In those little hands, the philosophy of life

Children are our little educators. They mirror us. They laugh when we smile, cry when we are sad, say the truth when we lie. And there is no escape from this mirror. There is another mirror called nature that tutors us in its own way and I am an eager student of both.

In those little hands, the philosophy of life, by Subhashini Chandramani

My garden is my classroom.
Did I tell you that we
follow strict rules here!
We bring no books~
Follow no timetables~
break all routines and yes,~
The sun is our class teacher.

Here, spotted doves come in and leave when they want to. Fledglings learn to fly. Koels and Barbets tweet their songs in delight. And then there are a pair of talkative pirnia, whiskered Bulbuls and swift Sunbirds. Swarms of buzzing colorful bees and butterflies and endless possibilities. It is not that they are always happy. There are fallen nests, lost eggs, chasing Shikras, one legged birds and praying mantis eating beautiful butterflies. This classroom has answers to the questions of life basking in the sun and lazing around.

The garden nurtured a mother cat and her kitten sometime back. The kitten lived with us for a year and in that one year she lived a full life. She crossed into adulthood, befriended tomcats and became a mother. A fierce mother at it, protective of her little one, whom we called fruity. Fruity died in three months for unknown reasons. For the first time we saw a cat desolate, miserable and mourning her loss. The last time we saw her was on a rainy day in June. She may have passed on, but the hope that she is alive somewhere makes us happy. The lessons we learnt from the young cat is immeasurable.

Before the cats came along, we had two dogs. The first one was a stray breed. He was majestic, sharp and was aptly called Sheru, the lion. Of all things, he knew how to play with my two year old son. My son would gather pebbles and drop one by one near him, calling each one a biscuit, cake, rice, chocolate etc. Sheru would religiously sniff each pebble, lick it and look at him. My son would say, good boy and drop another pebble. The game would go on till I got bored.

Why these stories you may ask. Because it was one of those days when I was seriously examining my life and asked the great question, “What is the purpose of this life?”

You see, none of these afore-mentioned birds, butterflies, bees, cats or dogs sat like me and pondered about the purpose of life. They seemed content with what they have and don’t have. They were happy doing things they wanted to do. They were learning their lessons along the way and did not record it for future references.

I strolled, paused, stared and wondered until I saw the next house kid play with a Rubik’s cube in his front yard. He was not bothered about the world around him. He was exploring possibilities in his toy. His face reflected contentment. He enjoyed his game.

Colorful Unsolved Cube

At that moment it dawned on me that it is because we seek the fruits of our actions we are not content with our toy called life. We contemplate its purpose, seek deep meanings and feel defeated.

In the little hands of the toddler was the philosophy of life. Turning, trying to gather its colors together. A wise lesson was learnt that day.

Though I am colorful~ my life is a puzzle~ an unsolved cube quipped.

Subhashini Chandramani is mother of a teenager. She is a homemaker and poetical story teller who writes under the pen name, neelavanam which means the blue sky. You can follow her thoughts at and @Neelavanam on Twitter. 

  • Yes, life is a puzzle. You don’t know what is in store for you for the very next minute. But to enjoy and cherish each and every single minute, be content with what you have is probably and should be the philosophy of life. Well written. 🙂

  • Beautifully said – yes, we humans have so much to learn from beings around us 🙂

    • Thank you, Nidhi.

      • priya shyam

        hi Subhashini , this is ur classmate at MCC. i am not on twitter or linkdn. so trying to get in touch with u this way. hope u remember me:)
        very beautifully written abt life- s, v expect result from every action , which leads to disappointment at times.

        • Dear Priya,
          Hey, a surprise this is. A big and good one…. It would be nice to connect after a long time. Are you on fb? Would love to know how you look now:-) My email is Let us connect . And thank you:-)

  • This is beautiful and insightful, Subha. It’s amazing how we start like animals, content in our immediate needs and interests. Then we ask more complicated questions but continue to hold the child within us. We forget the inner child is there sometimes!

    • Kat, Well put. I think children help in shedding “me and myself” and help us look beyond ourselves. That is the first step in growing up as parents, I believe.

  • Saigiri

    Awesome, loved it!!

  • Aha.. Poetess is here too.. I am glad to read the word magician. Looking forward for more.

  • lovely post !

  • Alpana Deo

    Awesome write up. Kids teach us so many things and the most important and valuable lesson is how to find joy and beauty in even simple things which we tend to forget as we grow old.

    Enjoyed reading it.!!