Saturday, December 16, 2017

What is "Important"?

The little girl was standing near the front door of her house for quite sometime. Her mother found this somewhat intriguing. Only two-years old, she was a chatterbox and would be continuously asking questions on all and sundry things around her. When not asking questions, she would be explaining things in her own way. But today it was different. She had fallen silent and standing at the door. The mother thought some enquiry would be in order.

"What are you looking for?" 
"It is time for dad to come home"
"Your dad knows the house. He will come. You need not wait there"
"I know that. I am waiting for him and something else"

The mother was not aware of the discussion that took place between the dad and his daughter that morning. 

"Dad, do you return from the office by the same road every day?"
"No. There are three or four different routes from my office. I take one of them."
"Are there any shops on the way in any of the routes?"
"Of course there are. There are many shops on the way."
"Do any of those shops sell chocolates?"
"Yes, some of them do."
"Can you bring some chocolates if you find a shop on the way, today evening?"
"Yes, I will."
"You do not go in search of a shop. If you find a shop on the way and they sell chocolates, you can bring some."

It was this "something" that dad was likely to bring that had excited her and made her wait near the door expectantly.

Dad arrived a little late than usual. The girl waited for sometime. There was no sign of chocolates. "Were there no shops on the way today?", she asked mildly. Dad remembered about the chocolates only then. "Sorry dear, I was busy in the review meeting with the General Manager today. I will get it tomorrow", he said. The child hid her disappointment admirably and kept quiet.

She waited on the next evening as well. Dad came late and was visibly tired. No sign of chocolates. "Were there no shops on the way today as well?", she asked after sometime. Dad remembered the chocolates only then. "Sorry dear, today I was busy with preparation for Executive Director's visit. I will remember tomorrow", he said. The little one did not understand General Manager's review or preparation for Executive Director's visit. She did not get her chocolates. That was important for her, but dad had other important things.

Dad was now aware that what was small for him was important to the little one. He picked the chocolates and put in his briefcase on the onward commute to the office next morning. He did not wait for the return journey. The little one will today surely get what was important for her! 

Lakshmi finished all her normal duties on the festival day. Working as a domestic help, she had to finish work in the regular houses before returning to her own house and start preparation for festival that day. She finished additional work assigned to her as well as it was an important festival day.

"Everything is done. Can I go now?", she asked.

The lady of the house was preoccupied with the visit of her sister and brother-in-law on the festival day. They were living in a far away country and were coming here after twenty years. She was in her own world when Lakshmi asked the above question. She looked up at Lakshmi and wondered why she was asking this question. "I am finished and leaving. Please lock the door", were her usual words. Today she sounded differently.

"Yes, you can go. Do not forget to come early tomorrow", said the lady of the house. She felt that Lakshmi appeared disappointed when she left. The excitement of arrival of her sister flooded in and cut off any more thoughts about Lakshmi.

Lakshmi asked the same question on the next day. Lady of the house thought for a moment. She realised that she had forgotten to bring the new saree for her for the festival. The practice of several years was broken this year due to her preoccupation with sister's visit. Sister's visit was important to her, but the annual new saree was important for Lakshmi. That was something she looked forward eagerly as the festival approached.

Lady of the house realised this now. Lakshmi got her new saree on the next day. 


We all have many important things to do every day. We are preoccupied with those important things. In the bargain, we forget what is important for someone else around us, but delayed and denied by us due to something more important to us!

Now, what is "Important"?  Both. Aren't they?


  1. So true....I ignore such small little 'inexpensive' things easily. And it happens so naturally. I need to keep my mind open to such small, important and beautiful things. After all, these little things sum up to contribute to some sweetest memories in life.... Thanks doddappa for talking about this..

  2. This is true with my daughter as well. my daughter everyday asks me did you bring chocolates or lollipop.

  3. very meaningful sir. Many times we do not think about others and their needs. A good reminder to all of us who are so preoccupied with our own things.

  4. Very true. Others’ ‘needs’ may be construed by us as ‘expectations’, and their reminders as irritants, so long as we’re not empathetic.

  5. Lovely, touching stories. Thanks for sharing.

  6. So very true . We always forget small things that are important .

  7. Yes it is quite natural. But we must have some space in our mind to remember what is important for others also.

  8. nice reminder to all of us. LN K

  9. Interesting article

  10. How very true! We never think of others when we are immersed in our own worries !

  11. What may be a small point for that may be big deal for another. I had too experienced this.

  12. Sir,yet again you drive your point home with another wonderful masterpiece.
    Looking forward to many more.

  13. Nice lesson learnt today.Thank you Sir

  14. I am sure most of us have experienced this. The practical truth and the moral lesson of caring for the feelings of others has been well brought out through simple stories. Thanks Keshavji.

  15. I'm more than happy to discover this website. I need to
    to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!!
    I definitely appreciated every bit of it and i
    also have you book marked to see new stuff in your blog.

  16. Yes,Everything has its own importance...😊😊😊

  17. Great sir... but very difficult in practice