Ceiling On Desires

In the city of Chandigarh, there lived a cobbler named Deenu. He was hardworking and efficient. He knew his job well but he had been born dumb. His clients would keep aside, shoes and handbags that needed mending till Deenu came by. One day, Sanjay was cleaning out his cupboard, and putting aside clothes and shoes that he did not need anymore. He put aside a pair of trousers and a pair of slippers for Deenu, knowing that he would come by one of these days. Sure enough, on thursday, the bell rang and Deenu stood in the doorway beaming from ear to ear, with folded hands as if he meant to say, “At your service, Sir”.

Sanjay’s mother and sisters put out the shoes that were to be mended and Deenu got busy, sitting outside in the porch. Sanjay went out and handed over the trousers to him and said, “These are for you Deenu, they’ll fit you well, please wear them.” Deenu smiled and pinched the pair he was already wearing and signalled ‘Two’ with his other hand, as if to say, “I already have two.” Then he pushed the packet back into Sanjay’s hand and waved his palm, to convey that he had no use for them. Sanjay looked at him wide eyed and said, “Ok, so you already have two, but I will be happy if you take this one too!” Deenu, opened the zipper of his worn-out sling-bag and showed a pair of trousers neatly folded inside and signalled with his fingers to say that, “I am wearing one and I have a spare one in my bag, that’s all I need!”

Realizing that he was not going to accept it, Sanjay, offered him his old slippers and said, “Alright Deenu, I’m sure you can use these.” Again Deenu, pointed to the shoes that he was wearing and smiled, “I have these,” his eyes seemed to say. “But surely, you will need a change if they tear or wear out”, said Sanjay. He waved his hand and pointed to his cobbler kit and made swift signals to tell that if they needed mending, he was well equipped to do so.

With a sigh, Sanjay picked up the old trousers and slippers. ‘Yes’, he thought, these are the basic needs of man but there is no end to our desires. Deenu, is more enlightened and satisfied than us. He carries all his worldly belongings on his back. He sleeps wherever night falls, in the lap of mother earth with a blanket of stars to cover him. With only the cool breeze of the night to caress his tired body. Listening to the lullaby sung by the crickets, he probably gets more sound sleep than we do. What we all need to do is to exercise a ‘ceiling on desires’. The more we want; the more we are disturbed by life’s intricacies. If our wants are less, we are independent of worries and more at peace with ourselves’. Swami has put it very simply. He says, when you say “I want peace.” Then Swami says, cross out the ‘I’ and the ‘want’, what is left?