By Anmol Rattan Narang,

My father advised me before dying to Must I share joys and sorrows of others.

“Joys by sharing get doubled and sorrows, halved.” He had proclaimed

Ever since he died in 1995, I have followed this advice meticulously except in very compelling circumstances.

There have been situations where time of joy in one home coincide with the time of sorrow at another home. Under such circumstances, I have made it a point to visit the place of sorrow instead of the place of joy. I am more interested in diminishing the sorrows of others rather than doubling the joys of others.

It happened some 20 years ago. A colleague’s father died. As I could not visit him at the time of cremation, I was determined to attend the Kirya Ceremony. The timings of the kirya ceremony were from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. As I was Manager of a Bank Branch, these were peak hours for us. I was posted in a branch in Jalandhar and the kirya ceremony was to be held in Jalandhar Cantonment – a distance of 7-8 kms. I decided to leave the branch at 1:00 pm so as to be there at the place by 1:25 pm but those being peak hours, customers were coming one after the other, giving me no chance to   leave. I looked at my watch. It was 1:30 pm. I thought, if I drive fast, I can still make up. So, calling my other colleague Chhabra, who was ready, I kick-started my  Bajaj Chetak Scooter and left for the appointed place. I drove as fast as I could. And when I reached there, it was already 1:52 pm. I parked my scooter wherever I could, took off my shoes and socks and followed the passage, dividing the men and women, and reached the point where photograph of my colleague’s father was placed duly garlanded with a lamp lighted in a  thali before it. I placed a ten rupee note at the thali, picked up some rose-petals lying there and showered them on the photograph so as to give ‘shradhanjali’ to the dear departed.  I then turned to the right (where men-folk was sitting) just to show my face to my colleague Jindal, whom I had come to convey my condolences. But Jindal was nowhere in sight. As standing there would have been an unbecoming act, I proceeded back, searched a place for myself in the hall and sat down. My other colleague, who had joined me, followed suit and sat beside me.

The whole hall was reverberating with ‘Raam-Naam’ and Pandit ji was advising the ephermal and transitory nature of life and that we must shun materialistic life and concentrate on the name of the Almighty Lord to cross the ocean of life.

Suddenly, I said to Chhabra, “Chhabra ji, Jindal is nowhere visible.”

A person, sitting next to us said, “Who,  Jindal?”

He continued, “Sir, you, perhaps have come to the wrong place. There is another Kirya Ceremony going on in a hall just opposite the adjoining building.”

We both (Me and Chhabra) got up, picked up our shoes but before we could reach, we saw Jindal ji, standing at the exit point with folded hands with a white turban over his head.

Two-three acquaintances of mine, saw me there with my shoes in my hands. One of them suggested that I enter the hall from back-door and join the people coming out, just to convey Jindal ji about my presence. But since I am a direct descendant of legendary King Raja Harishchander, I did not deem it proper.

I placed my shoes there on the floor, went to Jindal ji, folded my hands and stated that I have made necessary prayers, though at the other hall, for Respected Uncle Ji (the dear departed) and since I have made it from the core of my heart, I am sure that the same must have reached the Almighty and God must have given him a place at his feet.

Moral: It is always better to make a little bit enquiry before you enter a marriage party or a kirya ceremony

(Anmol Rattan Narang)

Retd. Principal,

Staff Training College of a Nationalized Bank,


Resi: 80A, Cool Road, Jyoti Nagar,

Gate No.9, Jalandhar-144003

Contact No. 9417871255

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