Beyond The Reach!
By Anjali Mohapatra • November 10, 2018
Long ago, a man with his family shifted from his village to live in a town. He started his business over there. In due course of time with the God’s grace, his business increased time to time. He was quite happy thinking of taking a good decision of shifting from village to town. The best part of the man was, he was very much devoted to his father who was an old man. He lost his mother when he was a small kid and he had no siblings. So, his father too, joined with him when he went to town.
The man had never forgotten the magical spell of village life! He used to visit his village by his own car to look after his varieties of crops in his field and his childhood friends too. His wife and his five years old only son accompanied with him and his father too. It was almost a three hours journey from his hometown. The road was overloaded with so many seasonal trees on both the sides. The huge mango trees were full of raw mangoes and the other trees were shading the road to some extent. It was really very pleasant to pass through that calm and quiet road. In some part, the huge fields were there where the cowherds used to bring their herd of cattle to gaze.
Once it was almost twilight, the man was returning from his village with his wife and son. The road became too fuzzy because of the heavy dust in the air. Two, three groups of cattle were going back to their home. The cowherd boys were singing their local song enjoying the time to fullest. Suddenly, his son pointed his finger and asked, ‘Papa, look at that cow. Why that cow is tied with a heavy bamboo and a bell? What for it is walking all alone, not with its group’.
The man looked at the distance where the cow was moving slowly with the ding dong sound. He turned his face towards his son and explained that the cow might have not obeyed to its master or might have done some wrong things because of which he got the punishment.
‘You know what? There is a beautiful song for this,’ said the man.
The little boy was too curious to hear the song. He said, ‘What’s that song, Papa? Tell me.’
His father smiled and sang the song:
"Sat Sange Sangita,
Asat sange sangi hele,
Kattha ghanti lambitha."
The son looked at his father’s face in a questioning mark, because he couldn't understand a single word. He repeatedly asked his father about the meaning of that song. The man chuckled amusingly and tried to explain him that when he would grow up, he could understand the meaning. But the son was very stubborn and insisted him to explain.
Eventually his father clarified the meaning: ‘If you ever want to make friendship, then be a friend of good people because friendship with bad fellows may put you in trouble. For instance: The cow which is bearing a bamboo and bell can not run away quickly as she is tied with a little heavy bamboo and the bell would give a sound wherever she would move. So that easily she can be traced out. She must have left her group and did some unpleasant work like destroying somebody’s crops or similar things because of which to teach a lesson to the rest of the cattle and to her too, the cowherd tied the bamboo and the bell. That’s why she was walking all alone and away from her group.’
The little boy shook his head but his father knew that he didn't understand a single word. He was too young to understand the deeper meaning. However, their journey was finished when they stopped the car at home.
As Winter turns to Spring, the little boy grew up to an young adult. He finished his education with good academic record. Even though his childhood was cherished with a wonderful atmosphere, yet his sudden high aspiration of becoming an extraordinarily rich man devoured him. He was derailed from his morality. His father became upset of thinking about his son’s future.
At the beginning of his son’s (Adi)career, Adi was totally a down to earth person but gradually he inclined towards some bad company. He was worried about his son’s changed attitude. He was always afraid of this situation.
One day, he requested his son to join him in a restaurant for family dinner. His son agreed and all three went to a fine restaurant. After searching for a special menu, they ordered the food. All three were silent for few seconds. But the noise from the other corners was quite high. People were engaged with fun, laughter, jokes and many other things. By that time, the waiter served the starter on their table. While eating, the man asked his son, ‘So Adi! How is your work going?’
Swallowing the half food, his son responded that everything was ok.
Once again his father twisted the conversation and asked, ‘Adi, I heard that you are planning to sell your business and going abroad with your friends for a new business? Am I right?’
‘Yes, Papa. But where from you got this information? I was supposed to tell you but after finishing all my formalities, I guess. My friend says that he would support me one hundred percent. I can earn a lots of money, Papa! It's a good business.’
‘Certainly you can, Adi! You are an adult. I am not at all against of your going abroad or starting a new business. You know this present world better than me, since I am an old time generation. The only thing I am worried about is, time may change but the attitude and trends of human beings are always the same. The love, affection, cunning, hatred or betrayal, all were there in our time also and they do exist now and will be there in future too. The friend who lured you for such a high dream is hardly a friend of yours for last one year. Please, think deeply before you take your final decision. Do you remember the song I sang while coming from our village?’
‘Which song Papa? Hardly I remember anything,’ answered his son.
The father smiled and reminded him about the cattle and the lonely cow with a bamboo and a bell on its neck. After a while, his son nodded his head that he did remember the scene but neither remember the song nor its meaning.
The man looked at others. All were busy in their own merriments. Then he lowered down his face and said in a low voice, ‘Son, this is the time you should understand the meaning of that song. Before it is too late, think seriously and then proceed. You preferred the new set up in a foreign country. Don't do anything which would be beyond our reach to help you.’
However, the man explained the meaning of the song once again because of his son’s request. Dinner was over. All of them went back to their home. The son was little bit worried, as his father’s last few words were repeatedly rewinded in his memory. After wishing ‘good night’ to each other, they went for sleeping. But the son couldn't sleep, he felt uneasy. He went on thinking. His father was not wrong when he gave his statement about his friend. If by any chance, his friend would betray him, then he would be at no where!
Even though he was only five years old then, he could well remember the pitiful condition of the cow that passing through the field all alone! He felt as if his father was warning him against the future probability! After struggling all through the night, at some point he slept peacefully.
Perhaps, he had already decided not to accompany with his friend to lead an uncertain, lonely life like that cow nor he would create a situation which would become beyond the reach of his father. ‘Actually nobody should go beyond one’s reach,’ he stuttered to himself. That decision gave him the mental peace to have a good night sleep at a certain point!
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