Monday, March 26, 2012


One of the stories from childhood was of a musk deer which became aware of a sweet scent... seized by a passion to find out the source of the fragrance, it searched far and wide, but in vain... eventually when it lay dying, it realised that the scent it sought came from its own navel...

Unlike the musk deer who, by instinct shares its scent; we humans tend to switch off our fragrance, when we want it. Fragrance oft gets replaced by a repulsive, or at best, an odour of indifference. For us, sharing is conditional or affected by our mood. Oscar Wilde said it so well, ‘some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go’.

The story came to mind on hearing of the untimely death of two exceptional teachers - Matanhy Saldanha and Kasturi Desai - who unconditionally shared their fragrance of learning as well as their passion for the cause of environment. Matanhy rose up to lead path breaking peoples’ movements and become a beacon of hope for fishermen and other activists across the nation; Kasturi latter mixed her Bengali fragarence with the Konkani flavour and won a Sahitya Academy award for translating Mahashweta Devi’s novel.

Indeed, both possessed infectious sincerity and simplicity, a must to develop the attitude of sharing. It is great to have a fragrance worth sharing. But, surely it would be better to share it than merely possess it. Unlike the musk deer, we can make the choice: of discovering our scent and of sharing it, unreservedly... like Matanhy and Kasturi!

Matanhy and Kasturi have shown us the worthy way...
Let’s BE BETTER at sharing our fragrance, every day!

- Pravin K. Sabnis

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