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His selfless act

MALATHI RAO Nov 10 2017, 9:53 IST

His name was Yudhishter. Did his parents know his destiny when they named him? No parents do. Parents give their children heroic names and hope they will live up to it. Well, this Yudhishter lived up to his name.

He was a professor at a University. He taught poetry and introduced young minds to high thinking. His students respected him for his knowledge.

After the summer holidays when college reopened, the news of his death spread across the campus. An extraordinary, blessed death indeed, everyone said.

Professor Yudhishter who had gone on a trip to Kailas Mansarovar along with a group had met with a tragic end. Three pilgrims had died on the trip. The weather condition had suddenly turned treacherous as it happens many times on high altitudes.

Blinding snowstorms swept across the mountainside as the pilgrims sought to fight their way to safety. Yudhishter had escaped the onslaught and was secure and safe. But as he looked back, he saw a fellow pilgrim, a woman, struggling against nature's fury. Yudhishter stood at the crossroads faced with a dilemma. Should he go back and risk his own life or go forward and save himself. His decision prompted him to go back to reach out to his fellow pilgrim. At that very moment, a monumental blizzard swept towards them and Yudhishter with the woman saw there was no escape. There was silence everywhere as the monster took them away into the unknown.

Some said the professor should have saved himself. He knew it was sure death if he went back. Why did he do it? However, opinion was divided. The campus mourned his death. I wrote a poem bleeding with emotion.

Yes, Yudhishter could have saved himself. But like his namesake, he had the Dharmic streak in him which made him value the life of another higher than his own. Remember the mongrel dog at the gates of Heaven? The Professor's selfless act came to be known as exemplary and worthy of the hero after whom he was named.

There must be any number of heroes whose acts of selflessness go unsung and unknown. Let us at least be aware of such souls and try to remember them if not emulate them.

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