Post Series: Tales from Khushpur

This Diwali, Mahi and Augustya learn the joy of giving. They learn from their parents how to be generous and kind towards everyone

In the previous story we had seen how Augustya and Mahi try and adjust to the changes in their life and how Acharya advises Augustya.

Life was back to normal for Mahi and Augustya; both of them were busy in their daily routine at the Gurukul, just like before. They trained hard and learnt their lessons under the able tutelage of Acharya.

Both of them were looking forward to Diwali, which was their favourite festival by far. The weather was pleasant, they got new clothes, there were lots of great food, the Rajmahal smelled of marigold flowers, the air became slightly cooler signalling that winter was round the corner and of course they got to go home for the holidays.

Tales from Khushpur: The joy of givingMahi’s favourite part of the Diwali preparations was soaking the clay diyas in water and then taking them out after some time to form a pyramid and then leaving them to dry. Of course, there were so many diyas that she could not do it alone. For Augustya, joy was looking at the gardener and his army of assistants pin up marigold strings and lights on archways and balconies

The brother sister duo arrived at the Rajmahal a few days before Diwali. Maharani Yogita called Augustya and Mahi, two days before Diwali. She said, “Day after tomorrow is Diwali. Each year, Maharaja and I distribute gifts and sweets to the people who work for us and also to those who are not as fortunate as we are a day before Diwali. This year both of you will also join us in doing that.”

Both of them remembered that their parents were usually not there the first half of the day before Diwali and did not seem very pleased with the idea.

They asked, “How long will it take and do we really have to go???”

Maharani Yogita said, “It usually takes us a few hours but this time you are there to help us so it should take us less.” She continued, “You both are now old enough to share some responsibilities of your parents and also understand that we have some obligations towards our people.”

Mahi said, “But Ma I want to soak and dry Diyas like each year.”

Augustya added, “And now I am tall enough so I can help Mali Kaka put the marigold strings and lights.”

Maharani looked at them fondly and said, “My children, Diwali is more than flowers, lights and diyas. These things are important but we also have to share our happiness with others and this is a tradition that has been followed in our family for generations. Now both of you have to carry it forward.”

Mahi and Augustya did not look too happy but they did not want to disobey or argue with their mother.

When their mother left Mahi said, “This is so boring and unfair; I don’t want to spend my day with unknown people handing them out things!”

Augustya said, “Me too! Let’s tell Ma that we have a stomach ache.”

Mahi said exasperatedly, “Augustya…since when have you ever been able to fool Ma with this useless old excuse? At least think of a better excuse if you want to try to fool Ma! Well, she will still catch you but at least be innovative.”

Augustya smiled sheepishly, “You are right. Ma always catches us whenever we try and lie to her. So I guess there is nothing to do but get ready on time tomorrow!!!”

So next morning Mahi and Augustya, not so excitedly were ready to join their parents for a day full of activity. They started by meeting and greeting the people who worked in their palace. Mahi and Augustya were surprised to see that there were so many people who worked tirelessly every day to make the palace run smoothly. What was more surprising was the humility and warmth the Maharaja and Maharani showed when dealing with them.

Tales from Khushpur: The joy of giving

Mahi asked, “Do you know all of them?”

Maharani replied, “Yes, I do.”

Then they moved out of the palace and went to a few places where sick and abandoned people were cared for. Mahi and Augustya were not too pleased to visit these places but their parents maintained the same calm and warmth regardless of the place they were in or the people they were meeting. The people who were receiving gifts blessed Mahi and Augustya with affection and thanked their Maharani and Maharaja.

Augustya asked Mahi, “Did you observe something? The people of Khuspur do not just respect our mother and father, they also love them dearly. It’s just not because they are the king and the queen but because our parents are really generous and warm people.”

“Yes I agree with you,” said Mahi. She added, “Augustya I also realised that we are so fortunate to have so much and we also have loving parents to care for us but everybody else is not so fortunate.” Augustya nodded in agreement.

Though the brother and the sister were feeling very tired they continued to help their parents through the rest of the day. However now the reluctance was replaced by an enthusiasm to do so!

Seeing their parent’s zeal, the love of the people of Khuspur for them and also realising that so many people outside their little world were not as fortunate as them had made them realize the importance of being grateful.

Mahi and Augustya returned to the palace late in the afternoon, tired but happy. As they reached the palace, the gardener came and told Augustya, “Yuvraj, I have saved some marigold strings for you. You can help me put them up after you have rested.”

Mahi also saw that some diyas were still stacked in a corner in the courtyard, waiting for her!

The children were happy to do their favourite activities but they had found a new joy this festival; The Joy of Giving!

Word meanings:

  • Tutelage – guiding influence
  • Exasperatedly – irritatedly

Values learnt:

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Tales from Khushpur: The joy of giving
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