Condition of my parents
Like Rukhiba, ours was also a poor family. My parent’s financial condition was quite precarious. Their education was quite ordinary. Education was given very little importance in those days. It was also widely believed that women needed no education at all. It was rare to find a girls' school in a small village. Such an idea was hardly relished or welcomed by the general public. Practice of child marriages was widespread. In such an environment, parents’ attention was mainly centered around settling their daughters as householders rather than on giving them proper education and training. How could such parents be expected to impart them good education? Farming was the main occupation of our family, which my father had inherited. He used to work very hard in the field. He would make great plans and put them into practice. However, his fate was such that most of the time his efforts would bore no fruits. Either nature would be against him or something else would happen. His hopeless condition never improved. Still, I have to say that we never had shortage of food in the house. Even in testing times, we had enough ghee and milk.
Though poor, my father was noble by nature. He was healthy and his physique was strong and sturdy. He would get deeply disturbed by someone's misery and he would do everything possible he could to alleviate it. In the past, when bandits attacked our village, he was at the forefront in challenging them. He possessed many good qualities. He had never harmed anyone in his life, or even remotely thought of it. He was interested only in his work. He worked so hard that other than his routine work, he had hardly any spare time. In a way, he was happy in his own world. He used to spend most of his day in the field and he was satisfied with whatever he produced and earned with his hard work. He was a friend of everybody. He was jealous of none. Because of these qualities, even today he is remembered and people praise him freely.
The world is greatly indebted to farmer. The farmer is rightly called the father of the world. How would the world survive without him? Of course, these days like in other occupations, in agriculture too some evils have crept in. Even so, on the whole it has remained an honest occupation. At the time when I was born, it was considered as a very honest occupation. I really consider myself fortunate that I was born in the house of a farmer who lived an honest life, and I am very proud of it.
I inherited a peasants ‘Samskaras' in my blood. A farmer spends his whole life working in the fields in the lap of the nature. Love for Nature was inculcated in me right from my childhood. In my early years, I used to sit for hours together in the lap of Mother Nature while enjoying its solitude. Even today, my life is more or less surrounded by Nature. Of course, I no longer cultivate the land that I inherited from my ancestors. And I don't possess today the descendants of those bullock, and articles such as cart, plough, leather bucket etc. But I have not ceased to be a farmer altogether. It is only that God has entrusted me with another kind of farming. Now I cultivate life and its harvest is not meant just for me but for the whole world. This spiritual cultivation is quite unique and fulfilling. In this farming, the soil of life has to be cultivated with the plough of restraint and faith. Then one has to sow in it the seeds of God’s love. After letting the rain of devotion and sunrays of knowledge, one can reap the harvest of peace, tranquility and realization of God. By grace of the Almighty, that cultivation is still going on.