A Mother’s DAY
“Is that him”, I asked. “Yes”, replied my friend. I had accompanied my friend to the local courthouse that day. There stood before the village chief a man in his late twenties. There was no trail, no hearing, only verdict. On the chief’s directives a sentry brought a heavy stone, using an unwoven sheet of cloth and ropes the sentry wound the stone at the culprit’s waist, in such a manner that the stone pressed against the culprit’s stomach. The contraption was further supported by chains, which were then padlocked. “What is going on?” thought those in attendance. “Is this some new kind of punishment, but what for?” None understood what was happening and none dare question the directive, neither the culprit nor the tribal elders or anyone else for that matter. They remained silent not out of fear but out of respect. The chief was the most learned and pious among us, he was known to surprise everyone by his unconventional ways but he had always been just when it came to meeting out justice to others. The session was adjourned till the next day.
My friend’s father, a scholar and an advisor of the chief, was at the chief’s place the day before. A sentry had brought an old lady to the chief’s home. The woman was in a miserable condition. She was weak and tired. The sentry had found her in a semi-conscious state at the outskirts of the village. She would not speak of her ordeal to anyone but the village chief. The chief immediately had his maid tend to the old lady. After the woman had eaten and rested, the chief inquired about her condition. “What happened to you? Do you have a home here? Where is your husband? Do you have any children?” asked he. On the mere mentioning of ‘children’ the woman broke down in tears. Sure, she had one, a son. A son whom she had loved and cared for all her life, whose every wish she had worked hard to fulfill. Things had gotten difficult after her husband’s death but she never let that stop her from meeting her son’s needs. Now that her son had all grown up and settled with his own family, he had no use of her so he threw her out of her own house. Her dear son was responsible for her misery.
The court was in session today. The culprit was presented before the house. He seemed pale and uneasy. The weight around his belly has been causing him great discomfort. He began to speak,” Sire, please remove this burden from me. This weight causes me much trouble. I can’t sleep, eat or walk properly. Anything I do causes me pain and discomfort. I apologize for whatever I have done wrong. Please, forgive me and remove this from me”. The chief ordered the sentry to lessen the man’s burden. “You carried that weight for one day and you started complaining”, said the wise chief “Your mother carried you in her womb for nine months and with all the discomfort and pain she had to endure, she never complained but gave you unconditional love”. Silence crept over the courthouse. Like arrows the words of the wise chief pierced the man’s heart. “She bore the pain of your birth. She bore the hardships of raising you and providing for you. Yet when came your turn to repay her in kindness and humility, you abandon her. If its forgiveness you seek, then seek it not from me but from her”, saying this, the wise chief pointed at the court’s entrance. There stood the man’s mother. On seeing her, his eyes dropped tears of guilt. With rainy eyes he ran towards her finding her loving embrace.
by The Dan Man