Spice of Life | In battle of life, do your duty, but don’t worry about result - Hindustan Times
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Spice of Life | In battle of life, do your duty, but don’t worry about result

ByMegha Garg
Dec 01, 2023 05:52 AM IST

Only by overcoming our emotions over fleeting feelings, can we truly empower ourselves and guide others around us to view the world through the prism of awareness

A die-hard supporter of the Indian cricket team, like most of the 1.4 billion citizens of the fifth biggest economy of the world, I sat at the edge of my couch, watching the finale of the World Cup at my home almost a fortnight ago. Holding my breath at every ball in the air and each appeal, I could hardly eat or drink the innumerable snacks and drinks laid out in front of me. My 12-year-old son, having cleared his entire day before his Monday exam, sat with the family waiting and watching the screen and participating in the celebrations and disappointments that came along with it.

November, the month of the tournament, had been like a mini wedding in our house and the 19th was the culmination of the festivities. (REUTERS file)
November, the month of the tournament, had been like a mini wedding in our house and the 19th was the culmination of the festivities. (REUTERS file)

November, the month of the tournament, had been like a mini wedding in our house and the 19th was the culmination of the festivities. Like a bride leaving her parental home, it was too soon for us to bid adieu to our cricket superstars, with whom we had shared moments of sadness, joy, bravery, and luck. Nonetheless, as the stroke of Glen Maxwell’s bat hit the winning runs, a wave of sorrow descended over my son. Unable to hold his emotions, tears welled up in his eyes and he looked at me and said, “Mumma, if the Indian team’s hard work did not result in a win today, does that mean that no matter how hard I work, I might not score well in my exam tomorrow?”

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A little surprised by his line of questioning, I couldn’t help but smile at his dilemma. Having a deep interest in our scriptures, I quoted Verse 47 from Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita, “Karmaṇye vādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana, mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stvakarmaṇi (You have the right to perform your actions, but you are not entitled to the fruits of the actions. Do not let the fruit be the purpose of your actions, and therefore you won’t be attached to not doing your duty)”. This verse was recited to Arjuna, a great warrior prince by Lord Krishna, his charioteer and divine teacher on the battlefield of Kurukshetra in the epic Hindu poem, the Mahabharata.

Krishna guides Arjuna to do his duty, which in the battlefield was to fight for justice against his corrupt cousins, the Kauravas, without fixating on the outcome. The wisdom and knowledge imparted in this holy book continues to hold relevance 5,000 years on not only in India but overseas as well. Only by overcoming our emotions over fleeting feelings, can we truly empower ourselves and guide others around us to view the world through the prism of awareness.

Having soaked in the dialogue and its meaning, my son satisfied with the explanation wiped off his tears with the back of his hand and said, “So does that mean, if I have put in many hours of study for the exam and I focus and write the answers to the best of my ability, then I need not worry about the marks?”

“Bingo! Just like our cricket team, who gave it their best shot and left the field head held high to a standing ovation from the crowd”.

ashmeg20@gmail.com

The writer is a Ludhiana-based freelance contributor

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