Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

105. Sejal’s World

I wish I could borrow Sejal’s innocence.
I wish, like Sejal I could trust all.
I wish, like Sejal I could see the hollowness of the ‘beware of’ announcements.
I wish, like Sejal I could instantly be connected with everyone around.

Alas! I know Sejal is not only that – not that I know her thoroughly. Sejal might have her fears and her worries. Sejal might have her moments of broken promises and lost trust. Sejal might have been ignored and dumped. I have lived enough to understand the ups and downs of human life. I know that every human being that we come across is a package – we cannot choose only what we like in him/her and throw away rest of it merrily. Life would have been too easy then. We have to accept people as they are – in the process live with what we do not want and do not like.
But is it the outcome of situation or of paradigm?

I can see the question coming from all of you.
Who is this Sejal I am referring to?

Frankly speaking, I do not know much about Sejal. I may never meet her again. However the impression she created on my mind will remain for a long time.

I was traveling from Patel Chowk to Hauz Khas by the prestigious and comfortable Metro. It is an enjoyable journey. Especially with a coach reserved for women makes it more comfortable even though I have to stand for 20 minutes.

At Central Secretariat Station a mother and a four year child climbed in. The child was screaming for something. The mother was looking at the child but clearly she was not listening. Her mind was somewhere else. She seemed to be in trouble. Generally children know it very well. Within seconds I realized that the child was seeking attention of the mother not for herself, but that was the strategy of the child to draw mother out of her troublesome feelings and thoughts. But the child was not getting much success and hence she was becoming more vocal.

Other women passengers instantly understood the predicament of the mother and the young child. They tried to help. Someone asked the child her name, she refused to answer. Some other woman asked the child where she was getting down, the child refused to answer. Someone asked the child whether she liked metro, the child refused to answer. The mother was standing stone faced, the child was screaming and everyone around was helpless.

Suddenly the mother spoke, “Listen, there is some announcement.”
The child was so happy that her mother spoke to her, and her face illuminated. She smiled, her eyes fully shining.

It was a coincidence that the announcer was saying, “Be aware of strangers, and don’t be friendly with them” – not exactly in these words but conveying the same meaning.

The child was excited. “Ma, where do strangers live? I want to see a stranger.”
That was very unusual demand and the mother looked helpless.
To help the mother, one woman said, “Look, I am a stranger”
Everyone around was relieved and looked thankfully to that woman for intervention.
The child gave a piercing look to that woman. She touched the right hand of that woman as if to asses whether she was real. Then the child announced the judgment: “You are aunty. You are not a stranger.”

We all were struck by the simple answer.
“But I do not know your name. You do not know my name. So, we are strangers,” the woman was quite determined and was not giving up easily.

The child felt rather insulted at this. “My name is Sejal, I am not a stranger. You are an aunty, you are not a stranger.”

Sejal looked around. She said, “She is an aunty, she is also an aunty, and there is another aunty and the one reading a book is also an aunty. Here are all aunties. No strangers.”

I wish I could be like Sejal when dealing with the world. I wish I could trust everyone around and I wish I could establish an instant relationship with everyone around.

I wish at least Sejal could do it even when she grows. Sejal has her own world, let her continue exploring the world in her own way.
Whether our system will allow that freedom to Sejal is the question.
Whether Sejal will be able to face the world alone is the question.
Whether Sejal would be happy is the question.

If Sejal can do that, even if she is alone in her world, that does not matter.
Let it be Sejal’s world.


  1. WoW!! I would like to be in Sejal's world too! :)
    Very beautiful thought and wonderfully executed! :)

  2. Lovely as usual..
    I recd. an email from you requesting some help.. can you confirm that it is really you in some way.
    I recently recd a fraud email from a friend whose email was hacked...
    Any idea how to confirm?

  3. I really wish !!!

    What a beautiful world. And thats a great world that i lived in too. wonder where i dropped it...

  4. Shilpa, Kavi.. we are innocent when we are young .. what happens to us when we grow? Can't we grow in a better way?

    Satyask, glad to know that you liked it. Yes, it is my message only about helping a friend during her visit to Bangalore.

  5. Inadvertently you wishing her... a life where she will alone.


    Do you feel that would be gr888 thing to wish even taking in account all sort of negative things we receive from people around us??

    Just a question.

  6. Makk, I am wishing Sejal life ALONE? Sorry, if it conveys such a meaning. I have many wishes, one is that Sejal should be strong enough to lead a joyful life EVEN IF she is alone..
    May be I should have worded it more carefully to emphasize positive aspect of my wish.

  7. May be my interpretation was wrong but you ended you post with these lines:

    If Sejal can do that, even if she is alone in her world, that does not matter


  8. Makk, no interpretation is wrong. I have noted that one of the meanings of my words was negative -at least to you. For which I am really sorry. Will think about some better ways next time.
    Thanks a lot for reading, thinking, and sharing your thoughts.


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