The Karyakarta accompanying told me, ‘Didi, Vijita, a young girl working as a teacher in our Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalayas comes from the neighbouring village. In recent floods her house was swept off by the river current. Shall we visit her parents?’ ‘Yes, of course. Is Vijita here?’ ‘No, Didi she is in the school.’ So, we slightly detoured and reached the place where her ‘house’ was there. Just behind the house, river was flowing majestically. Nothing was left of earlier brick house. From the broken flooring we could make out a house must have been here. In the corner, of the plot with some tins a shade was made, somehow the arrangements were made to cook food or to sleep in the night. We entered inside. Both her parents were very happy to see us. We sat on the mat. Vijita’s parents were quite old. A very smiling and dignified couple.
After talking few other things, I asked gently, ‘In the recent floods you suffered very badly. The river carried away everything?’ The father looked at me solemnly and smiled slightly. He said with calmness, ‘She is mother. As she loves us and gives us abundantly, she also at times gets angry. So it is alright. Maa only has taken it.’ I was speechless. I knew that rivers are called as mother, as there is ganga maiya, Narmadamaiya, but such living faith! It was a moment beyond description as it was a moment of realization of seeing river as mother. I have never forgotten this incident. It was not just knowledge but insight, it was Darshan of river as mother. The rivers became alive for me as mothers.
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