I took the train this time while going to Goa from Visakhapatnam. Yes, plane would have been better, but it was both time-consuming as well as expensive. ( yes time-consuming; there is no direct flight and I had to go to Hyderabad, then from there to Mumbai and then to Vasco. In each airport I had to wait for 4-5 hours for the next flight and each time there would be security check and luggage to take care of. Train was a better option).
My co passengers were good. The compartment was clean. And my son made some friends. What more could I want.
There was this girl P, studying in the first standard who was playing the most with my son, well-behaved and neat and had this cute smile which gladdened me. But it was her mother whom I admired the most. The way she was handling the kids was wonderful. And the patience she had…she went on answering the kid’s questions without asking why you have so many questions and without raising her voice. Just wonderful!!
The kids settled down for their afternoon siesta. She took out a magazine to read and I took out my chanting beads. After some time she asked me,
‘So you are religious?’
‘No I am into spiritualism,’ I replied.
‘Spiritualism has a broader spectrum. It leads to the Absolute truth. Religion is the path we choose. ‘
You mean Religions like Hinduism, Christianity etc are just paths to know the Absolute truth.’
I smiled and returned back to my chants. She was quiet for some time contemplating. It suited me fine, I wanted to finish my rounds before my son woke up.
‘What do you do apart from chanting?’, She asked.
‘Read. Attend discourses, Discuss with my fellow travelers.’
‘What discourses do you attend?’
‘Discourses on the Bhagvad Gita and Bhagvatam primarily.’
‘Do they help you ?’
Oh yes. Bhagvatam has the entire history right from the time the universe was created, It has science, geography everything. And The Gita tells us how to conduct life.’
‘These classes err discourses are in the morning?’
‘NO, in the evening.’
‘So your husband looks after him’, she said pointing at my son’
‘No both of us attend these classes. Sonny stays with me, does his coloring or practices his writing. I f he is bored there is always somebody to look after the kids.’
‘So your husband too likes such stuff’, she asked.
‘Yes we started on this journey together. Its always better to be on a path together isn’t it, otherwise it becomes difficult.’
She nodded. ‘But you said there is always somebody to look after the kids, you mean like a babysitter?’
Yes I said.
‘But to leave your kid with a baby sitter for SUCH classes….Why? I mean is it necessary. Isn’t it much better to spend time with you kid then attend such lectures.’
‘You are in full-time job isn’t it which means that after school your daughter spends time with a baby sitter or maybe a creche’
‘You do this job because it satisfies you and fetches you good money’.
She nodded again.
‘Attending such classes satisfies my intellectual curiosity and fills me with infinite peace and joy’, I replied.
We parted with a hug. I had learnt a lesson (on good parenting) and she too I suppose had learnt one.