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A beacon of truth and justice: My grandfather, my great Guru

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

In the depths of my childhood memories, there exists a figure who continues to inspire me even to this day.
Mangal Srivastava: A beacon of truth and justice

In the depths of my childhood memories, there exists a figure who continues to inspire me even to this day. With his dhoti kurta, adorned with a warm smile and a distinguished beard, my maternal grandfather left an indelible impression on my young mind. He was not just an ordinary man; he was an intellectual par excellence, yet possessed a simplicity that resonated with everyone he met. As a civil servant, he made the courageous decision to relinquish his job and confront corruption head-on. Despite the immense price he paid for his unwavering honesty and values, he stood firm as a rock against the odds. Though his life was tragically short-lived, he left behind a legacy that continues to inspire countless souls. To me, he was more than a grandfather; he was my great guru. Among the cherished books on his shelf, 'Mother' by Maxim Gorki, stands as a testament to the remarkable personality he possessed. One of his favorite stories was that of a pond and a river, a metaphor he often shared to inspire me to keep moving forward and giving, like a river, rather than accumulating like a stagnant pond.

In the following narrative, I will recount the remarkable story of my grandfather, who shaped my values and taught me invaluable life lessons.

I can still conjure up the image of my grandfather, adorned in his traditional dhoti kurta, his bearded face exuding kindness and wisdom. Even as a child, I recognized the brilliance of his intellect, which he shared with utmost simplicity. He possessed the rare ability to captivate the minds and hearts of those around him. His teachings extended far beyond mere academic knowledge; they instilled in me a profound sense of responsibility toward truth and justice.

His career as a civil servant was not just a means of earning a livelihood; it was a calling to bring about positive change in society. However, he soon realized that the very system he served was tainted by corruption and injustice. Fueled by his unwavering values, he made the bold decision to leave his job and confront corruption head-on. Little did he know of the treacherous path that lay ahead.

The unwavering commitment to truth and justice came at a significant personal cost. As he delved deeper into exposing corruption, he faced threats, intimidation, and attempts to tarnish his reputation. The powerful individuals whose illicit actions he sought to unveil recognized the threat he posed, and they were determined to silence him. However, he remained undeterred, steadfast in his resolve to fight for what was right. His unwavering courage continues to inspire all who knew him.

Though his life was tragically cut short, his impact extended far beyond his time on this earth. His unwavering commitment to truth and justice continues to transform the lives of those he touched. The stories of his courage and integrity continue to be shared, inspiring others to question the status quo and stand up against corruption. His intellectual brilliance and simplicity left an indelible mark on all who were fortunate enough to have known him.

One cherished memory that remains etched in my mind is the sight of the book 'Mother' by Maxim Gorki on my grandfather's shelf. This book was not merely an item of decor; it was a testament to his remarkable personality. 'Mother' embodies the qualities that my grandfather himself possessed - compassion, sacrifice, and unwavering dedication to the well-being of others. He often referred to this book, its pages dog-eared and filled with his handwritten annotations, as he shared profound insights.

One particular story my grandfather frequently shared with me was that of the pond and the river. He would vividly illustrate how a pond, when left stagnant, collects debris and loses its vitality. On the other hand, a river keeps flowing, constantly giving life and nourishment to those it encounters along its course. This metaphor was his way of encouraging me to embrace a life of constant growth, selflessness, and positive impact. His words continue to resonate within me, reminding me to keep moving forward and to be a source of strength and support for others.

My maternal grandfather, my great guru, remains an integral part of who I am today. His unwavering commitment to truth, justice, and simplicity serves as a guiding light, illuminating my path even in the darkest of times. Though he lived a relatively short life, the impact he had on shaping my values and beliefs is immeasurable. Through his teachings and actions, he instilled within me a sense of responsibility and an unwavering dedication to truth and justice. As I journey through life, I strive to carry forward his legacy, keeping his teachings alive and inspiring others to stand for what is right. In the metaphor of the pond and the river, I find a powerful reminder to continue flowing and giving, creating positive change in the world around me. My grandfather, the great guru, lives on in my heart, forever guiding my footsteps along the path of truth, justice, and unwavering integrity.


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