This is a story of faith and belief and the blessings that come out of it. Krishna Priya narrates a true incident of meeting celebrated artist Mr Abninder Singh Grewal and how life lessons from The Gita about karma blessed her
Illustration by Diya Dhiman
The Gita has given the world the most beautiful and universal lessons for life. One of the lessons of The Gita is – ‘Do your karma. Do not seek its fruit.’
How much abundance one finds when one enjoys the karma for the joy that it brings. I have found this over and over again. Here I relate some experiences that proved the same to me yet again.
Mr Abninder Singh Grewal was a celebrated artist who used to make the most beautiful idols and sculptures in fiber glass, poly stone and terracotta. The idols made by him related to Punjabi culture got hugely popular and garnered business for him globally. So did the Buddha idol made by him, which is about ten feet high. The Buddha idol has such amazing serenity and proportions that it has been exported to many nations and is also installed at many places in India.
I visited Mr Grewal’s factory in Mohali for the first time in 2008 in relation to a write-up I had to do on him. I was a correspondent with a national daily at that time.
I saw a beautiful idol of Radha Krishna at the factory. It was about two feet high. I asked Mr. Grewal the price. It was way out of my budget. I looked lovingly at the idol and moved on. As Krishna Wills. I did not ask Mr. Grewal about the idol again, though I would see its replicas at the factory many times.
Mr. Grewal lived with his family at the rear of his factory. He was always doing wonderful things in art and would tell me about it, so I would visit him to write on it. His daughter Mini, who is about my age, is as gifted an artist as him. She would join us during our gup-shup sessions.
After I left my job as a newspaper correspondent, Mr Grewal asked me to a press conference on some new achievement of his. This way I conducted two press conferences for Mr. Grewal.
Three to four years after that, his daughter Mini called me to say that Mr Grewal has cancer. “He always liked the gup-shup sessions with you. I would be grateful if you please come and sit with him for some time. It will perk him up,” she said.
I felt very sad to know that Mr Grewal was suffering. As requested by Mini, a few days after that I visited Mr. Grewal. He and his wife were very happy to see me. Our gup-shup session continued for about two hours.
When I was about to leave, Mr Grewal said to his factory assistant, “Vo Radha Krishna ki idol le aao (Get the Radha Krishna idol).” His assistant brought the same idol for which I had asked him the price about four years ago.
Mr. Grewal gave the idol to me and said, “This is a gift for you from me.” I was overwhelmed with emotion. Suddenly I observed something which astounded and delighted me. I said, “Mr. Grewal, in the idol Radha ji is wearing a sari of a very unusual color – it is deep mauve. It is so amazing that I am wearing a sari of the same color! And I don’t wear this sari often. I have worn it after a few years perhaps. What a beautiful coincidence that I am wearing it today!”
Mr. Grewal too was surprised by the coincidence. His factory would produce replicas of the Radha Krishna idol on demand. The idol was later painted depending on the availability of the colors.
About two months after I visited him, Mr. Grewal passed away. May Krishna always bless his soul.
About six months later, Mini called me. She said that she had created a large thematic sculpture in the memory of her father. She asked me to conduct a press conference on the remarkable sculpture in poly stone. It was a very large work based on a particular theme, and with different life-size statues.
I conducted the press conference and the media coverage was excellent. When I visited Mini to give her the coverage report, she handed me the payment for the press conference. I lovingly refused it. I said, “You made this sculpture in the memory of your father. Let the wonderful coverage of the press conference be my tribute to him.”
Mini insisted, but I did not accept the money.
About a month later, Mini called me and requested me to come to the factory in Mohali. When I went there, Mini gave me a large scroll and said to me, “I am giving away some of the things belonging to my father to the people he was fond of, and who were good to him. My father loved collecting paintings. I found this painting of Krishna in his collection of things. This is a gift for you.”
I was touched by her words. I opened the scroll. It was a very beautiful replica of a very popular Krishna painting, about two feet wide and four feet deep. I was overwhelmed by its beauty and thanked her.
When I came back home and opened the scroll again, I noticed that there was a tag at the back, indicating the price of the painting. The tag said, “70,000”.
Our Beloved Lord Krishna is so full of blessings and abundance always. The fee that I would have taken from Mini for the press conference was a fraction of the price of the painting. And because I did my karma without the expectation of any reward, Krishna blessed me with his own painting, resplendent and beautiful like him.
Diya Dhiman is an adoring dog mom. She loves adding minute details and splashes of colours to her drawings, narrating stories through her art.
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Krishna Priya as the name suggests is a lover of Krishna. She believes that everything that Krishna touches, is magical and it is his grace and blessings which envelopes her in every sphere of life, and as she evolves she shares with us what she can relate to.