A STORY OF VALOUR

A story of courage that I had read and heard in my childhood, has stayed with me over the years and continues to inspire me even today is the account of David and Goliath. Call it a slice from Israel’s history or a portion of literature, a shepherd boy without formal training in warfare or the weaponry daring to fight a well-equipped giant and defeating him has always been an awe inspiring narrative for me.

It was during one of those times when the Philistines used to attack Israel intermittently, that a giant from the Philistine side came out to openly threaten the Israelite army. It was quite natural for the valiant of all Israelite soldiers to quiver in fear at the sight of a well-equipped more than nine-feet tall giant. No one dared to venture out to face the champion of the Philistines because a defeat was imminent. Day after day the Philistine army led by Goliath continued to threaten the Israelite army. It was at this juncture that David, a shepherd boy who had gone to the Israelite army camp to enquire of the welfare of his brothers who were in the army, got to know the details of what was going on.

David dared to do a few things.

Firstly, David dared to take the decision to fight Goliath.

Secondly, David dared to go before the king and declare that he desired to face the enemy army whom the king’s warriors hadn’t been able to.

Thirdly, being a non-army man he was uncomfortable with the weapons of warfare and the attire that the king asked his men to equip David with and so dared to venture out to the war zone in his shepherd’s clothes.

Fourthly, dared to trust God to be his power-giver.

Finally, David dared to proclaim victory on the face of the giant even before fighting him.

This isn’t merely a story of exemplary courage. On the face of it, it may seem unwise or cowardly for an unarmed lay man to be daring enough to face an equipped army. But, what makes the difference here is the source of David’s courage. David’s courage did not arise from his extraordinary abilities or expertise at warfare or a profound sense of confidence or an adrenaline rush. But, his source of courage came from his deep faith in God who he knew would ensure him victory in this venture.

The account of David and Goliath is a constant reminder that no matter how tall the giants in our lives may be and no matter how ill-equipped to face those giants we may be, with God’s power, we can have the courage to put them flat on the ground and lead victorious lives.

A STATE OF EMERGENCY INJECTS COURAGE IN US

Courage often originates from emergency situations. When we have an emergency situation we don’t see anything that binds us or restricts but we just act to get out of that situation. I have two very interesting and funny events that will prove what I am saying.

A few days ago on a Sunday morning, I saw my former office boy carrying something in one paper carton. I asked what it was. He smiled saying the box was filled with newborn kittens. Three boys used to stay in the office room and the mother cat entered inside to deliver all her kittens.

I was wondering how come those guys didn’t see her entering the room and deliver her babies without they all being aware of it? They had no clue.

This mother cat was always driven away by these three guys yet it chose their room for delivering her babies.

I remember a similar event that happened with me too three years ago. Asmita went to see my Nanny as she was suffering from cancer and I was alone. When I stay alone in my house I always keep busy with my gadgets and rarely care about what goes on around. But this thing was unique.

One evening after office, I came back home and was relaxing. After sometime I was about to take off my shirt and hang it on the hanger when I saw one pair of glowing green eyes below where my clothes were hanging. I took five seconds to realize that it was a cat sitting there and watching me with her eyes fixed on me as if she will pounce on me.

I stepped back and called in one of my office boys to help. When he came the cat ran away and hid itself in another corner of the house but didn’t leave the house. We were wondering why was it not going out of the open door and then our eyes fell on those adorable little squirmy pink kittens in that corner where I had seen the cat first.

The mother cat could have harmed us for holding her babies. So we had to drive her away from our house first and then take the babies out of my house on a piece of cloth. The boy kept the babies in a corner of the complex and the mother cat couldn’t find them. She kept on meowing looking at me. I closed my door but she came and kept scratching at my door crying for her babies. Though later she was shown her babies and she stopped getting upset with me.

This stray cats are small and tiny before us, humans. They are scared of our shouts and even just the tapping noise of our foot steps unless they are our pets but when there’s an emergency situation they don’t care who we are. They simply invade a place suitable for them to deliver their future.

Awesome!!! Isn’t it?

A state of emergency always creates an antibody of courage within us to fight against all the dangers and fears of this earth. And the above events confirm what I am saying.

By the way, the cat who delivered her babies in my house was long gone. But the cat who delivered recently in the room of those boys is still there. I had captured it having a nap on a wasted sofa and have posted that image for this article. I hope you all will enjoy witnessing the example of Courage.

Stay blessed!!!

STORY OF COURAGE THAT INSPIRED ME

Sometime in mid-1990’s, there was a man who worked as a Scientist for a CSIR laboratory in a small city of Dehradun. He had limited resources but immense will and courage to make a difference to the society. He was deeply moved by the rag-pickers who would keep hunting for clean waste in the piles waste dumps. It was unhealthy and utterly filthy.

For months together, the sight of these rag-pickers troubled him. Somehow he had to help them get clean waste so that these people don’t have to hunt for recyclable waste and carry them to the factories to earn their living. They deserve a respectable life, they deserve a healthy life. This thought made home in his mind.

In 1990’s, there was no concept of waste segregation existing in our country. This man lived in Government quarters with his family in a Government colony. And he came up with the thought of waste segregation – it was just a thought to start with. He wrote articles on why we should segregate waste at source and how it can help the society as a whole. He wrote poems on the same. For advertising his thought, he even dressed his younger daughter as a rag-picker during the fancy dress competition in colony fete (she got the first prize for acting a rag-picker, reciting her father’s poem and conveying a social message).

He had already put his thoughts on paper which had become quite famous. Now he wanted to put his words on action. A couple of his colleagues supported him and he went to each household in the colony and educated them on waste segregation. The idea was simple, they had to keep biodegradable (food) waste in a separate bin that could go to a compose pit and they had to keep non-biodegradable (plastic, glass, etc) in big plastic bag provided to them. Every week he would arrange for a few rag-pickers to come in colony and pick up the non-biodegradable waste from all the households. It was win-win for all. Rag-pickers got clean waste and residents of the colony could now become 0 waste producing community.

He called it “Rag-picker” scheme. It was a huge hit not only in the colony but in the entire city. He got media attention and attention from educational institutions. In spite of all this, he stayed grounded. His team of rag-pickers was not huge but with time he saw a tremendous transformation in them. They were now in better clothes, had watch on their wrists and they were in a position to buy small houses for themselves. He did everything possible to keep the scheme going till he was living in the colony.


Union Ministry of Environment in India released Solid Waste Management rules in 2016 which called for Waste segregation at source as a mandatory requirement. But a common man made this mandatory under “Rag-picker Scheme” at least 20 years earlier in IIP colony, Dehradun.


To do an act of this kind is courage. It takes patience, drive, will and most importantly it needs courage to stand up for an ignored section of society and do something for them.

This man is my Father. And this one act, inspired me to the core. I understood at a young age that without making a difference to your society, your life is practically worthless. Courage is not always about swords and fights, it is almost always about using a Pen to put your thoughts in words and then to use those words to create an action that makes a real difference.