Saturday, December 14, 2013

All my life, I received so much of the kindness of strangers....and I still do.

Jerusha (Judy) Abbott, a cheerful and intelligent girl whose parents died when she was still a baby. She was found at Bayson avenue at New York City and was taken into the John Grier Home, where she develops her talent for writing.
It is one of her essays that catches the attention of a trustee known as "John Smith", enabling her to earn a scholarship from him to attend the Lincoln Memorial High School. He has spoken to her former teachers and knows that she is an excellent writer. He will pay her tuition and also give her a generous monthly allowance.
In return, he asks Jerusha to write a letter to him every month without fail describing what is going on in her life but not to expect any replies from him. Jerusha has seen him from the back and knows that he has long legs and so she adoringly calls him "Daddy-Long-Legs". She shares a love-hate-anger-gratitude relationship with him. She illustrates her letters with child-like drawings. She considers him the only family she has, and becomes attached to him.
So, you see, it is a rather one-sided correspondence! I expect, like Judy, you would be desperate to know more about the mysterious benefactor:
I wish you'd come and take tea some day and let me see if I like you. 
But wouldn't it be dreadful if I didn't? However, I know I should.
Judy has a wonderful time at college. She makes new friends and studies many subjects that are entirely new to her. To begin with though she feels very strange and isolated because she has so little in common with the other girls:
I have a new unbreakable rule: never, never to study at night no matter how many written reviews are coming up in the morning. Instead, I read just plain books - I have to, you know, because there are eighteen blank years behind me. You wouldn't believe, Daddy, what an abyss of ignorance my mind is; I am just realizing the depths myself. The things that most girls with a properly assorted family and a home and friends and a library know by absorption, I have never heard of.
Of course, over the years of her study at college Judy grows into a lively and attractive young woman who takes enormous delight in the little pleasures of ordinary life. It's easy to see why Jervis Pendleton, her rich room-mate's uncle, finds her company so enjoyable. And it's easy to see why Jimmy McBride finds her fun to be with too. He's the brother of her other room-mate.
Finally, at the end of the story, the identity of Daddy-Long-Legs is revealed and Jerusha is elated to find out who it is “The love of her life”. 
In the Biblical story, Jesus tells the crowd they are as much his family as his own mother and brothers, because they are connected by a common love for God.
The Buddhist scriptures tell us that no one in the world is actually a stranger. Each soul, in its journey through countless lives, has been linked to every other soul through different family roles.
In her book, Dancing in the Light, Hollywood diva Shirley Maclaine reveals the instant bonding she felt with an unknown Russian director who was new in Hollywood. Eventually, through past-life regression, she discovered they had been connected in past lives as mother-son and as husband-wife.
Against this backdrop, people whom we label ‘kind strangers’ are perhaps those who have re-connected with us in this lifetime through spontaneous demonstrations of fellow feeling.
In Shankar Mahadevan’s classic Breathless song, which is about people meeting briefly and then separating, there is a line that goes:
"Hum jo mile hain hume aise hi milna thaa, 
gul jo khilen hain unhe aise hi khilna thaa, 
janmo ke bandhan, janmo ke rishtey."
Each soul, in its journey through countless lives, has been linked to every other soul through different family roles. Such encounters lend a great charm to the already rich tapestry of life.
 Pulitzer prize-winner, Tennessee Williams, immortalised this concept of kind strangers in his play, A Streetcar Named Desire. The central character, Blanche Dubois, a disillusioned person with many skeletons in her cupboard, says,
All my life, I have depended on the kindness of strangers.”
Soni, a staunch devotee, learns through experience that the Divine is playful and as part of the Divine leela, strangers come to delight and surprise us. Soni was eagerly looking forward to the visit of her guru, Neem Karoli Baba, to a family wedding feast. After waiting for hours for Baba to show up, she finally gave up in dejection. A big, black dog had strayed into the gathering, nosing around the scraps of food thrown in the litter area. Angrily, she shooed it away. Some days later, meeting Baba in his ashram, she asked why he had disappointed her. Baba replied with his luminous, captivating smile:
Oh, but I did come! I was the dog that you turned away!
Our personal experiences would convince us that the invisible people, who may be complete strangers for us, are nevertheless with us, on our Earth journey. They send us signs to assure us that we are indeed loved and encouraged to move on, no matter what adverse circumstances we find ourselves in.
In the face of this amazing support, freely offered without any preamble or introduction,
O death, where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory?
Why do you care about me?
Thousands of abandoned children, orphans, street children and children of sex workers have asked Vinayak Lohani this question. Vinayak Lohani, founder of Parivaar, did his B.Tech from IIT, Kharagpur, followed by MBA from IIM, Kolkata. With these credentials, he could have easily earned a fortune.
Surprisingly, Vinayak did not appear for the placement process at IIM. Immediately after his MBA, he started Parivaar, inspired by the spiritual and humanistic ideals of Swami Vivekananda. Starting with just three children in a small rented building in West Bengal, with limited financial resources, Parivaar’s residential institution now has more than 675 resident children from destitute backgrounds. Parivaar’s day education covers more than 3,000 students in far-flung tribal areas in West Bengal and Jharkhand.
There is a parallel here with Jean Webster’s 1912 classic, Daddy Long Legs, the story of young Judy Abbott, an orphan, whose life is transformed due to a rich benefactor whom she has never seen, except for his long shadow.
Vinayak is Daddy Long Legs for thousands of abandoned children who would have languished on the streets or been sold in the flesh trade. Daddy Long Legs effect is spreading, with more and more people & companies getting into the socially driven mode.
-Nandini Sarkar & other sources..

16 comments:

NEVER GIVE UP said...

Good Morning Sir & All Friends.

NEVER GIVE UP said...

Sir you are also "Daddy Long Legs" for all of us.

prakash said...

Never Give Up, You stole the words from my mouth ...... i second you with 200% force..

Regards
Prakash

Social Media Earthworm said...

Master ... You are Surely Daddy Long Legs as Never Give Up beautifully said . This emotion is shared by all justnifty followers

Ajay said...

Sir,
It is the time to speak against the paid advicery services.I had some bad experience with many of them.In a ingle day I had hit 5 stplose out of 6 calls giben by a much adivertised millionire maker.

GOPI REDDY GURU MOHAN Reddy said...

Good Evening Sir,
Another excellent article from you.
Thank u sir.

Manish said...

Goodmorning master,

Inspiring piece from you again.thank you for this.

ram said...

THALAIVA , YOU TOLD GOOD PATH FROM AN IITian . YOU ALSO LIKE THAT FOR US.ACCEPT OUR SINCERE THANKS FROM US. KINDLY TELL ME ANY DONATIONS FOR PARIVAAR IF THEY ACCEPTS FROM US.

Soura said...

Truly inspiring Master, Thank you for your lessons.

rajiv malik said...

really touching to read about ilango ji-

NEVER GIVE UP said...
Sir you are also "Daddy Long Legs" for all of us.

shows the respect and love of the jn family for ilango ji.

here is what businessline has to say on nifty-


Nifty (6,168.4)

The Nifty too, hit a new life-time high 6,415.2 in the opening hour of Monday and then lost ground rapidly to end the week 91 points lower.

The index is following the script given as the first option last week. This could be the third part of the correction that began from the 6,342-peak in the index. This wave has the targets of 6,187; 6,046 and then 5,905. There is thus, a slight possibility of the correction ending at these levels. But if the decline continues, the index can head towards the next levels.

There is a strong likelihood of the index moving in the band between 5,950 and 6,400 for a few more weeks before it attempts to move higher. The medium term view will turn negative only on close below 5,920. Subsequent supports are 5,770 and 5,618.

A rebound next week can make the Nifty head higher to 6,262 or 6,323. The inability to move above the first resistance will be the cue for traders to initiate fresh short positions. Downward targets are 6,046, 5,973 and 5,905.

shyamalroy76 said...

Sir,
Pls provide contact details of Parivar.
I maynot be Seva-vratees (source Wikiprdia who works with Vinayakji) but may be I can stand with them form financial point of view.

shyamalroy76 said...

Sir, I have found it. sorry I asked before I did try.
Address and contact nos are as follows (for interested persons like Ram ji)
Parivaar

Village Barkalikapur
Post office: Bakhrat, Bishunpur -2,
District 24 Parganas (South),
West Bengal
vinayak@parivaar.org
Contact Details

91 033 24954118
info@parivaar.org

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