Dumped School Bag ! Read the story to find why. Photo Credit: Srishta Hazra

Everyone has heard the old adage, “Do to others what you want them to do to you.” Phalgun Polepalli discovers the meaning of the Golden Rule, yet again, when he overhears a conversation at a local eatery.

I know that I’m getting very very attached to my son. If I hear his voice while I’m working in the studio, my legs just want to stand up and start running towards him. Is it me or are all new fathers like this?
The other day, I wanted to eat some Masala Dosa, so I stepped out of my studio and went to the nearest Darshini (Fast Food chain). While I was enjoying my piping hot Masala Dosa, dipping it in hot sambar and coconut chutney, I was overhearing a serious conversation between two ladies (rather loud) talking about their families. They were talking in Kannada, the local language, I could understand everything, and so did all the 100 people there at Darshini.
During their very detailed discussion, which included funny anecdotes about their grand children, some proud accomplishments of their children, some surgeries that they had to get done and a lot of gossip; it came to a point when they suddenly started cribbing about how their children who live abroad don’t send a penny to them while their friend’s children send truck loads of money. Also, that they talk to them only once in two weeks or sometimes once in a month. And when their children ask them to visit them for a few months, it was obvious that their role was more of a house-maid and hardly had the chance to be a tourist.   
And then it went onto another level, where they were cribbing about how their grand children don’t even acknowledge their presence. A couple of things that they mentioned really wanted me to leave my yummy Dosa and go talk to them, share some of my opinions. One of them was when they mentioned that their grand children don’t come to them on their own and say ‘Hi’. And second thing that angered me was that they were cribbing about things like their grand children asking them to make food for them or how they would ask them to carry their school bags, or clean their stuff, keep their plates in the sink or something like serve them some drinking water.
I first felt it was very strange. Then I put myself in their shoes. First started asking myself, would I do these things for my son? Well, I would do it even without him asking me. I guess people would call that pampering, but if I don’t pamper him, then who would? 🙂
Then I started to think. My grand mother is staying with us right now since she is well, has a temporary spondylitis in her right shoulder. She is my father’s mother and is more than 90 years old. Even at this age she is very very beautiful and extremely healthy. I like her very much. Why? Well, she has pampered me rotten when I was a kid. As soon as I would come back from school, I would throw my bags and shoes in the verandah (lobby) and switch on the television to watch this super awesome animated series. And then my grand mother would bring some yummy Upma mixed with some spicy-sweet garnish (powder) and that too a generous serving of that. Since I would’ve just cycled back from school, I would eat that food as if I had been starving the entire day. The interesting thing is, she’s deaf, rather she’s been deaf since I can remember. So our conversations would be more like a dumb-charades competition. Today, she asked me to sit next to her and she told me this story about how my father found a piece of gold on the road while he was walking in his village, when I was born and how she asked him to get that melted and made into an ornament for baby-me. Well, I know I’ve already mentioned this to you, but I really like my grand parents. 
Another amazing example is my mom. She is one women I love as much as or probably more than my wife. 🙂
You can see the love that she gets from my niece, her first grand child. Sometimes I even get jealous of the way she treats my niece. 🙂
I would give up anything to take care of them! 
Now, the question is what is it that was missing there, why was there a disconnect between those stranger-aunties and their children/grand-children.
I kept running this puzzle in my head for a few days and I think I finally found the answer.
Until we give, show, express our love how is it possible to expect that same amount of love in return?
Yup, its that simple. The oldest logic applied here. “You treat others, the way you want to be treated”. This logic was good for all permutation combinations I did on my family and extended family.
I wish I could share this logic with those strangers, but at least now I know the secret to an awesome relationship with my son and my future grand children! 
I know that there are million other influences but I think this is that single most important thing for a good two-directional loving relationship.

This story has been contributed by Phalgun Polepalli. Phalgun is the Founder and Creative Director for CuspConcepts. His stories are through his lens. His pictures make everyone go weak in their knees and want to take a plunge, make a walk down the aisle. He is also a doting father and has been actively blogging (quite secretly) about his views on parenting.

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