Price of Impulsiveness

Price of Impulsiveness

‘Hi VR! This is my friend Suresh. He has been a bit upset due to some events. I told him that he might find something to help him from the Ramayan, so here we are!’ introduced Maanav as Suresh curiously looked at the UI of Ramayana Reboot.

‘Sure, Maanav. How can I help you, Suresh?’

‘Wow! This is really cool, Maanav. I don’t know how much Ramayan can help me but this AI is pretty awesome!’

‘Stop ogling at VR and tell your problem!’

‘Ok… ok. So, Mr. VR, I am the Cultural Secretary at my college and we have been planning a host of online events to replace our annual fest. I have been working really hard but coordinating with performers isn’t easy especially when they don’t stick to the deadlines! There is this girl Devika who was not giving her dance video despite reminders. In a fit of anger, I replaced her with another girl. But later I came to know that she was down with Covid and hence delayed sending the video. But I already promised the other girl that her video would be included. Now, I am feeling terrible about my impulsive decision. Is there some way I can get away with this?’

‘A leader stuck with an impulsive decision. There is definitely a parallel for that in the Ramayana’, replied VR.

‘Dasharatha, the father of Sri Rama, was an illustrious king, a great warrior, respected and loved by all citizens. But he had one weakness which was his impulsive nature. There are several instances in the Ramayana where one can see that side of him.’

‘When Vishwamitra came to see him, he was overjoyed and promised to give him anything but when he heard that he wanted Sri Rama, he immediately tried to backtrack nearly getting cursed in the process. But Vasishtha intervened and made him realise his mistake. Again, when his Queen Kaikeyi saved his life in a war, he impulsively granted her two boons. It was these boons that Kaikeyi cashed-in on much later causing Sri Rama’s exile and the chaos in Ayodhya. But the biggest mistake happened when Dasharatha was younger.’

‘He could shoot at something hearing the sound alone, so once while hunting, he shot an arrow thinking an animal was drinking water. When he reached there, he saw that he had struck a young boy, Shravan Kumar, who was taking water for his blind old parents. To fulfil the boy’s dying wish, he took water to them. But when they heard the news, they were too shocked and passed away. Before passing away, the father cursed Dasharatha that one day he day, he too, would die broken-hearted due to separation from his son.’

‘Whoa! Time out, Mr. VR! Maanav, you said that Ramayan would make me feel better but this is just making me feel even worse!’, complained Suresh.

‘Please wait a little longer Suresh, I have not yet finished my explanation’, intervened VR.

‘The point of sharing these was not just to highlight the consequences of impulsiveness especially by those in a leadership role but also point out one important quality of Dasharatha. No matter how big the price, he never ran away from the consequences of his actions. He kept his word to Vishwamitra and sent Lakshmana along with Sri Rama to compensate for his attempts to backtrack. He allowed Kaikeyi to fulfil her boons even though he knew it would cause him grief to the point of death. He faced Shravan Kumar’s parents and told them the truth when he could have lied or run away. It was this that made him worthy to be the father of Sri Rama. Despite his limitations, he was loved and respected by all because he had the courage to face the consequences of his mistakes.’

‘Hmm! That is true. Man, I hope I can channel my inner Dasharatha and face this situation. Thanks, VR, thanks Maanav. I am going to make a conference call with both the girls and figure out a way out of this. You are right, Maanav, Ramayana does answer many of our questions. I am going to download this app right away!’, replied Suresh.

‘And the community grows! Thanks, VR, for helping out. I am also going to help Suresh to help defuse this situation. See you later!’

‘Happy to be of use, Maanav. Until we meet again, thank you for using Ramayana Reboot!’

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Chinmaya Udghosh