiling lady and I could not resist the urge. So finally I initiated the chat. I enquired about her name. She understood my question and she typed on the screen “YOGITA” and I typed my name in return. I asked her about her daily schedule, where she works and few more details. She answered all of them. I tried to understand but could not understand fully. She was scrolling through some pictures in her cell phone and she showed some of her recent pictures taken in a saree. I looked at it and indicated her that she was looking very beautiful in the picture. She nodded her head and she smiled again. I was somehow feeling very happy with this silent conversation.
This smiling lady “Yogita” was a fountain of energy. I could not see any sort of disappointment, tiredness, stress, grief on her face. I was wondering how she can be so happy. Does she feel bad because she is handicapped? How does she do her day to day tasks? How can she be smiling all the time? I imagined myself in that handicapped state and got a goose bump. I was flowing in those thoughts and a cold breeze over the Vashi flyover brought me back in to train compartment again. I found all my answers in her silent smile. She said no words, but I knew she was my silent source of inspiration.
I regretted of how I started my day with an if-list/complaint list. I felt so sorry about the time that I wasted in past for not valuing the assets I had in my life. I realized that I had been gifted with so many things and still sometimes I enter into this endless cycle of grief and complains about what is not right in life.
We all can do so many things in life if we try to be happy, if we appreciate what we have and if we try to be content. When I say trying to be contented, doesn’t mean not having aims/goals to achieve more but I am trying to stress the importance of being gratified to help us achieve more, doing that extra bit without any complaints. It’s about doing things without complaining, making the most out of all situations, accepting the challenges and still living a stress free life.
A heart filled with joy and energy will always attract positive in life.
We are all surrounded by such silent sources of inspiration; just have an eye for it. ***