Who do you hang out with?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Who do you hang out with?

It was a warm summer afternoon. The chair was rocking. The wind breezing. But Grandpa was lost in a long train of thoughts. Pillu, his grandson had been acting disconnected off-late.

It was a time not very long ago, when Pillu would spend hours with his friends playing and learning!

He loved sitting with Grandpa listening to stories at length. Pillu was a curious and a restless learner. In fact, he had a keen eye and made subtle observations. Pillu left no table unturned in getting to the root of any topic that caught his eye! Such a jolly kindled mind.

Ever since Pillu changed his school, his attitude towards life seemed to change. His innocent learning spirit was gradually extinguishing. He no longer showed interest in conversations. Instead he preferred ‘hanging out’ with his set of new friends. Grandpa suspected foul play in this new gang of friends. They seemed to be distracting Pillu away and luring him into the undesirable territory!

Grandpa wasn’t against Pillu evolving and meeting new people. However, he wanted Pillu to understand life for what it is and make a wise choice of his own.

One morning, Grandpa invited Pillu to join him for a walk. Pillu was reluctant. Nevertheless, he joined. They enjoyed the walk to the nearby ground in the misty morning. Along the path were many sheep and cattle that were enjoying the morning rays of sun. Pillu was running along playing with the lambs on either side of the path. As they approached the ground, the grass around got thicker and thicker. And this is when Pillu noticed the dew drops! He was very intrigued. He knelt down with his hips to the sky and started examining the dew drops.

Grandpa too joined him in this endeavor. “Look how beautiful the droplets are Pillu. Kissed by the rays of the morning sun, these look like tiny drops of gold. Don’t they?” he exclaimed. Pillu also shared his excitement. “Yes Grandpa! They look like tiny drops of gold!” he cheered.

Soon they continued their walk and eventually got back home right in time for breakfast. It was dosa day at home. Yet another exciting event for Pillu as he loved watching his mother make dosas. Every time his mother sprinkled water on the hot pan, Pillu jumped in joy to watch the water bubble and evaporate without a trace! “Where did the water go” he’d ask his mom prompting her to sprinkle water again!

Pillu grabbed his breakfast plate and sat next to Grandpa to devour the hot dosas.

“Pillu, did you notice something interesting today? The tiny drops of water that came in contact with the hot dosa pan evaporated without a trace. However, drops of water that were formed on the tip of the dew-kissed grass looked like tiny drops of gold.”

“A drop of water looks like a pearl when it sits atop a lotus leaf. A similar drop of water that falls from the cloud, becomes the source of life to several organisms.”

“Many drops of water form an ocean. And many drops of water flowing together forms a mighty waterfall!”

It is the same drop of water that changes its identity depending on the company it keeps Pillu. To put it in your terms – It depends on who the droplet ‘hangs out with!’

So saying the wise Grandpa winked mischievously.

This thought struck a chord with Pillu. He paused gobbling his favorite dosa and looked at his Grandpa with admiration. A sparkle in his eyes and a wide smile on his face.

Inspired by Neetisatakam of Bhartrhari. (Verse 67)

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