Post by on Aug 6, 2013 5:34:08 GMT 5.5
51 ‘OLD CLASS MATE"
If you are born with more than one sibling you should consider yourself very fortunate. A single child in a family has its own drawbacks and misses a lot of fun and the “give and take” of family life. Parents do, in many families, suffer because they were blessed with a single child, and amidst a good lot of reasons for their disappointments and sufferings, the most important one is the "loneliness" for the child, and "separation" from the child at some stage for the parents.
Today’s hero in our story was free from those problems . His problem was because of the “plenty”. He was father of 27 children and if only he has been living today, he would have converted his house into a school, with his own children as students.
Kuchela is known to you as the fair complexioned boy who studied as the third student under the sage Sandeepani, and departed on completion of the Gurukula training to Porbandar while Krishna and Balaram proceeded to Dwarka.
Children, do you recall now?
Kuchelan earned what he could by teaching and dharmic service to others and his huge family just lived, lacking all that the family needed.! His wife Suseela , as befitting her name, was well disciplined and managed to run the family with what little her sincere husband brought home.
Law of economics disturbed their family. Demand was more than the supply and Suseela struggled to search for “inflow” to meet the “satisfaction” level. She began reminding Kuchela to meet his old friend Krishna, whom she learnt was now the king of Dwarka for help.
“You always told me that your old friend Krishna was very good friend and loved you and will always remember you. Why not just meet him and perhaps he might help us to solve our problem of meeting both ends.
“It is a good suggestion by you Suseela. I will one day leave for Dwarka to meet Krishna, my old friend”
That “one day” never came for many months and Suseela felt the need to remind him to leave for Dwarka which materialized after repeated persuation to him.
At last that “one day” came. Kuchela asked Suseela
"What can I take with me as a gift for Krishna, my old friend. Can you make it ready as I am now leaving for Dwarka. There was nothing in the house. Suseela rushed to her neighbour friend and borrowed some rice and made a packet of dried puffed rice for Krishna as a gift from Kuchela.
Kuchela walked towards Dwarka with the dried and puffed rice bundled in his upper cloth. After a long travel he reached Dwarka. The Palace guards did not permit him to enter in spite of his having told them that he was a good old friend of Krishna. They looked at him, his shattered appearance, an incarnation of poverty, and it was beyond their perception to accept him as Krishna’s friend!. However, with reluctance and disbelief they went in and informed Krishna
“Who did you say has come to see me, my friend Kuchelan, is it?”
So saying Krishna rushed towards the entrance of his palace and embraced Kuchela and with his hand around Kuchela, led him in. Those witnessing this scene were surprised and shocked. " How Krishna could have a friend like this?"
While Kuchela could not believe himself, it was Krishna who did all the “non-stop talking" to his friend.
“Sudhama, (it was the name by which Kuchelan was also known), why you did not tell me about your plan to visit me. I would have sent my chariot for you to come with your family? Why you never contacted me all these years? How is your family? What are you doing now? How many children do you have? etc etc..
Kuchela never answered these questions. He was perplexed and taken aback by Krishna’s pure love for him as in his student days. He was speechless and looked around lying down in Krishna’s private cot, and Krishna was pressing his feet and legs which were swollen with malnutrition and injured during his long travel by walk to Dwarka. Slowly Kuchela regained and answered:
“Krishna, we knew each other as small children and fellow students. Now you are a great king. Do you think I can take any liberties with you because I had been once a fellow student?”
“Sudhama, are you not the same old Sudhama I knew or do you think of me as a Krishnan different from the person you knew.”
“Krishna, you have now as a king to perform very important duties and I am an ordinary citizen and should not and must not claim undue rights and liberties. How can one rely on his childhood association or acquaintance which is just a thing of the past and does not merit equality.”
“Sudhama, I still see you as my good old friend and not any different, except the long interval in between. Have we not learnt from our Guruji that difference exists only in mind? You were a better student than me is n’t it Sudhama?” Krishna heartily laughed.
Sudhama could not answer but his eyes replied with unending tears of love and affection for Krishna.
“Forget all these Sudhama, do you remember, you always gave me something made in your house, and packed specially for you, sharing it happily with me.?
“Yes. Those were my golden days Krishna”
“No. it always continues even today Sudhama, Hope you have brought something to eat for me, did you?”
Kuchela remembered his wife Suseela packing some dried puffed rice for Krishna, as the family's gift, and he kept tied up in his upper cloth, but was hesitating to open it and give now to Krishna, the great King of Dwarka. He decided not to offer his cheap and poor gift to the great king Krishna.
Krishna continued “From what you told me, your wife Suseela, must have thought of me when you began your travel to Dwarka and I am quite sure you would have carried what she sent for me.
Krishna suddenly noticed the small knot on the one end of Kuchela's upper cloth and opened it. There was some dried and puffed rice in it. Krishna very happily and eagerly took a handful of it and put into his mouth. As he was trying to help himself with another handful, Rukmni entered there and took it from him emptying both his hand and the upper cloth of Kuchela. “It is my share, she said as she smilingly returned back with the remaining puffed rice’
As she was returning back Rukmini bowed to Kuchela and asked Krishna, “So, it is he you always told me as your good old school friend Sudhama”. Sudhama was thrilled and was wondering at the “made-for-each-other” couple.
“Yes Rukmini the best part of it is, it has always been me, to receive everything from him without my giving anything in return”. Krishna again had a hearty laugh.
After staying with Krishna very happily for a few days, Kuchela returned back to his village not by walk, but in Krishna’s chariot. The chariot entered his village and then only Kuchela realized with a great shock that he never asked Krishna for any assistance or help for which only he was sent to Dwarka by his wife Suseela. His stay with Krishna during the short period was spent entirely on their discussions and reminiscence of the past only!! How to face Suseela??
The chariot stopped and Daruka, Krishna’s charioteer was waiting for the repeated questions he had been asking while Kuchela did not hear as he was thinking of the past!!
“Sir which is your house?” the charioteer asked for the 4th time.
Kuchela looked here and there and he found himself in front of a mansion where his old dilapidated house stood once. As he was blinking, some of his children (not all the 27) came out from the mansion, all well dressed, wearing ornaments of gold and expensive stones inlaid jewellery, etc., followed by Suseela looking completely different with her new saree and jewellery.
Kuchela was baffled. His head was reeling. He was reminded of what Krishna was telling Rukmini “it has always been me, to receive everything from him without my giving anything in return”. Without his asking anything Krishna has given what his Sudhama needed”
As Dharukan returned back in the chariot to Dwarka, Kuchela stood still for a moment at the entrance of his new mansion, and then entered in, recalling what Krishna said to him “difference exists only in mind”
Dear children, remember this:
GOD KNOWS WHAT TO GIVE, THAN YOU KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT