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The other side of the terrace

The sight from the terrace of a high-rise building gave a fecund and prosperous view with elegant and architected structures lined up in a row.

A bevy of stylish cars parked across the gates and lush gardens with bountiful flowers adding hues to the subtle elegance. In midst of this affluent setting, I spotted a couple enjoying the evening over a cup of tea, and the atmosphere filled with cheerful shrieks of handsomely dressed kids playing basketball and a nanny singing a sweet lullaby to put the blessed infant in the pram to sleep.

The setting is that of opulence but neither surreal nor uncommon. Any mortal would wish to be a part of it and a lot of us are fortunate to be so. Seeing and being in one of these structures does not and will not compel us to contemplate anything, except enjoy the coziness of cushions under the scintillating chandeliers. But with a slight turn on my left side, simultaneously seeing a sight from the same terrace that is a complete contrast to the previous setting is something which compelled me to think… Tiny, congested and shambled structures lined together, even the pale paint peeling off the walls and kitchen gardens surrounding the house in the form of veggie peels scattered at the gate. To add to the panoramic view, a mound of filth and garbage seemed to scale new heights each day and turn it into a mountain. With the sunset, there’s a sloshed violent husband abusing his wife over a bottle of cheap liquor, shabbily dressed siblings quarreling for a tiny rubber ball and an infant perpetually weeping for he is probably starved of food, sleep and care.

In this tale of two settings, people on one side of the terrace in comfortable structures do not need to renounce their luxury just because more than half of the world is devoid of it and neither do the people on the other side of the terrace living in shoddy structures have to rob, malign or crib. But the person standing on that common terrace gazing at the two sights will surely be forced to thank the Almighty for the gift of his wonderful life. Being ordinary human beings we are bound to ask for more, but few moments in life make us realize that what we have is more than much. For that brief moment satisfaction and contentment seeps in, in our otherwise materially and at times emotionally starved hearts. The question is not what the designer clad people should do for the little known tailor clad people. Though philanthropy is the natural answer, but for us who ceaselessly ask for more, it would be difficult to part with what we have. But simple and sincere thanks to the God above will not make us short of anything.
 

In the hustle bustle of our elite lives, our sense of realization diminishes. With the plethora of conspicuity around us, obscuring our emotional sensibility, we take a lot of things for granted. Being at the upper echelons of society we forget that there’s still a world existing quite unlike ours. At times just a glimpse of this other world brings back the realization of gratitude. Charity begins in the heart. We keep asking God for more but seldom stop to thank him when he gives us that. Most times we are granted gifts even before we ask and still fail to realize that we may be owning a lot of things which others lack. The first step to charity is gratitude and then follows satisfaction. Our prayers are invariably a list of demands. Since he is the creator and nurturer of our lives, it is not even wrong to ask from him. But when we start taking his kindness for granted, we disrespect him. Thankfulness paves way for contentment. When a friend brings us a present unexpectedly, we are overjoyed and thank him for his thoughtfulness. In fact we even give him a return gift while he leaves. But with God, we have a different equation. All the expected and unexpected gifts are welcomed without thanks. While the only return gift God expects from us for Him is that we share his gifts with others. Standing on that terrace if we can, even for while, feel humble and not haughty, fortunate and not flamboyant, of what we are, we would repay half of Almighty’s benevolence. And getting down of that terrace if we can be charitable instead of chiding, philanthropic instead of pitying, we would repay God more than He expected of us… because love and kindness in the heart leave less space for jewels and wealth in the house. Winston Churchill said,
 

“We make a living by what we have, we make a life by what we give.”
And thankfulness is the first thing that we need to give to our God.