In my childhood, I was very fortunate to have my grandparents around me. My grandfather shared many stories and used to talk about life lessons quite a lot. As a child, I probably did not understand everything but when asked he used to tell me that when I grew up all those life lessons would be easier to understand and even feel. Here are some of those:

যার যেমন ভাব, তার তেমন লাভ
As one thinks, so is the gain

This is an interesting phrase. I can understand if I do something good, I get good and doing something wrong gets you wrong. But just by thinking how can I gain or lose anything? When I grew up and dealt with my everyday life, I realized and even experienced that my thoughts make me what I am at any moment; they make me feel angry, dull or calm; and make me react to a situation which is not in favour of myself or my wishes. I learnt that my positive thoughts can really do wonders for me and for the people around me. So, my thinking of myself and the people around me has an effect on my environment.

যেমন দিবি, তেমনি পাবি
As you give, so shall you receive

I used to think if I give I am losing it. How am I supposed to gain out of giving? Little did I know my wise grandfather was talking about the feeling of joy of giving. Selflessness in giving is what he meant. Expect nothing when you help someone, share your toys, maybe the sandwich your mother made for you just when you see someone might need that. Expect nothing in return and be happy to feel that you could help someone. The good will come back to you soon and before you know it. The phrase conveys the idea of reciprocity. It suggests that the treatment or actions you extend to others will eventually be reciprocated or returned to you in a similar manner. If you are generous, kind, or helpful to others, you are likely to receive the same treatment or kindness in return. If you give positive energy, kindness, or assistance, you are likely to attract the same back into your life. Conversely, negative actions may lead to negative consequences. Overall, the phrase encourages positive behaviour and highlights the idea that the way you treat others will influence how they treat you in return. It’s a reminder to cultivate goodness and kindness in interactions with others, as it is likely to result in a positive and fulfilling life.

পরিশ্রম সৌভাগ্যের প্রস্তুতি
Hard work is the birth of good fortune

This phrase signifies the belief that putting in effort and hard work leads to the creation or birth of good luck and prosperity. Diligent and persistent efforts always bring success; success brings happiness and happiness motivates you to do more hard work. But that does not mean one has to wear down fully to achieve success, and some can even argue about the definition of success. I believe if one feels happy and satisfied with the efforts to get things done - chances are that good fortune will follow.

আপনি আর্থ যেদিন বুঝবেন, জীবন ব্যর্থ হবে না
When you understand your worth, life will not be in vain

This phrase used to be confusing to me. I used to know that my worth has to be determined by someone else. I buy a thing from a shopkeeper and the shopkeeper sets the price for that. Similarly, my worth must also be determined by others. Gradually I came to know it is not at all the case. If I value myself, I am valued by others. And this is not about how much salary I get, it is about my knowledge, confidence, can-do attitude, and the “sisu” I carry with me. Don’t get disheartened by the criticism, social media \ peer pressure and show-offs around you, live life king-size because you only know your worth and maybe also your own people. And finally,

যেমন কর্ম, তেমন ফল
As you sow, so shall you reap

This phrase is explained in many ways. Technically proverb that encapsulates the principle of cause and effect, is often associated with the concept of karma. The actions we take and the choices we make have a direct impact on the outcomes we experience in our lives. Positive actions tend to lead to positive outcomes, and negative actions may result in negative consequences. It encourages mindful and responsible behaviour, urging us to choose wisely and act in ways that align with the kind of life we wish to lead.

Main takeaway

There are many more such phrases or proverbs that give some sort of life lessons. It is not always easy to follow and remember those, but in most cases, these are experiences shared with us by our wiser parents and grandparents. The way of life is not that difficult unless we make it difficult, one just needs to remember it every day.

My advice to the kids reading this is that create your own set of phrases that suits you the most and try to follow them throughout. And even if you do not understand those fully, it will come to you like a flash of light soon. And for adults who already know all of these very well, may not always remember. So, take a deep breath, remember the phrases/proverbs you are brought up with, and re-assert those in your lives.

Wish you all a very happy Durga Puja!