It is well known to all of us that the Pongal Festival of the Tamil- Dravidar is the beginning of the Tamil New Year. The Dravidar Kazhagam introduced the practice of exchanging printed greetings cards along with love and good wishes among the friends and party cadres. Many among them used it with novel ideas which were a pleasant treat to watch. Numerous greetings started arriving. Many clippings of Periyar with several poses from the film ‘Periyar’ acted by Mr. Sathyaraj were used in them and they exchanged in great number. Mr. A.K.Ila Murugu the grandson of the Revolutionary poet Bahrathidasan has sent me a very thought inspiring and interesting greetings from Erode. I am presenting it as it is.
Father : How will the father appear to his son/ daughter at various ages?
Son : At 4 : My father is a very great man
At 5 : My father knows every thing
At 10 : My father is good but a little sullen faced
At 12 : My father was a very good man when I was young.
At 14 : My father keeps always finding fault with me
At 15 : My father is not able to keep up with times.
At 18 : He is a troublesome person.
At 20 : I cannot put up with this man. I really do not know how my mother spent her days with him.
At 25 : He rejects whatever I say.
At 30 : I am not able to control my son. How much fear I had for my father at his age?
At 40 : With how much discipline did my father bring me up? I am going to bring my son up with the same discipline.
At 45 : It is a great wonder now how well my father brought all of us up.
At 50 : How much of problems did my father have to face in bringing all of us up! I am not able to discipline my only child.
At 55 : With how much of prophetic vision that my father has planned everything for us!
At 60 : My father is really very great
It takes 56 years for a son to view his father in the same way as he viewed him when he was young.
Therefore do not waste your time and do not forget your parents. I offer my loving greetings to all of you for a very Happy Pongal and Happy Tamil New Year. It is becoming very rare to see families together. Fast life and new life. Separate rooms, separate T.V.s, separate attached bed rooms. Each one coming and going as if living in a lodge, sleeping and getting out. The mockery of meeting as if on appointment on prior arrangement, avoiding personal meeting among members of the same family is on the increase. Even the get together of the grand children and the grandparents as if in a friends or relatives meet in an annual village festival. The Western culture is that after 16, children should be separated from parents. The ‘avibakhta’ Hindu system namely the Joint Family system is fast disappearing. Affecting and bonding are moving away in different directions. When parents become old they have to live in the Home for the Aged that, too the new despicable culture of doing this while the children are quite well-off. This culture is the culture of those machine men who do not know to smile. Machines do not have hearts and don’t know to laugh. When switched on they will run until they become worn out.
Every one of us has a problem namely stress. This is a problem. This problem attacks every one of all kinds. If it increases it may cause heart attack and eventually death. The only right remedy for this illness is relaxation. Each one of us has different sort of pressures and worries and they happen to increase mental pressure. Whether it is the rich or the salaried group there is stress owing to many different worries.
Recently a scene for the film on Periyar’s life was shot in Malaysia which depicted the reception he received when he visited the country in 1929 in the Harbour of Penang. Mr. Datho Sami Velu opened the shooting as per our request. I stayed there for a day for this purpose. When I returned I noticed a book stall nearby. Mr. only for this? Is it not man’s sense that invented the machines? Why did he then become a slave to it? Can he become a slave to it instead of being its master? Therefore whether it is love or sense, gets better only on sharing. This is what an affectionate son should offer to his father, mother and grandparents. What is the use in realizing this duty after half a century? Realize it and stand erect in time. Walk in the new path.
Datho Sami Velu presented a valuable book to me from that shop which was written by one Mr. Jimmy Teo, a great business magnate and a great leader. Its title was, “A Legacy to my Sons – A Treasure of Valuable Thoughts” This book was written in simple English containing very seasoned advice to his sons under various headings. There was a separate chapter on stress with a very unique thought. Many writers and doctors have written only on how to avoid stress. But the idea of this author was totally different. He has said not to fear stress but to enjoy and taste it. Is n’t it very original? He suggests to convert the very stress into a positive catalyst having constructively thought about it. None of us should be afraid of facing stress. It is necessary to learn to face it boldly and get accustomed to it. We should not fail in this attempt. If we fail, then we have to get into a mental hospital or have to face death. We should not fail to realize that stress is the opposite of laziness.
When we are required to finish an important job within a specified time and perfectly well, we start doing it after serious consideration and sufficient planning. Does not this stress inspire to think positively? If there had not been such pressure, we would have remained idle at home. Is it not so? Necessity is the mother of invention. Only when we face challenges and difficulties in our lives, our brain gets sharpened. Don’t we get the opportunity then to utilize our full potential? That is precisely what the author presents in a new angle. Humans should not run away without facing problems. There is nothing in this world for humanity called a problem that cannot be solved at all. If a man properly uses his reason, his stress will show to him new paths. It is the best use of reason to convert weakness into strength. If we try hard and get tired, it has not any harm to anyone. But on the contrary, many of those who are lazy soon march to their graves as their body refuses to cooperate with them. Therefore we should learn to divert the stress towards the alternate paths without any fear.
Translated by Prof. S.F.N.Chelliah