I had the opportunity to sit about 50 feet away from Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, the twenty fifth Maharaja of Mysore in Karnataka India when I was young; he later became the Governor of the then Madras Province along with several other titles.
This incident took place when my parents took me for the famous Dasara festivities which take place every year in Mysore in the state of Karnataka India. It was a very sunny day, so the Police announced that all the children could sit near the Maharaja. My parents gently nudged me towards the area, there were about 200 children in all. We were seated on the floor in the front row, however I found this uncomfortable since 3 hours had gone by and I started missing my parents. I started crying and finally my parents came to my rescue, I was nine years old then. I must mention that I was in awe of the march past, there were nearly 1000 horses.
I was lucky enough to meet Prince Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, the successor of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar too.
I had an hour of meeting with him, as he wanted to start an airline in Mysore, in the year 1995. I had breakfast with him and felt very proud that I had the opportunity to do so. The same evening, I started for Bangalore and arrived at half past midnight.
I was very hungry...I found a dosa vendor on the street, I ate two dosas and washed my hands, just then I noticed my fellow eaters. They were roadside beggars who managed to eat some food out of their collection for the day. At that instant, I felt that God wanted to show me that in his eyes everyone are the same and humility is a trait that one should adopt in all walks of their life.
No man on this planet earth will ever be fated to eat breakfast with a King and dinner with beggars all in a of the 24 hours day. I felt as if I was the chosen one; why? I really don’t know but at that very moment there was a calm feeling that dawn onto me and all I could think about was “I feel grateful for everything”.
Similarly so goes the story of the mighty Mughal Emperor, the great Shah Jahan always used to pray In public which included his subjects who were both rich and poor. One day he noticed that in the middle of prayers, a beggar walked away. The emperor called upon his soldiers to detain him, and later interrogated him.
However, his reply stunned the King, “ We have come to pray asking god to forgive our sins and to give thanks to for his benevolence. I am just a beggar, who thanked him for today’s prayer and for the privilege that all of us will have lunch with the Emperor. Allah has given you the richest country to rule whose vast geography, you yourself will not know. Still unsatisfied you are praying and begging God to give the whole of Hindustan (the southern Indian province, all 4 states were unconquerable, may be because of the logistical problem of distance).
I thought that I was going to eat with an emperor...but you are an even greater beggar than me insulting Allah. Hence, I felt disgusted to pray with you”.
The noble monarch never took offence of his statements; instead he asked for the beggar’s forgiveness and promised never to beg God again. The beggar in his part refused to stay back in the palace and walked away..........!
What are you grateful for today?