The Twilight Warrior

My mother was not very devout. She displayed exceptional qualities most mothers are  known for — sacrifice, compassion and love. And she told me this story once saying help is always at hand if your intentions are sincere. I hope this brings a glimmer of happiness to all those who read on.

Many, many years ago, mom, dad and my baby brother made a plan to visit Palani — the abode of Lord Murugan or Kartikeya, widely venerated as the youthful warrior God, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is known for his matchless valour and spiritual blessings.

My parents lived in a remote coffee plantation where dad was employed and led a simple frugal life. Surrounded by the beauty of nature and bounty of fresh produce, they were content and mostly happy.

The day of the planned trip came soon. With two bags and a baby they started walking towards the nearest bus station which was 2.5kms away. The overnight bus would take them to the hills of Palani next morning. The evening was pleasant as usual but the hilly terrain soon tired my mother. She was anxious to match pace with dad, protect the baby, and also make sure they got onto the only bus that evening. Soon, twilight made way for darkness and a growing anxiety could only make things worse.

Halfway through, mom was in despair — though they knew they had to walk, well in advance, and were prepared, things seemed to get out of hand suddenly with a wailing baby and the darkness that was creeping in with every step. In desperation, she could only send out a silent request to Lord Murugan to help them reach the bus station on time.

On the desolate country path, there appeared a youthful boy, smiling. He offered to carry both the bags and lead them to the bus stop. Careless and free, he took both the bags easily and lead them. Dad took this as a welcome help, nothing more and walked on saying we might miss the bus. The boy said that cannot happen. Mom felt all her weariness disappear and she could walk on, and within no time, they reached the bus stop. It was as if everything happened in minutes. She could not get any info from the boy as as soon as they saw the bus, they boarded it. And that was it.

To this day, mom is grateful for the timely help she received.  And I’m always happy to hear this story.  Lord Skanda is often referred to as the “way that leads to wisdom”. Throughout our many paths, may we find many more of these.

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