Posted in Philosophy, Short Story

What does charity mean ?

The recent earthquakes in Nepal and the sudden rise in want-to-be philanthropists made me write a short story from the Hindu scripture ” Bhagvad Geeta.”

A little background on the characters and situation.

Karna : He was a loyal friend of the Kauravas. He was known as the most charitable person alive. Extremely honourable, but highly looked down upon because of his lineage.

Arjuna : One of the Pandavas. Highly skilled archer,

Krishna : King of Dwarka. Very intelligent, practical and diplomatic person. He is the one who rist recited the geeta to Arjuna.

Here is the story :

One day, Arjuna says to Krishna ” Oh great ,lord, why is it that Karna is deemed as The hero among donors ? Even I do a lot of charity work. Why is it, that I am not given the same honour ? ”

Krishna though on this and decided to give him a practice session.

He took Arjuna to a village, created a mountain of gold and asked him to distribute the mountain of gold among the villagers. Arjuna started calling all the villagers, asked them to form up a queue and started giving out potions of the wealth. Eventually, he got tired and frustrated, as the villagers kept asking for more.

Krishna saw the frustration on Arjun’s face and told to stop what ever he was doing.

Then he sent word to Karna and told him to do exactly the same thing.

Karna called the villagers to the mountain, asked them to take the gold and then without another word, went about his own business. He never even glanced at the pile, or how the villagers were using the gold.

Now Krishna says to Arjuna ; ” Did you understand your mistake now ? O brave archer ? You, in your pride, decided to hand out the gold on your own. You thought it was your prerogative how to distribute the wealth. Al this gesture did was  caress your ego. You also endeavoured to distribute the wealth equally.  But Karna has no such thoughts. He know he had to give away the wealth. He simply asked the villagers to take the gold. To achieve that objective, he knew there was no need for him to do anything more than simply ask the people to take the gold for themselves. He never thought that it was “He” who is giving away the wealth.”

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Similarly, if you really want to help someone, you should not think that it is “you” who is helping him. A selfless help , a selfless act is richest forms of charity. There is no point in asking questions like :

  • Will this money reach the needy ?
  • How much should I give so that I can show it in my Tax returns ?
  • How much would be enough, to brag to my friends about ?

If you want to give away, have no regrets . Do it selflessly.

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Posted in anecdote, Article, Philosophy, Short Story

A Dog’s Life ?

I have a bad habit of taking a walk late in the evening , usually with a close friend of mine.

Yesterday, was one such time.

We were walking in the the shadows accompanied by our usual tomfoolery , when I noticed a dog by the side of the road.

The dog was skinny, as if it was no fed for days now and twitching violently. First thing we did, check if it had a belt which would signify that it had an owner.  Apparently, the dog did have an owner. Now the question arose. “How to contact the owner ?” This was quickly replaced by “How to help the Dog get well ?”

Now I have absolutely no conscience to speak of, but my friend has one. A very big one. Looking a the pain the dog was going through, we decided to call an animal shelter. But this idea fell through as neither of us new of any such shelter.

Meanwhile, a curious passer-by stopped and enquired as to what we were up to.( or maybe he just wanted to know if we were about to steal anything) . According to his expert opinion , the dog was bit by a snake and should be dead in 10 mins. He added, that in his village this was a common occurrence and even a man is unable to live through the snake bite so the dog would definitely. After sharing this valuable information, he left. 

Finally , we called a vet, and narrated the symptoms. The vet, being a religious person, asked us to say our final prayers and try to ease the dong’s pain. The dog was definitely about to die. We took this advice, said our prayers, and left him, twitching, concious of his pain, and very alone…

Maybe this is life ? after-all, in your last moments , you are alone, conscious of your suffering / pain and maybe twitching .

If yes, what is the difference between a Dog’s and a human’s death ?

Posted in anecdote, Short Story

IT’s escalations

Hello Reader,

I work with a company which provides IT related services to customers all over the world.

We have an operations call with our senior management, once a day, to give updates on the tasks completed during the day or ask any queries about the deliveries for any project. During the call, I observed that one of the teams always ended their update with ” No major escalation during the day”. I often wondered how it was that a team notorious for plenty of escalations end the status update in such a way. Their confidence was worthy of a dog who knows his master is  not looking and he can defecate where ever he wants.

I finally gathered enough courage to ask one the question which had kept bugging me for a ling time.

For the purpose of this story let us say the name of the person is John. Here is how the conversation went :

Me: Hey, may I ask you a question ?

John : Sure man, whatsup ?

Me : How is it that you guys say you have no major escalation ? I know you have some  escalations .

John : Well, after a major escalation, the Manager gives a call to the management and gives a situation report. So technically, there is no major escalation. Also, Most of the time the escalations are minor, no need for the management to know that.

Me : So basically you say “No Major escalation” even though there is one ?

John : Yup.

I did not dare to ask anything further. I did not want an escalation that the management might needed to know , did I ?