Inspiration

Faith Is A Beautiful Thing

faith vidya sury

I’ve been doing so much so fast over the past few days that I’ve often felt a bit lost. Maybe overwhelmed. Either way, freaked out.

And I am not even sure why I remembered this particular story my Grandma, and then my Mom would tell me rather often. Of course I enjoyed it, more for the narrator than the actual story. I probably remembered it because Krishna Janmashtami was last week and I was thinking of how we’d always celebrated it, and how, this year, we kept it rather low key since our own Krishna was away.

So, as I went to bed last night, it just sat in my head. I thought I’d let it out and perhaps you’ll enjoy it too. What is funny is, I realized that it is possible to tweak it to any circumstance you want.

A story of faith

Once there was a little boy, Kichcha. He was five years old. His parents were poor. They lived in a village where his father did odd jobs to make a living. The mother saved whatever she could. Like all parents, they wanted their son to go to school and get an education. Now, the nearest school was a little far off and Kichcha had to walk through a forest to reach it.

Kichcha loved the forest, the sound of the birds and the wind through the trees. He enjoyed the sight of bright flowers whose scent filled the air. But in parts of the forest where the foliage was dense, it was dark and Kichcha was afraid of the dark. Knowing this, his mother urged him to come home directly after school. Kichcha promised to do so and set off.

faith vidya sury

After school, as he made his way home, he was distracted by the cows peacefully grazing and the women working in the fields. He also met some friends and played with them. Finally, as he passed through the forest, he recalled tales of demons and become filled with fear, paralyzing him. Suddenly he heard someone calling out to him. It was his mother, worried and looking for him. He managed to run the rest of the way and rushed into his mother’s arms.

He told her how afraid he was and refused to go to school the next day. Chiding him for not returning home earlier, his mom told him that she would teach him a trick. As Kichcha eagerly listened, she told him that whenever she was afraid, she called out to Anna Gopala, who would instantly appear and walk a few steps behind her to make sure she was safe. There was only one condition, that she must never turn back and look. She must trust him.

She asked Kichcha, did he trust her? Of course he did.

faith vidya sury
So the next day, while walking through the dark parts of the forest, Kichcha chanted “Anna Gopala” and instantly heard footsteps behind him. Happy, he navigated the rest of the way. Kichcha got into the habit of talking to Anna Gopala, who responded to him. The days passed. Kichcha’s mother, who prayed to Lord Krishna everyday, was ever-grateful to him for looking after her little boy and making his fear vanish.

So you’d think that would be the end of this story, right? Wrong!

Then one day at school, Kichcha’s teacher said they were going to have a party where each child would have to bring a gift for the teacher. Little Kichcha, who knew his parents couldn’t afford it, returned home worried. When he told his mother about the party, she was sad, but told him she would find a way. That night, when they went to bed, she prayed to the Lord Krishna, beseeching him to help her little boy.

In the morning, as Kichcha left for school, she told him to talk to Anna Gopala and ask him for his help. Kichcha was happy to do so. Wasn’t he his friend after all? As usual, he called out to him in the forest, and told him his problem. Gopala appeared in front of him. Kichcha was dazzled by the appearance of this beautiful vision, with the peacock feather in his hair and the kind smile. He gave Kichcha a little bowl of curd that he could gift to his teacher. Kichcha was a little apprehensive, as his classmates would bring all sorts of fabulous gifts, but trusting his friend Gopala, he agreed.

faith vidya sury

When he arrived at school, the party was just starting and the teacher was surrounded by the other kids who were vying with each other to impress her. Kichcha approached her and handed over his bowl of curd. Amused, his teacher said she would share it with everyone. She then gave each student some. But no matter how much she took out from it, it remained full. Also, it was the most delicious curd they had ever tasted. They all praised Kichcha and he went home, happy.

He couldn’t wait to tell his mom about what had happened. When he narrated the day’s events, his mom, while pleased for him, didn’t quite believe him. She thought he was lying. No matter how she questioned him, he always had the same story and described Gopala in detail. She decided to accompany him the next day and Kichcha was thrilled.

But once in the forest, no matter how many times Kichcha called Gopala, he wouldn’t appear. Exasperated, his mom returned home. She had other things to do.

That evening while returning from school, he dejectedly called out to Gopala, who instantly appeared. When Kichcha asked him why he hadn’t shown up when his mom was there, Gopala smiled and hugged him and said only those who had faith could see him. Five-year old

Kichcha was happy.Bhagavad Gita Krishna

Now, that story could go on and on. And did – my narrators were amazing raconteurs who could spin all sorts of stories and keep it going for months, tweaking it to the situation at hand. And you are probably wondering what the big deal is. The big deal for me, when I was little, was the following.

  • I loved curd. The story had curd.
  • I was five. Kichcha was five.
  • I was poor. So was Kichcha.
  • I was happy, as was Kichcha.
  • I walked to school. Kichcha walked to school.
  • I crossed the road in fear. Kichcha crossed the forest in fear
  • I had an imaginary friend, so did Kichcha.
  • I loved Krishna. Krishna, also known as Gopala, helped Kichcha
  • I loved the people who told me the story.

The story helped me to..

  • Get over the fear of crossing that busy road.
  • Learn that faith is an important thing. Unless we believe, we cannot achieve anything. The details are immaterial.
  • Understand that it wasn’t necessary to compare what I had to give with what others gave. Kichcha’s bowl of curd vs. the rich gifts his classmates brought. What each one of us has to offer is unique and important.

You know, I can keep on picking lessons from that story. I still do. I’ve told it to Vidur countless times, and have tweaked it according to the situation to help him get over something or encourage him.

I wonder what you think of the story? I know it has holes and some things probably don’t make sense. Those things don’t matter to me.

What do you think of this story?

Do you have a homemade childhood tale you treasure?

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    September 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing this delightful tale. No such stories come to mind except for the fact my mother would often read to me at night. I’m grateful she instilled a love of books.
    Darla M Sands recently posted…Dancin’ the Night AwayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 10, 2015 at 10:04 am

      🙂 Thanks for sharing Darla – you know, I’ve found that it doesn’t matter that we don’t remember specifics – the memory of something is enough to lift our spirits! Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Happiness is the Way #DrWayneDyer #QuotesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Joy
    September 10, 2015 at 12:21 am

    What I love most is that you love the story. I can feel that love shining right through! What it means to me is that the time and presence I am sharing with my children, and the creativity we experience together, matters more than I fathom because when they are adults and feeling frazzled something we have shared will come forward to inspire them (I’m thinking a sunset or beautiful flower blossom or butterfly from ‘nowhere’).

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 10, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Joy, I couldn’t have said it better! The point of this whole story is the setting that stays in my memory, each time it was told, and the way I felt when I was listening, the smells I remember, my Mom’s and Grandma’s loving touch and smile. Hugs! I am thrilled to see you here today, adding a layer of “awesome” to what I wrote!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Is your extra weight holding you down?My Profile

  • Reply
    Roshni
    September 10, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Initially, I thought it was his mother who followed him to make sure he was safe!
    Love the story for it’s simplicity!
    Roshni recently posted…“Who cares?!” The beauty of nonchalance and being differentMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 10, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I’ve used that one, Roshni 🙂 This story was a loose framework that was readymade to spin our own yarn! Thank you for coming over. I read your post this morning and adored it. My son’s a lot like Little a, bless his soul!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Is your extra weight holding you down?My Profile

  • Reply
    Nabanita
    September 10, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Such a beautiful story Vidya…It teaches and encourages in the simplest of ways and it stays doesn’t it…I remember my dad telling me a story every time he used to sit and feed me lunch or dinner…It goes something like this 🙂
    Once upon a time a plane was about to crash in the deep blue sea. The passengers in it panicked and cried. They prayed for a miracle. That’s when a thick fog engulfed the entire horizon. The pilot couldn’t see anything expect feel the scary decent of the plane. It was all over they thought. But then suddenly a ray of sun pierced through the fog and chased it away. The sparking sea was suddenly visible again and there appeared in the middle a lush green island, at the very spot where the plane was about to crash. The pilot was surprised, for a moment ago there was only water and no land around. Then he saw a clearing, one on which he could try to land, there would be some damage but people could be saved. So he tried and toiled when suddenly he felt the flight glide towards the natural runway, as if aided by an invisible force. To everyone’s surprise and delight, the plane landed safely with just minor jerks. All were saved. Later in the day the passengers were taken home by a ship that had stopped by. And the next day when the pilot took off after some repairs and took a turn towards his destination, he saw the island oddly had the shape of a man lying down and then it suddenly began to disappear. After a while there was nothing except the azure blue around. He was dumb struck. It was a miracle, an answer to prayers, it was the magic of the Almighty. God lied laid down in the ocean to save those people, to save the flight and when they were safely sent home He left.
    Nabanita recently posted…#IReview: The Fatty Bao, BangaloreMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 10, 2015 at 10:33 am

      What a sweet story, Naba! By the way, have you noticed how most parents “feed” their children good thoughts and wisdom along with food? It is because they focus and listen during that time. Hugs. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Food Tales That Never FadeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shailaja
    September 10, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I have the Amar Chitra Katha version of this story and Gy as well as I love to read it. There are so many beautiful lessons to take away from this story, about faith and trust and honesty. But, to be really honest, I liked your 5-year-old takeaways the best 😀 Such a lovely thing to tap into that child within us, right? Thanks for this pick me up post, Vidya.
    Shailaja recently posted…Honesty begins at home #1000SpeakMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 10, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Oh! I didn’t know there’s an ACK version! And imagine, I told Sapna bookstore that they could contact me for any ACK they didn’t have in stock, because my son has them all! 🙂 I’d love to read it! Thank you for your comment. 🙂 I love the story. I still get take aways from it even though I am past 50.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Happiness is HomemadeMy Profile

  • Reply
    G Angela
    September 10, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Loved your story vidya, its cute and totally agree with you, faith is a beautiful thing. I am glad to have parents who told so many different stories of the saints, especially St Anthony who is supposed to be the saint of the lost articles, lost things and st Jude is supposed to be the hope of the hopeless, and Velankanni stories of how the lame boy was healed, etc… all these have one thing in common, with faith, we can overcome any problem and even do the impossible, thanks for sharing… you reminded me of my parents.

  • Reply
    Tinipy
    September 10, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Hii,I absolutely loved the way you told the story.Faith,love and honesty radiated all throughout :). Faith is Divine.

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    September 10, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    I loved it. Cannot wait to tell it to the kids, specially N, who is a HUGE Krishna bhakt. She fasted this janamashtami when none of us fast for ANYTHING at all – not even I! This is going to be a treat. Looking forward to the evening. Loved the lessons too. I hope they imbibe some of them at least.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…The truth about liesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 11, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      🙂 I am thrilled with your comment, Tulika! I do hope N enjoys it! There used to be a phase when I’d sneakily watch Vidur chatting with Krishna. 😀
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Living is for everyone #SuicidePreventionMy Profile

      • Reply
        Obsessivemom
        September 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm

        She loved it Vidya but she keeps forgetting the ‘anna’ in the anna Gopal and no matter how much I said it didn’t matter and that she could call him any name, she wants to remember it and keeps asking me over and over again. Thanks again.
        Obsessivemom recently posted…The truth about liesMy Profile

        • Reply
          Vidya Sury
          September 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

          How charming! You know what? She can call him by any name. By the way, Kichcha is an endearment-nickname for Krishna because most toddlers pronounce it that way! Assure N that Anna Gopala can be whoever she wants him to be! ♥
          Vidya Sury recently posted…Living is for everyone #SuicidePreventionMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vishal Bheeroo
    September 11, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    It’s such a beautiful story, narrated with love and passion. I believe in the protecting angel and such stories with faith reaffirm our belief when the going gets tough. I remember Dad narrating such a story to me, someone following his footstep when he turned around, there was no one. His uncle told him it’s the protector. I may narrate on the blog, someday.
    Much Love
    Vishal
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  • Reply
    Lata Sunil
    September 11, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Amazing post. Strangely, i have not heard it. I will try it on my younger one.Thank you.

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