During my 64 years of life, I have come across various personalities and heard tales of extreme goodness and utter meanness. One wonders as to how such contrasting personalities can co-exist in this world! Let me narrate the tale of two persons diametrically opposite in their conduct; I shall call one as Mr Good and the other as Mr Bad. Both of them were the Government employees.
Mr Good. He was a handsome personality, tall having sharp features and fair color and very pleasant to talk to. Though well-educated and an engineer he came from a humble rural back ground. He was having a very good government job. He was also going steady with one girl whom he loved and in all probability they would have got married and carried on happily with their life. But the fortune had her own way and a tragedy struck his home. His elder brother who was teacher in a private school and had been married to a simple semi-literate village girl died in a road accident. His brother also had two sons age 7 and 5 years. All hell broke loose in his family; who would look after the widow and her sons as the elder brother was not entitled to any pension even. The elders of the house decided that Mr Good marry his sister-in-law and adopt her children. Mr Good’s heart was broken; he had to tell his girlfriend the situation and his helplessness; and requested to conclude their affair as the situation warranted so. His girlfriend was also a noble soul, she accepted it as the will of the God. Mr Good got married to the widow of his elder brother and took on the responsibility of bringing the kids up. It was a big sacrifice on his part. He quietly got vasectomy done on himself so that he could not have his own children. Reason was that he wanted to give his brother’s children all the attention in the world lest his own offsprings come in the way. He lived with this simple, semi-literate and not so beautiful lady throughout his life as an ideal husband. He brought up his elder brother’s kids as his own and gave them top class education. Rose to very high rank in the Government service and is leading a retired happy and contented retired life with his sons doing very well. I have not heard of such a sacrifice. I was told that this man is always peaceful, smiling and radiating warmth.
Mr Bad. He too was a handsome man, tall and fair from a rural background. He was married off to a simple village girl by his parents at a young age. Three children quickly followed from the wedlock. The man was a low government employee. As part of family planning he got vasectomy done to stop any further issues. Soon he got promoted and rose in status in the government job. He never declared his marriage in government records. Imagine what would have happened to the family should something happened to him, they would not even get pension as they were not in the records. After being transferred to another place, he quietly fell in love with a beautiful girl pretending to be bachelor.They got married on the quiet. Years passed on and his wife kept expecting a child from the wedlock, but it would not happen as she did not know that he had undergone vasectomy. I learnt that she felt very sad when she came to know about it. I also learnt that his kids from earlier wife could not get properly educated and were doing small jobs. How he kept his double life I just wonder? Most of the people knowing the couple had no idea about it and they used to sympathise with them for not having any child. Someone suggested that they adopt some kid. It was learnt that he adopted his daughter’s son (from his village wife) stating that it was his brother’s son, which too was dumped later on. Mr Bad kept on getting promoted and went on transfer to some other town. I learnt that in that town there was a beautiful lady whose husband was in paralytic condition after meeting with a road accident. Later on I heard that Mr Bad had now married this lady. I wonder what happened to his second wife!
Sometime one wonders as to what is the purpose of life, nobility, contentment or self-centered approach? Which is the best way to choose? Does it really affect our Karma, one does not know! There are extremes of people available both on the plus and minus side of the continuum of आचार (Conduct). Reminds me of a Punjabi/Hindi couplet.
“इह दुनिया वांग सरां दे है , कोई आ जांदा कोई चले जांदा ,
कईंआ नू फुल भी नहीं भओंदे, कोई कंडीआ नाल निभा जांदा .”
” This world is like an inn, someone comes in and someone goes,
Some do not like even flowers, other can adjust with thorns and live happily.”