I have got used to simple and small world of mine; devoid of complications, entanglements and pretensions. I was fortunate to be in the Military service, where we were taught to be sincere, truthful and real leader of men. My initial world on which foundation of the subsequent enlargement of life was achieved itself was simple and straight. I taught similar values to my children: to be good human beings, sincere, diligent and rise up by the toil and sweat of hard work. These values got further influenced by my faith in Sikh scriptures which teach us simplicity, hard work, empathy and sincerity. The Sikh scriptures which praised Bhai Lalo ( an honest carpenter) over Malik Bhago, ( a corrupt rich ). I am proud of my children ( I am sure every one is) who achieved academic excellence through hard work and struggle. These guys are good humans, professionally sound and forthright.
My world is really simple and with a fixed small routine. In the morning I go for a walk followed by some exercises ( I call it as ” One day insurance of Life “), take bath and have a brief prayer before having our breakfast. As a retired person my remaining routine is also simple and revolves around day-to-day administration. I make weekly calls to my children two of them are abroad in US. A bit of reading and watching TV fills in the evening, at times with a small peg of whiskey, and thereafter we call it a day with a prayer to the Lord asking him for yet another beautiful day. My social encounters are also very simple and brief. There are hardly any ripples in my world ordinarily, however sometimes external events affect my simple world and force me to think whether my ways are indeed right! One such event occurred recently which did impact my simple world and that was an invitation to the marriage of one of my relatives.
It was a typical Punjabi marriage with six to seven ceremonies, noisy, boisterous, crude and full of pomp and show. The functions were attended by nearly one thousand people; liquor flowed freely with people dancing away to blaring high decibel loud music and currency notes being thrown over the head of dancing. The women folk wore very expensive clothes and jewellery and were doing dress changes ten times a day. There were lavish feasts, lighting, fireworks and entertainment. Some guests were even firing from their weapons indiscriminately ( which could have caused accidents ). Our Sikh scriptures had made marriage ceremonies very brief, inexpensive and simple; the aim being to make it affordable for all. We seem to be disobeying these for showing off even at the cost of incurring heavy expenditure. I really do not know as to why my simple and small world gets impacted and I feel uncomfortable during such functions. I wonder , what is the correct approach to life; austerity or large-scale festivity. I wonder if I would ever be willing to indulge in such festivities with 80% of the fellow Indians struggling to get two square meals a day. If one has indeed this kind of money to afford, would not it be better to keep the functions simple and donate something for the needy as our scriptures teach us, I ponder! Are we setting wrong standards and templates for those who would not be able to afford such scales but would be forced to do so to keep up the appearance in society by taking loans?
The dictum of ” Simple living and high thinking” is valuable but how many of us follow It is a question to be answered. I returned back from the event to resume my Simple and Small World again, the minor turbulence caused by unusual and unfamiliar event, would hopefully fade away very fast.