KRISHNA Tarangam

A Political and Sciences Website

By Advaita

Putting the right foot forward
A shoeblack chased Easterner on a Tuesday morning. The boy may not have been more than 12 years old. Easterner was familiar with the street. But, he had not seen the shoeblack there before.
Easterner’s unfashionable slip-ons needed a shine. Still, he hesitated. He would have a fair bit of walking to do during the day. Engaging the shoeblack would be pointless. The shoes would become dirty again in a jiffy. So, he indicated he did not need the boy’s services. By then, the shoeblack had followed Easterner for about half a kilometre. Easterner felt sorry for him but realised there was nothing to be done.
Easterner turned right, taking a lane leading to a 150-year-old temple dedicated to the Divine Mother. The boy did not follow him. And Easterner was glad he was gone.
After offering his prayers to the Divine Mother, Easterner, who was in a solemn and sullen mood, left the temple. He took the same street again but the shoeblack was nowhere to be seen. Heaving a sigh of relief, Easterner crossed the street. He was on way to another temple, this one dedicated to Lord Hanuman, a strong symbol of courage and selfless service. After a few paces, Easterner boarded a tempo, a three-wheel contraption that sputters along the busiest streets of northern India.
Within five minutes, the temple was in sight. Easterner hollered to the driver to halt the vehicle. The driver complied and Easterner got off the vehicle. The temple was across the street which had become quite busy by then as the rush-hour approached. Hundreds of times, Easterner had crossed the same street without incident. This time was different.
He walked to his left, looking for a safe spot from which to launch his ‘road-cross mission’.  Bam! He fell on the road, twisting his right ankle.  What hit him? A sports utility vehicle had come out of nowhere. A portly gentleman came out of the car in a flash and helped Easterner get back on his feet.
Ouch! Eastern winced as his right foot touched the asphalt.
“Where are my specs?”
“I have them,” the portly gentleman replied.
“I have broken a leg!” Easterner exclaimed.
“Don’t worry, I am a doctor,” the SUV owner assured him and made Easterner sit in his car.
The dentist took him to hospital where Easterner was given first aid and released after coffee with the doctor. His family members had arrived by then.
As he walked gingerly out of the hospital, Easterner couldn’t help looking at his heavily bandaged right foot.
It was the same foot which the shoeblack had pointed at while offering his services earlier that Tuesday morning. Perhaps, if Easterner had engaged him, he would have paid off a karmic debt and his foot would not have been injured.
The shoeblack was never again seen on the street, frequented by Easterner countless times before and afterwards.
The boy may have been a messenger sent by the Divine Hand to help Easterner put the right foot forward. Alas! He let the opportunity slip and suffered his life’s first physical injury of any consequence.  



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Jai ho swamiji!🙏
This is very true.


Thank you for precious lines

Jai ho! Jai Shri Krishna