That Day of Janmashtami

I was a student of standard VIII then and my age was 13. Being the monitor of the class, it was my responsibility to maintain peace and order in the class, in the absence of teachers.

I had a classmate Ajay, who was very noughty, and because of his mischiefs, I often had to report his name to my teachers. I could never appreciate his acts of intimidation or coercion.

On the eve of Janmashtami, he came from outside shouting, “Tomorrow is a holiday, guys, enjoy, tomorrow is Sri Krishna’s birthday.” I didn’t look at him and mischievously whispered, “It’s a declared holiday. What’s so new? Or is it your death-day?” He looked at me angrily, but I quickly realised that I had spoken something utterly wrong. I shouldn’t have said so.

For observing fast for Janmashtami the next day, we took sargai (pre-fast or pre-dawn meal) after the middle of the night, but after a few hours, we woke up suddenly with screams.

My father had passed away. It was unbelievable. I was speechless. I had no idea what happened and why. Many things were beyond comprehension at that age.

Like other family members, I was also crying, standing in a corner in front of my father, who was lying motionless. Only a few days back, he had taken me and my siblings to see the Sawan Mela (a seasonal fair in the month of Shravan).

My childlike mind was connecting my father’s demise with Ajay’s incident. I thought it was a punishment for my wrong-doing, but the punishment would be so big and so fast, I had no inkling. It also occured to me that if someone was to be punished, it was me, not my father.

The day of Janmashtami carries me back to those days recalling every minute detail of that Sawan Mela and the subsequent demise of my father. I never went to that fair again and as per our traditions, our family doesn’t observe fast or celebrate Janmashtami even now.

The last rituals were done by me. When I went back to school, my attitude towards Ajay had completely changed. I started respecting him and he reciprocated my gesture.  Eventually we became fast friends and started visiting each other’s house.

I had learnt a lesson that I could never forget in my life, “If you can’t appreciate someone, don’t condemn at least. If you can’t benefit someone, don’t harm at least.”

Even today, several decades later, I remember that incident literally, and it’s a pleasant surprise that I’m in touch with Ajay after a long gap in between. The story of reunion with Ajay is very interesting. I’ll take up that story in a separate post.

Wishing you all a very happy Janmashtami 🎉💐🙏

–Kaushal Kishore

35 Comments

  1. Kaushal Ji no ways!!! This incident is mind bending and shocking. Please tell me if you realised or connected what you said and what happened instantly or did it come after some time, months or even later.

    So many things we say naturally or even funnily not knowing where and how it might just sit. We have to be very aware. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A very pertinent question, Narayan ji. Thank you. It was instant, the scene of classroom was before me, when others were crying. I don’t know how those words came to my mind and then to my tongue, probably it was my hatred for him and I wanted to make fun of him.

      Like

  2. KK, I understand the loss of a parent. I have lost both of mine. I hope you understand now that you had nothing to do with your Father’s death. It was all just a coincidence. I am so saddened for your loss. I day I suddenly realized that I was an orphan and a widow threw me to the floor in heart ache. I pray that you will heal from this great suffering. Wishing you all the best.♥️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Susan for your kind words and support. There are coincidences that look like real. It’s very old incident, time is the best healer. I can understand your losses and pain, as these are still in fresh your mind. I pray for you, Susan! God bless you 🙏💐💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, KK. I have found that grief doesn’t leave, but it changes. It isn’t at the forefront of your mind all the time. It gets softer. It’s the price you pay for loving someone. Thank you for your prayers. You are in mine, also.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re right, Susan! I tend to agree with you. Love has its own cost in the form of emotions and feelings. Thank you, my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to apologize, Kaushal, for wishing you happy Lord Krishna’s Day, not knowing the connotation. What you have described so vividly influenced your life and
    now have an effect on us, and it is a powerful lesson about thinking carefully before speaking as words can be like stones and arrows.
    I am glad that you are friends with Ajay, and I am looking forward to hearing the story of your meeting.

    Joanna

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No apology, Joanna, you are my friend, and it’s your kindness that you wish for every festival. I’m grateful to you. Lessons come from experience. That’s why experience is considered to be more important than knowledge. After that incident, I speak less, and listen more. That’s a great learning that was again being taught in my management classes. And sure, I’ll share the story of reunion with Ajay. Thank you, Joanna, for your constant support.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A most powerful and personal post, KK. I’m sincerely sorry for the sudden and devastating loss of your father. Thank you for sharing these very private memories with us. Wishing you a happy Janmashtami.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If some of my friends can learn from my mistakes, my purpose of writing this post will be served. People learn from own mistakes at a cost, but from others’ mistakes at no cost. Thank you, Nancy, for your kind words and wishes that truly mean a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, the lesson you learned is perfect. Though, what happened to your father, after what you said, is merely a coincidence.

    We often try to connect dots, after loses like these. And a good outcome came out of it, ethical lessons were learned. Ajay probably needed somebody to save him from his ‘rebellious phase’. Someone like you. In the end, it all kind of connects…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You have rightly used, “connecting the dots” that’s a human tendency. The incident may be a coincidence, but it made me more humble and a better person. And you have rightly mentioned rebellious phase, as Ajay was also a changed boy, when we came together. Thank you, Aish for sharing your beautiful reflections. Greatly appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful lesson to learn, KK ” “If you can’t appreciate someone, don’t condemn at least. If you can’t benefit someone, don’t harm at least.”” So sorry you ever held yourself responsible for this tragedy, I hope you have since realized that this is not the case. Thank you so much for sharing this touching and impactful post.💕🙏💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was better for me to link the incident with my outbursts, as it gave me an opportunity to correct myself that too at that tender age. The learning was real that changed my psyche. Thank you, Grace for your gracious words that truly mean so much 🙏💐💖

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was not expecting that at all, perhaps that’s why it came as such a shock. I am heartily sorry, Sir. 🙏

    You were brave back then, too, I see. That must have not been easy at all. You’re definitely a pillar of strength 🙏

    The best wishes to you this janmashtami🙏
    May Lord Natnagar shower you and yours with lots of warmth and light!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, now I feel that my father’s demise, in the first year as a teenager gave me strength that helped me make a self-made man. Thank you, Shruti for your your kind wishes, that I heartily reciprocate. Stay blessed, always 🙏💐

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow Kaushal. Your story is profound and as though you knew of you father’s passing when uttering those words so intuitive and although you would take them back if you could this marked a very huge loss of love of your Dad. What a profound and sad experience. I’m glad you’re in touch with Alay now. lovely!💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Cindy, it was too unfortunate, but it’s memory is painful. Befriending Ajay was probably my way of feeling remorse. Thank you ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would imagine so but at times like these things happen and I think you were too hard on yourself considering all. you went back and apologized and that was as best as you could do 💖💖

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right, but it’s better to share such things instead of keeping in heart as a knot. Thank you 🙏💐

      Like

  9. Belated happy Janmashtami, KK!
    It’s a well-learned lesson.
    And I love what you said: “If you can’t appreciate someone, don’t condemn at least. If you can’t benefit someone, don’t harm at least.”

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s