Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

Normally in India and other eastern countries a family consists of four or five members–parents and two or three children–these being normally one son, one daughter or two daughters and one son. Occasionally, all children could be female or male.

In all these cases the family would normally be looked after with the father working outside and earning for all.  Sometimes the mother would also be doing some job and adding to the family income.

What would be the family size if one or two children meet with an accident and succumb to it? The family reduced to three — parents and one child.

I know of a family that lost all children and was reduced to man and wife. Unfortunately, this was not the end of the man’s problems.

One day the wife went out to buy groceries and other needs but did not return for quite some time. The husband kept on stepping out to look for her. No luck. After a long time, a police van came and informed that the woman had had an accident and was hospitalised. What grief and sorrow— the man did not know how to remain calm and hopeful.

Indeed, his worst fears came true and after a week or so the wife passed away. People came and expressed their condolences and sorrow promising to help the lonesome man.

They did help for a brief period but this help also ceased. Now what should the man do?

His grief and sorrow were his companions for several weeks. Some people suggested that he marry again–his income was good enough to marry and live with reasonable comfort.

However, he did not feel like marrying again and face the turmoil he faced earlier. He kept on doing the errands necessary to buy groceries, milk and other essentials so that a poor woman could come to his home and cook meals to feed him and to keep his home clean and tidy.  Despite the sorrows he had faced earlier, he remained stoic and reasonably peaceful for a balanced life.

Sometimes some neighbors or earlier friends would visit his home and he would proudly mention that he had found a spiritual elixir to keep him peaceful and be able to face common problems without much pain.

On a personal level, I visited him on a few occasions and found him cheerful. I wished I could learn to live like him and remain calm and hopeful.

The above is what I learnt from him. I wish others who face enormous difficulties in life learned to face problems as he did.

God also helps people who face and tackle such problems in their own lives.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. ravipbhatia@gmail.com

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 27 Feb 2023.

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