Revisiting the Pykara waterfalls near Ooty with a young niece and her new husband , I remembered clearly a moment of epiphany I had experienced there a few years ago when I was there with another bunch of the family.
We sat on the banks of the wide river and watched it flow by fast and swift over a hundred rocks. The rocks were flat and scattered all over the river. The sun glittered on the water. The rocks looked bare and inviting, just the right space apart to cross the river. Not too easy but fordable. We could get to the other side it looked like. The water didn’t look too deep in case we slipped.
The right adventurous sort of thing for a young man we thought. Teenage hulk Sajit, my nephew, was just sitting with us . Promptly, I began urging him to cross the river. My sister joined in. He wouldn’t budge. I began feeling frustrated. What a wonderful thing to do and why wasn’t he doing it?
And then it struck me, if it was so wonderful why wasn’t I doing it but telling someone else to do it? I took off my shoes and said I was going to cross. My sister joined me. Sometime later my nephew followed us.
And then a whole lot of other people.
This time, there was a board saying that people shouldn’t cross the river; it was too dangerous. I’m glad we did it when we could, in sheer blissful ignorance and happiness.
I wish I could say I don’t urge my children any more to do different things. I do on occasion. But I urge myself more often to try things which seem so desirable for other people. And very often, they do turn out well.