The Seed Of Questions

by Varunika
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It was a beautiful morning. The sun had risen adorning the sky with its mesmerizing orange hues. I was in the sheer bliss, a cup of morning tea, a good book and a farmhouse balcony brings along.As I was soaking in the warmth of both Gibran’s words and the sun, my eyes strayed away to that portion of the land where the marigold flowers were being plucked in the farm. I watched the workers with pouches tied around their waists, carefully picking flowers that had attained full size. Exactly then, my 6-year-old, woke up and joined me in the balcony.

“Mumma what are you doing here?”, she questioned still rubbing her eyes.

“I was reading a nice book and having my tea, dear. Come here, give me my morning dose of love!”, I replied, signaling her to give me a hug. She was happy to oblige and darted into my arms.

“But you were not reading Mumma, you were looking at them.” she enquired, pointing her tiny finger at the workers in the field.

“What are they doing Mumma? Wait…Are they plucking the flowers??? Stop them Mumma! You scold me if I pluck a single flower! They have plucked so many flowers. All the marigold flowers will die like this !!!” she said chagrined looking at the sight in front of her.

I looked at her dumbfounded, not knowing what and how to explain, especially after seeing the concern in her eyes. A part of me was happy that she was sensitive and compassionate to the happenings around her; And a part of me was perplexed that I did not have a strong logic to elucidate the given situation. It has been almost 2 months since we have shifted base to the farm from Mumbai. And since that time, I have been strongly advocating to my children the importance of planting more seeds and controlling the urge to pluck flowers. Now my child stands confused that so many hands are fervently enjoying the kill!

But I am a mother… I must have an answer, an explanation, something. Anything. So, I try.

“Yes, you are right in thinking about the fate of these marigold flowers. You must know this; these flowers were grown with the single objective of being sold to somebody one day. This is commercial farming baby. These flowers that have now been plucked will now be used for decorative purposes in weddings and for various other Pujas. If they are not plucked, they will anyways die in future. They will not live forever after attaining their full bloom. That is their life.”

She listened to what I told her. I listened to what she did not tell me. She was not convinced that this was a nice thing to do. I could see confusion rampant on her face.

I took a deep breath and made another feeble attempt trying to comfort her troubled soul, “When you pluck a flower, you do it for fun and eventually throw it away. These people are plucking them, so that they can be put to some use.  My dear, you and me, we love this abundant bloom. You and me both feel happy looking at them. Similarly, when these flowers are used for decoration, so many people will feel happy looking at them. Garlands will be made from them and shall be utilized as adornments of God during Puja. Every life has a certain purpose. Their purpose is to spread cheer and boost the spirit. If they are not harvested, they will die in vain. If they are plucked, then new flowers can grow again on the plants. Worry not about the flower, worry about the seed. If there is a seed, there is going to be a flower. Life will go on. If you want, we can plant few seeds and you can have fresh bloom again!”.

With that I put my case to rest. What was I thinking? How will a 6-year-old process this?

My girl listened intently and nodded her head. I know my words had left her confused more than convinced. I am also certain that in the coming few days she will be throwing a volley of questions at me on the same lines.

I am ok with this. I am also ok with me not having all the age-appropriate answers, ready to be served as soon as they are ordered. I am also ok with her getting addled occasionally, in her quest to find answers. You may wonder why? Because this is life, not a Domino’s Pizza with a 30-minute delivery or free, promise. To me, the fact that she is asking the right questions shall always mean much more than her success in finding a 100 percent accurate answer. My job as a parent is not to ensure her life runs smooth, rather it is to help her face the heat and the rain and see her overcome all of that, on her own. My answers are not the seeds, but her questions are. If I can sow them the way they ought to, if I am able to nurture them, if I am able to provide a conducive environment for them to germinate, only then will they bloom and give way to answers. That bloom will be my harvest.

Coming back to what I was reading earlier this morning and I quote as it is:

“Every single seed that autumn drops into the dust of the soil has its own special way of extracting the heart from the husk and of creating from it its leaves, then flowers and then fruits.

Yet however their ways may differ, the destination of all seeds will remain but one, and that destination is to stand before the face of the sun.”

  • Kahlil Gibran’s Little book of secrets.


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1 comment

Anonymous August 26, 2021 - 4:10 PM

Super writing


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