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24. Luck

When I went to the shop where I generally buy my stationery, the owner of the shop asked me if I could suggest the name of a good hostel where he could put his ten year old son. He said his son was dull and might not complete SSLC. I did not approve of a parent putting his child in a hostel, while he himself lived in the same town. He said, "I have worked hard all my life and earned enough. Of the three children, he is the only son but he is always playful. He never thinks of studying. Though I am not educated, I wish my son to complete SSLC."  I wanted to meet the child before deciding on the issue. When I saw the boy, he looked brisk, bright, fairly intelligent. Only that he paid little attention to studies. I advised the parent suitably and assured him that his son would certainly take a degree. The father was pleased. The subsequent improvement in the boy's education made us good friends.

He lived in that part of the town which is surrounded by very fertile paddy lands. To own some lands in that stretch was a matter of prestige. When anyone here first acquired some wealth, they would buy a few acres of land in that area. Lands were irrigated from the river. Water supply was copious and unfailing during the years of good monsoon. Even during the years of monsoon failure, these lands would unfailingly receive good water supply for the samba season, as it so happened that the little water that flows in the river is stopped by a hill and all of it is available for irrigation. In such years a second crop is not possible. As every land owner there was well-to-do, people erected electric motors, so that during years of drought also they can have a second and even third crop. It is an irony of nature that at a place which abounds in surface water, ground water is scarce. Many dug bore-wells there after trial and error. Some did not succeed. It was the ambition of this man to buy some lands there, which he had done. He had a further desire to fit his lands with a borewell. Knowing my experience with borewells, he asked me for ideas and explained the problem there with the ground water. His neighbour unsuccessfully tried ten times and he was still trying for the 11th time, he said.

I spoke to him of the Mother and asked him to pray to Her. He had many relatives in Pondicherry and his business took him there quite often. So he said he would visit the Ashram to obtain Mother's blessings before starting to dig a well. Any other type of help with respect to digging the well I offered to give. Digging started and was finished in two weeks. Water was struck!  He came to me to express his thanks and surprise at striking water in the first trial. He said, "I started life at the bottom, went to Singapore, and worked hard. Now I am well off. I have earned enough for the rest of my life, though I am not one of the richest merchants. But it is my luck that any work that others can complete easily will lead me through detours, difficulties, lapses until frustration mounts beyond measure. However, finally I will succeed. This has always been the pattern of life, achieving through the hard way what is easy for everyone else. This digging of the well has been arduous, uncertain, complicated for everyone else, but it turned out to be easy for me. This is a standing wonder in my life."

I added that once people take to Mother, such a change inevitably comes over their lives and his was another expression of Mother at work.

A few years later during one of his visits to me, he expressed his dejection over the attitude of his partner. His was the biggest shop in the town. There were three partners from its inception, all having equal shares. These were all boyhood friends who went to Singapore during their boyhood. All of them returned together with substantial savings. They desired to remain together in future, too. With that in view, they together bought the biggest shop in the locality. Soon business flourished and all the partners, being in their prime of life, started buying properties, building houses, investing the surplus funds in other trades independently of the other partners. One of them struck gold in another business he chose and began to prosper beyond measure and soon became a VIP. Then he stopped coming to the shop any more, except for periodic visits. The other two flourished in a few other lines, though not rising to greater heights. My friend and this other man together managed the shop. My friend was less dynamic and less ambitious. So he saved all his excess cash in terms of immovable properties. His was a modest outlay fitting his quiet temperament

Now my friend had come to me to unburden his woes regarding this partner, whom he had to meet everyday and work with all the time, co-ordinating purchases, accounts, displays in the shop, floor management, cash handling and the multitude of responsibilities that go with running a business. In spite of being a boyhood friend, his partner now showed a new side of his personality. His daily increasing wealth turned his head. He was no longer level-headed. His interference was often and comments were impolite. His manner was intolerable. His language became objectionable and he became a nagging pain-in-the-neck at work. My friend, who had a quiet sweet temperament, would not retort. But his partner had become a nightmare for him. Not being able to be rude, not being able to stand the situation, he was suffering and oppressed. He told me that he would gladly give up his share and retire into his house, as he had enough money for the rest of his life. He said he could start another shop all on his own and make as much income, but he was polite enough and good enough not to express it to either of his partners. But now a point had come beyond which he could not remain quiet. He said he had decided to take some action to free himself from the trouble, but was undecided on what it should be.

I advised him not to take any outward action. His patience, politeness, self-restraint, and consideration for others were commendable and any action now might lessen the value of his great, good behaviour so far. Instead, he could pray to Mother for relief, I said. He agreed. He added that he would visit the Samadhi, as he often went to Pondicherry. Within a week, I heard he was trying to meet me and thought there should be some developments with his partner. Soon he met me. He said, "I am relieved, relieved of my nightmare under unpredictable circumstances which are almost miraculous. My nagging partner went to the house of the other partner and displayed the wares of his beautiful temperament. The other man was outraged. He offered to buy this man off on the spot and did so. The trouble was over. As to my share of the newly acquired one-third of the shop, it was also paid on my behalf. You see, now I am a 50% shareholder!  To my surprise, the other partner, contrary to his wont, asked to be paid back at my own convenience!"

book | by Dr. Radut