August 20, 2014 in Life Lessons
Perinjery reminisces about his parents sacrifices and the lengths they went to provide a comfortable upbringing… #then-and-now #lifestylewednesday
I was studying in the 9th grade. My annual leave had finished and I had to go back to my residential school in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala state which is situated at the southern tip of India. My dad was posted in a place 100 kms from Jammu city on the northern tip of India.
We did not get reservation in the train and my father decided to go in the un-reserved compartment as I had to reach the school on time. I used to travel alone in train from the 8th grade onwards back from vacations. However this time since I had to go in an un-reserved compartment my father decided to come along. He did not get reservation for his return journey as well. Those days there was no pantry service in un-reserved compartments. So my mother prepared and packed food and water for both of us for the entire 3 days journey.
The compartment was crowded. We got just enough space to sit. For the entire journey, my father could only sit and sleep in the sitting position. I could snuggle into the little space and comfortably slept with my head resting on my father’s lap. So he did not even shift his legs while I was sleeping. I wonder how he would have travelled back the next day he dropped me to school for another 3 days in the same crowded un-reserved compartment.
Thinking back I realize how much sacrifice our parents would have done for our comfort. That realization keeps me going to serve my old parents in spite of my own busy official and family life.
August 18, 2014 in Mindfulness
Perinjery is proud of a young Air Force Officer on his team for having the courage to do what it takes, and highlights that courage is the mark of a Leader. #mindfulmonday #couragetolead
This is an incident which involved an Air Force Officer who was my junior and reporting to me. He was returning back from leave and was traveling in a bus from the railway station to the Air Force base which was 60 kms away. He was sleeping when half way through, in the middle of the night, his bus came to a halt. He woke up and saw the bus was empty. He heard lot of noise and commotion nearby. All the passengers had alighted and were standing on the edge of the road and pointing down. He got out and joined the crowd only to find out that the sides of the road was a small valley and a bus had fallen down. Painful cries of passengers were heard from the bus. However, not a single person dared to go down and help them. All were sympathizing and were confused on what to do.
The officer, in a raised voice asked the people to come down with him and help the passengers from the ill-fated bus. But none of them were listening to him. So he alone clambered down the steep bank of the road towards the fallen bus. He climbed inside the bus, got hold of 2 people on his shoulders and brought them out. Then slowly he climbed up the valley with the 2 people clinging on to him. When he reached the edge of the road he made them to sit and again clambered down to rescue other passengers.
Seeing this brave youngster, his fellow passengers felt a wave of guilt running through them. Immediately many men clambered down with him and helped to rescue all the passengers from the ill-fated bus. Luckily there was no death. All the victims were made to sit in the bus and he, along with few men, took them to the nearby hospital in the city. The duty doctors and nurses were called and were requested to give the necessary medical aid. Only then he came out, took an auto rickshaw and came back to the Air Force Base.
By the time he came to his quarters, it was office time and he was all dirty and tired. He came directly to me and narrated the incident and I asked him to clean up and get some rest. I gave him the day off and asked the mess waiters to provide him food at his quarters when he wakes up. I was feeling very proud of him. That evening we had a station party and I praised the young officer and narrated the incident. The lesson to be learnt from this life experience is that if you have the courage to be a leader, others will follow.
August 17, 2014 in Oneness
Perinjery narrates an incident that led him to reflect on how #religion contributed to the #oneness of humanity by transcending differences especially when it comes to serving those in need. #unityindiversity #sundayoneday
Four of us friends went for trekking to an arid area with few hills. The region was almost uninhabited. The hills were without any vegetation, with few rocks and mostly soil. Such hills are difficult to climb as they are slippery. Hence we decided to keep our back packs as light as possible with small water bottle and few snack packets. We started in the morning and felt very happy when climbed the 3rd hill. It was already noon and we were very tired, thirsty and hungry. We had already finished our snacks and water. We looked around and could not find any signs of houses or other human beings.
We took our binoculars and saw a saffron flag flying at a distance which we judged to be 3-4 km away. It was a temple. We hurriedly climbed down and walked fast towards the temple with whatever energy we had. We only expected to get some water there and some place to rest. When we reached there it was 1230 pm.
To our joy we saw few temple staff inviting us for the free lunch served on leaf plates with mats laid on the floor to sit. They directed to us to the wash area, where water was a kept in a tub and one person poured a mugful into our hands to wash our hands and face. That itself freshened us. Then we sat down on the mat and were served a meal with a sweet which we ate hungrily. We felt so filled both with food and gratitude. However, only we four of us were having the food. After the food we spoke to the main caretaker and he told us that they served free food every day at 1 pm. Since they saw our state they served us immediately and that is why we did not have any more company. We touched his feet, got his blessings, prayed in front of the deity and put a generous amount into the donation box. He thanked us and said that with such donations they are able to run the temple and serve the people.
That day we learned how religion brought discipline and a sense of humanity in a community where people would help others in the name of the almighty.
[Image Source - Sastha Prakash]
#globalite Perinjery is moved beyond words when faced with the reality that poor kids on the streets face. #servicesaturday
I cannot stand the sight of small kids, particularly girls, begging on the street for money and especially when they beg for food. Now being the father of a son and daughter when I see such kids, sometimes I imagine how I would feel if my children were in that state. The very thought gives me the creeps.
Many years ago, I was posted in Bhuj, Gujarat, as an young Air Force officer. On a Sunday evening I was out with my fellow officers in the city going around shopping and eating. On Sundays entire Gujarati families in Bhuj come out to meet each other, shop and picnic and have food outside. Even marriage alliances are discussed in parks between families picnicking. We were walking along a street when a small girl came begging to me for money. I felt so sorry for her. I asked her whether she was hungry. I told her that I would not give her any money but would buy her food. She nodded her head in agreement.
I excused myself to my friends and took her to a roadside eatery and bought her Dhabheli, a popular snack in Bhuj, and a glass of flavoured milk to drink. I sat beside her and watched her eating hungrily. I realized that my eyes were wet with sympathy and compassion towards the little one. After she finished I asked her if she wanted more. She nodded her head saying no. I asked what she would do if she was hungry again. She had the painful look in her eyes. I knew that she was part of a group where such children were brought up for begging and were given a daily target for collecting money and handing over to the head of the gang.
I felt so powerless that I did not know what to do to help her and wondered if I could do anything at all. I settled for helping her for the moment and moving on. Once again I took her to a nearby shop, bought her some chocolates, a pack of bread and a few bananas. I finally could see a light smile in her eyes and I felt a sense of satisfaction. I excused myself from the little one and walked fast to catch up with my friends who were lingering around a shop nearby.
When they asked me why I took so long, I just shrugged my shoulders and said that I got busy in being a responsible Samaritan. In the heart of hearts I was feeling very uncomfortable for leaving the little girl to her own fate.