The Old Wise Man: Baru Baba

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ganeshdhamodkar/6952408615

Often many people come and go in our life. Some of them always leave a great impression on our lives, even though we do not have any relationship with them. Each person is a book of knowledge themselves which could teach us at least one thing. We could even learn something from the actions of a bad person. But, can you imagine how much we could learn to interact with a person who owns a good soul? Altaf used to tell me that our inner eyes tell us a lot if we pay attention.
I doubt Baru Baba ever saw how the school looked inside. But his manner of speaking was much better compared to the people who hold doctorate degrees. The teachers are not only responsible for teaching the students how to behave or act in society. But also, the parents and other external factors also influence somebody’s personality and manners. Baru Baba was an example of this reality.
He could not get an education due to belonging to a poor family of the lower caste. This was not his choice or option to be born poor in a lower caste family. It raises questions that he was the owner of a great soul because he did not have the chance to get the education or was just born to be good and great. Education teaches us very knowledgeable things but also brings some materialism. My above statement might reflect some of my life experience, so I could be wrong on this.

However, Baru baba was hardly 5’-6″ tall who had very dark skin and tiny stature. Baru Baba lived on another side of town across the railway track amongst the other lower caste people. There is no suspicion or secrets, or debate on how my native country was divided into a caste system or rich and poor. Baru baba used to work in my farmhouse. I had never seen his wife. She had died before I was even born. Baru Baba had three sons and two daughters. He never went to school, but he worked very hard to give his children higher education. He told me once that education would open the door to all his children if one of them got a higher education. His thought was right because it had opened a new path and bright future for all his remaining children. To erase the discrimination, the govt had provided free education and reserved quotes in the school and jobs for lower caste people.Later, my town had changed dramatically due to the influence of modernization and industrialization. Baru Baba was the one who told me that my ancestors were the first one who built the home outside the walls of town, afterward, many others followed them. His conversation used to be interesting, which always made me forget my curfew time. My mother was not very happy that her daughter spends a lot of time talking to people. So, she often reminded me from time to time of my limitations. But, she always forgave me when I used to tell her, “Mom, mom, it’s not my fault. It is all Baru Baba’s fault because he tells me all those good stories, which makes me forget the time”. However, I was a careless child who listened to mother’s lecture with one ear and let it go away through the other ear, so there were no hard feelings at all. My mother knew well that I never paid attention to her lecture. So, she always ended up forgiving me but never forgot to blame my father and uncle.
Baru Baba spent most of his young life struggling and working hard to provide higher education to his children. I still remember the happiness on his face, the brightness in his eyes, and the strength in his voice the day his older son graduated from college and later on got selected into the Indian army and received a commission at officer rank. He was Baru baba’s son, so, of course, he had acquired great qualities from his father. The older son helped younger brothers to achieve higher education. His middle son got a job in the state electrical department, and his younger son had become a doctor. After receiving higher education and high-paid jobs, all three sons were moved to another city. One of Baba’s daughters got married to a good family. All sons requested Baru baba to stay with them. They had even involved my family in convincing Baru Baba, but he always refused. Baba had made up his mind to die where he was born. But the reality was different for his refusal. I heard Barbu baba crying in front of my mother about how he could leave her younger daughter alone to live with his sons.

At that time, I was then 11 or 12 years old. I told my mother why he doesn’t let his daughter marry somebody. As usual, the mother did not think it was necessary to answer my question. Baru baba was getting older day by day. One day, I went to convey to him a message that my uncle needed his help. So I went to Baru Baba’s house. His daughter opened the door, and it was the first time I met her. After that day, I never asked a question from my mother about his daughter. His daughter was 7′ feet tall, and her knees had turned inward. She was very skinny, and half of her face had burned which I still do not know what happened. I often saw tears in his eyes when he talked to my mother, “Sardarni Ji, can you take care of my daughter if something happens to me.” My mother was a very strong and hard-core woman, but her one corner was very soft. Mother often told Baru Baba not to worry about his daughter, and nothing would happen to her. At the same time, I knew Baru baba’s daughter was a victim of bullies in the school. Her higher educated and modern sisters-in-laws were not very nice to her because of her look. It surprises me how the look of a person makes any difference. For me, inner beauty is more important than having a beautiful face or body. For me, his daughter was the most beautiful woman on earth who loved and respected her father. She was a hard worker, a simple, and honest woman. The people who know me should not have any questions or doubts about my selection of beauty.

One dark and sad dawn, it was 4 o’clock when I woke up with the continued and annoying horns of the train. I heard people were running toward the railway track. I wanted to go but did not get permission. After a couple of hours, our driver told me about the bad news that Baru’s daughter died due to the train accident. Her body was cut into multiple pieces and was still scattered on the railway tract. I managed to escape from my home. The policemen and army personnel were everywhere, and they did not let the public go toward the accident site. I saw Baru baba sitting on the ground with his head down. He was in very deep thoughts. It seems he was lost somewhere. Somebody already called his sons and daughter. They arrived late due to the long distance. The villagers helped with the funeral.
After the final prayer and memorial services, he was gone to stay with his sons that I did not know where. I also went to live in a boarding school. I mostly came home once a week, but I never had the chance to talk to Baru Baba after his daughter had died. One day, on my way back home, I saw Baru Baba playing a card with others so I asked the driver to stop the car. First, he refused to stop, so I threatened to break his head which always worked to scare the driver. The driver knew me well, so he did not have a choice except to stop the car. I spent a few minutes with Baba. I noticed the sadness in his eyes. That day he didn’t tell me any stories. He asked me, “How long does my tiger plan to stay home?” My mother often sent him food, clothes, and some time money which he never refused. However, his health rapidly started to decline after his daughter’s death. It broke my heart when I saw him walking with a cane. Mother told me that Baru Baba did not like to stay with his sons, so he returned. I knew Baru Baba wanted to die at the same place where he was born. He came to say goodbye when I left for the West.After two years, I went home to see my ailing father. Suddenly somebody knocked at the door. Baru Baba with his grandson was standing at my door. Baru Baba made his way to my home when he heard the news of my father. Baba had become completely blind now. I touched his knees to pay respect without saying a single word. I saw tears in his eyes and felt a stumbling voice as he recognized me. He recognized the touch of my hands. He asked, “When did you arrive, my tiger?”
I was numb to hear his weak voice. His sons often sent him money, but he used to donate the money to other children for education. His children had climbed the stairs of success, but Baru Baba was the same. All his children respected and loved him, but Baru Baba was attached to his roots. Baba visited me every day during my stay. I had spent some time in India temporarily to take care of my father. Baru baba visited everyday. Often, we had tea together. He told many other stories but never talked about his daughter. He loved calling my three-month-old son ‘Gandhi.’ He used to bless my son with his hands. My son was born prematurely and was so weak, and did not have any hair. Baba always laughed after feeling my son’s head.
I returned to the USA after my father’s death. One day I received a call from my cousin who told me Baru Baba is terminally ill and wished to see me. After two days, I received another call. Baru baba died on the same cot I bought for him. Per my cousBabaBaba had spent his last day sitting under the big tree close to the same place where her daughter jumped In front of the train. I learned later that his daughter jumped intentionally because she wanted to see his father stress-free. Nope, both Baru Baba and his daughter never lived stress-free until both died. So God will be helping and supporting both great souls now. I have told this story many times to my hubby, bubby. This story was originally written in 05/29/2015, but I never shared it with anybody except him. He always asked me to email him, but I never did. So I shared it with him through my blog today. God, please bless Baru Baba and his daughter with some peace.
Peace & love

Often many people come and go in our life. Some of them always leave a great impression on our lives, even though we do not have any relationship with them. Each person is a book of knowledge themselves which could teach us at least one thing. Even we could learn something from the actions of a bad person. But, can you imagine how much we could learn to interact with a person who is the owner of a good soul? Altaf used to tell me that our inner eyes tell us a lot if we pay attention. I doubt if Baru Baba ever saw how a school looks inside. But his manner of speaking was much better compared to the people who hold doctorate degrees. The teachers are not only responsible for teaching the students how to behave or act in society. The parents and other external factors also influence somebody’s personality and manners. Baru Baba was an example of this reality. He could not get an education due to belonging to a poor family of the lower caste. This was not his choice or option to be born being poor in a lower caste family.It raises questions that he was the owner of a great soul because he did not have the chance to get the education or was just born to be good and great. Education teaches us very knowledgeable things but also brings some materialism. My above statement might reflect some of my life experience, so I could be wrong on this. However, Baru baba was hardly 5’-6″ tall who had very dark skin and tiny stature. Baru Baba had lived on another side of town across the railway track where all the lower caste people lived. There is no suspicion or secrets, or debate on how my native country was divided into a caste system or rich and poor.Baru baba had worked in my farmhouse. I had never seen his wife. She died before even I was born. Baru baba had 3 sons and 2 daughters. He never went to school himself, but he worked very hard to give his children higher education. He told me once that education would be open to all his children if one gets an education. His thought was right because it did open a new path and bright future for his remaining children. To erase the discrimination, the Govt had provided free education and had reserved quotes in the school and jobs for lower caste people.Later, my town did come under the influence of modernization and industrialization, so it had changed completely. Baru Baba was the one who told me that my ancestors were the first ones who had built the home outside the walls of my town, then followed by many others.His conversation used to be interesting, which always made me forget my curfew time. My mother was not very happy that her daughter spent a lot of time talking to people. So, she used to remind me from time to time of my limitations. But she always forgave me when I used to tell her, “Mom, mom, it’s not my fault. It is all Baru Baba’s fault telling me all those good stories which make me forget the time”. However, I was a careless child who listened to my mother’s lecture with one ear and let it go away through the other ear, so there were no hard feelings at all. My mother knew well that I never paid attention to her lecture. So, she always ended up forgiving me but never forgot to blame my father and uncle.Baru baba spent most of his young life struggling and working hard to provide higher education to all of his children. I still remember the happiness on his face, the brightness in his eyes, and the shivers in his voice the day his older son graduated from college and got selected into the Indian army and received a commission at officer rank. He was Baru baba’s son. Of course, he had acquired great qualities from his father. The older son helped younger brothers to achieve higher education. His middle son got a job in the state electrical department, and his younger son had become a doctor. After receiving higher education and high-paid jobs, all three sons were moved to another city. OneBaba’sba’s daughters got married to a good family. All sons requested Baru baba to stay with them. Even they had involved my family in convincing Baru Baba, but he always refused. Baba had made his mind to die where he was born.But the reality was different for his refusal. I heard Barbu baba crying in front of my mother about how he could leave her younger daughter alone to live with his sons. I was then 11 or 12 years old. I told my mother why he wouldn’t let his daughter marry somebody. As usual, the mother did not think it was necessary to answer my question. Baru baba was getting older day by day. One day, I went to covey him a message that my uncle needed his help. So I went to Baru Baba’s house. I looked at his daughter when she opened the door. After that day, I never asked a question from my mother about his daughter. His daughter was 7′ feet tall, both knees had turned inward. She was so skinny, and her face was 1/2 burned that I still do not know what was happened.I often saw tears in his eyes while talking to my mother, “Sardarni Ji, can you take care of my daughter if something happens to me.” My mother was a very strong and hard-core woman, but her one corner was very soft though. Mother often told Baru Baba not to worry about her daughter, and nothing would happen to her. At the same time, I knew Baru baba’s daughter was a victim of bullies in the school. Her higher educated and modern sisters-in-law were not very nice to her because of her look. It surprises me how a look of a person makes any difference. For me, inner beauty is most important than having a beautiful face or body. For me, his daughter was the most beautiful woman on the earth who loved and respected her father. She worked hard, and she was a simple and honest woman. The people who know me should not have any questions or doubts about my selection of beauty.One dark dawn, it was 4 o’clock when I woke up with the continued and annoying noise of the train. I heard people were running toward the railway track. I wanted to go but did not get permission. After a couple of hours, our driver told me about the bad news that Baru’s daughter died due to the train accident. Her body was still turned into multiple pieces and was still scattered on the tract. I managed to escape from my home. The policemen were everywhere, and they would not let the public go toward the accident site. I saw Baru baba was sitting on the ground with his head down. He was in very deep thoughts. It seems he was lost somewhere. Somebody called his sons and another daughter. They arrived so late due to the distance. The villagers helped with the funeral.After the final prayer and memorial services, he was gone to stay with his sons that I did not know where. I was also gone to live in a boarding school. I mostly came home once a week, but I never had the chance to talk to Baru Baba since his daughter had died. One day, I told the driver to stop the car when Baru Baba played a card game with others. My driver refused to stop, so I threatened to break his head which always worked to scare the driver. The driver knew me well, so he did not have a choice. I spent a few minutes, baba. I noticed the sadness in his eyes. He could not tell me any stories. Finally, he asked, “How long does my tiger plan to stay home.”My mother often sent him food, clothes, and some time money which he never refused. However, his health rapidly started to decline after his daughter’s death. It broke my heart when I saw him walking with a cane. Mother told me that Baru Baba did not like to stay with his sons, so he returned. I thouBabaBaba wanted to die at the same place where he was born. So he came to say” goodbye” when I left for the West.I went home to see my ailing father. Suddenly somebody knocked at my door. Baru baba with his grandson was at my door. Baru Baba made his way to my home when he heard the news of my father. Baba was completely blind now. I touched his knees to pay my respect without saying any single word. I saw tears in his eyes and felt a stumbling voice when he recognized me. He recognized the touch of my hands. He asked, “when my tiger came to the town.” I was numb, but his voice was so weak. His son sent him money, but he gave the money to other children for education. His children had climbed the stairs of success, but Baru Baba was the same. All his children respected and loved him, but Baru Baba was attached to his roots. Baba visited me every day when I lived in India, temporarily taking care of my father. Often, we had tea together. He told many other stories but never talked about his daughter. He loved calling my three-month-old Son ‘Gandhi.’ He used to bless my son with his hands. My son was born premature and was so weak, and did not have any hair. Baba always laughed after feeling my son’s head.I returned to the USA after my father’s death. One day I received a call from my cousin who told me Baru Baba is terminally ill and wished to see me. After 2 days, I received another call. Baru baba died on the same cot I bought for him. Per my cousBabaBaba had spent his last day sitting under the big tree close to the same place where her daughter jumped In front of the train. I learned later that his daughter jumped intentionally because she wanted to see his father stress-free.Nope, both Baru baba and his daughter never lived stress-free until both died. So God will be helping and supporting both great souls now.I have told this story many times to my hubby, bubby. This story was originally written on 05/29/2015, but I never shared it with anybody except him. He always asked me to email him, but I never did. So I shared it with him through my blog today.God, please bless Baru Baba and his daughter peace.Peacelove

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