What do a Concrete Mixer and a Combine Harvester have in common?
They both are machines that we read about in Yogs book on machines. This book is undoubtedly Yogs favorite book and he keeps turning the pages and pointing at the pictures requesting me to pronounce the machine names. As I speak the name of the machine loudly and clearly, the dull dark machine take a life of their own; “CONCRETE MIXER”, “TRACTOR”, “COMBINE HARVESTER”, and so on. Though we read about a lot of machines, Yog has not been able to see most of them in real life as they are hardly found on the busy city roads.
A few months back, I was travelling through the hot dusty farm roads of a small village near our city. We had traveled there for a wedding. The heat and travel had taken a toll on me and I was almost asleep as we crossed a yellow stretch of farm land. A giant machine was busy harvesting and packaging grains from the farm. I didn’t pay much attention to it as our car zoomed by. It was only after we were 50 meters away from the machine that my mind jolted into sudden realization. I sat up immediately and craned my head to see the machine clearly, one last time. Yes! I was right! It was a COMBINE HARVESTER!!! Wow!! I had seen a COMBINE HARVESTER! How I wish Yog was there with me right now! What a big machine it was! I will definitely have to tell Yog about this when I get back home! I was so excited to witness this machine for the first time in my life that I was surprised at myself. What was wrong with me!?!
Few weeks ago, one of the old neighborhood houses was completely dismantled and set up for a brand new construction. Each morning as we walked down the road, we greeted new set of machines working on the construction site. Cranes, Trucks, Bore Drills, and finally CONCRETE MIXER all have been active on the site. While most of the neighborhood complains of the dust and the noise generated by these machines, it is a site of pure bliss for Yog and me. Yog walks around these machines, admiring their size, built and textures. He runs his hands on the bulky tires and the cracked mud. While Yog soaks in these machine, I, for most part, soak in the joy, excitement, and wonder evident on Yogs face. His ears strain to hear more. His eyes try and see all the way to the top of the machine. His hands feel the rough, hard edges. And my eyes just follow him everywhere. When he looks at the big bucket of the Digger, I try and see what he is seeing. When he picks up another stone to rub it in his palms, I pick a similar stone too. We both listen attentively to the whirring of the engines as the machines slowly do their jobs.
Life is full of wonder and joy, if you can see it from the eyes of a two year old. The things that we don’t even see as we navigate our busy lives, hold so much beauty in them if we can just pause to observe them more closely. Yog has all the time in the world to observe and learn from the world around him. I am glad that on the pretext of watching over him, I too manage to see this beauty of life in the ants, flowers, concrete mixers and combine harvesters alike. I pray that as he grows older and starts to take more and more things for granted, he can still somewhere hold on to this power of deriving happiness from the simplest of things in life.