Monday 11 March 2013

Small Things with Unexpected Consequences

I recently read a quote of H.H. Dalai Lama that made me smile.

'If you think small things don't matter, try spending the night with a mosquito in your room...'

Well I have spent lots of nights with mosquitoes in my rooms so i am very much moved by this simple truth.
However recently i had a different sort of small 'visitor'.

About two years ago, an Indian friend of mine gave me a Christmas gift.
He had obviously taken considerable trouble to choose something that was extra special and when he delivered it i could see how excited and thrilled he was.
He turned the little gift giving ceremony into quite an occasion, turning up at my door at six in the morning! Fortunately i am usually an early riser, so i could take his unannounced arrival in my stride.

He placed a box on the counter with exaggerated care and turned to me with an expression not unlike that of an eager little puppy, all excited and fairly wriggling with anticipation, anxiously watching my every move and expression.

Getting into the mood of things i turned my attention to the brightly wrapped box
and with great care began to unwrap it. Inside i found a, well how to describe it?

A plastic lotus...

The sort of house ornament that one could perhaps only find the likes of in India!
It had two large silver outer petals and inside these were carefully arranged psychedelic pink and green petals in the centre of which were a series of tiny bulbs. In and around the petals were small plastic frogs, birds, bees and butterflies...

He urged me to press a switch on the bottom. Expecting something extra ordinary i was not unprepared for the sudden flashing of lights, however the sound that that little box produced was loud enough to wake the entire three story building. It was an electronic version of some little ditty and there was no volume button. It belted out it's tune while the light bulbs flashed and the insect life bobbed up and down in unison.

Astonishing stuff. I was quite taken aback.

My friend leapt into the air giving it a bit of a punch at the same time, as if to say,
YES and then dissolved into a fit of giggles.

That unforgettable gift had pride of place on my kitchen shelf for some years and then one day recently while i was spring cleaning, i decided it might be time for the 'gift' to grace some one else's home or shrine. My friend happened to be present and was helping me with my clean up, so i suggested he might take it to his Ashram where it could be prominently displayed and enjoyed by many. He agreed readily enough...

Read more in Masters, Mice and Men
Books by the Writer

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