DEFINING POVERTY TO MY DAUGHTER
My elder daughter interrupted our (Monica and I) conversation while I was at the wheels and Monica seated next to me. We were returning from Panipat after visiting Mausoleum of Hazrat Bou Ali Shah Kalandar, we also call him as “Panipat Sarkar”.
She asked, “Who is Khwaja Gharib Nawaz that you are talking about?”. Monica gave a straight forward reply, “One who is God/King of Poors.” She then referred Khawaja as Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti. “Oh! so you are poor and hence want to visit him”, she remarked.
Khwaja Gharib Nawaz was favorite of his guru. His guru once promised to share a special prayer/fruit/blessing only with him. Khwaja was asked to wait for his guru outside the village at Sunrise time. He was told to come alone and not inform about this to anyone since his guru wanted to share this only with him.
Next day, as told by his guru, Khwaja Gharibb Nawaz was waiting at the designated place for his guru to emerge from his morning prayers. When guru emerged he was surprised to see a big crowd waiting for him. Amongst them, he saw Khawaja Gharib Nawaz as well. Surprised at this, guru asked Khawaja why did he inform everybody when he had asked him to come alone. Khwaja Gharib Nawaz said that he wanted all to be blessed like him so that they are free of worldly pain and grief. Khwaja's guru conferred on the him the special powers and also the title of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz- one of who is capable of blessing the poor, the god of poor.
I had narrated this story as heard from one of my acquaintance when I was in Indore, some 15 years back. I never felt the need to get the facts right about this story believing that when it comes to believing god, try not being logical- my uncle says “Bhakti vishwas ki baat hain, tarq karne ki nahin”.
We went on to explain our elder daughter (younger one was yet to comprehend what we were discussing) that poverty is not to be understood only in economic sense, by level of income earned or wealth accumulated. An orphan is poor since he has no parents, a childless couple is poor since they have no kids and blind has no sight to see the world. Each one of them is poor in some way or the other.
We explained to her that she was infact rich since she had been gifted with a health mind and body, caring parents and got to possess whatever she desired till date.
It is so very important for our kids to understand things/phenomenon beyond the worldly possessions.