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12 Thank You, Uncle

It was a great experience to work as a heritage teacher at the Khalsa School, Vancouver, Canada. One day the children were playing basketball and I was deputed to supervise them. The basketball poles were very near the boundary fence. When a student attempted to throw the ball in the basket, it hit the board, bounced over the fence and went on to the street.

The students wanted to get the ball back but they did not attempt to go over the fence because I was standing and watching them. Going around the fence and through the gate would have taken a lot of time, almost all of the remaining time of the lunch recess. The students were helplessly looking towards the basketball, trying to decide what to do.

Just then a gentleman happened to pass by. After seeing the ball, he looked at the students. The students, though spoke nothing, but through their eager eyes sent a strong request to him. "Please throw the ball over the fence to us." The stranger bent down, picked up the ball and smilingly threw it over the fence to the students. Every student shouted aloud, "Thank you, uncle; thank you, uncle." The gentleman negotiated the corner and the students started playing again.

Supporting myself against the post of the fence, I could not help closing my eyes and thinking of another 'thank you' word, heard some minutes earlier. The students were eating lunch, one boy passed the glass of water to his friend, sitting on the other side of the table. The friend immediately said, 'Thank you' in a routine way.

With my eyes closed, and my mind tuned to the words 'thank you', I listened, "Gurbakhsh Singh! What an ungrateful person you are? Look! The students felt obliged to the stranger when their own ball was returned to them. They responded aloud 'thank you.' Just for pushing the glass of water by his friend, the student voluntarily said 'thank you.' How dare you ignore to feel 'thankful' to Him Who gave you this body and everything in this world to enjoy your life?"

I do not know for how long the above thought continued to occupy my mind. When I opened my eyes the students had gone to their classes. I slowly walked to the building, every cell of my body voluntarily repeating, “Waheguru, thank you.”

I still remember myself drenched in the feelings, "God, Thank you." I enjoyed supreme bliss that was beyond words. As mentioned somewhere else, I was lucky to benefit from the association of Sant Teja Singh. While walking or just sitting, he was often heard saying, "Waheguru tera shukar hai, God! Thank you."

Today I recollect that experience, but have not been able to enjoy that kind of bliss again. It was a rare gift from God.




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