Sunday, March 18, 2018


In life, we learn to appreciate some things only late in life. One of them, in my case, is: experience of a camp.

Which camp am I talking about?

Well, my earliest memories of going for a camp come from the NCC camps I used to attend. I had joined Air-wing of the NCC when I was in High School (ninth and tenth standard). I was also in NCC when I was in Junior college and first-year degree college. We used to go for week-long camps, both inside our state (Karnataka) as well as outside. But, as my self-confidence level was extremely low during those days, I did not comprehend the true objective of such camps… Imagine, scores of teenage boys, from different states, assembling at some remote place… where they were taught to be self-reliant and learn some survival skills, such as erecting tents and digging open ditches for toilets… learning to rise much before the sun rose… running for miles… learning to be disciplined, humble… learning to respect authorities, swallow your ego… apart from learning shooting and gliding skills… The mode of transport, always, used to be those sturdy NCC trucks… The shoes and belts had to be shining… Uniform crisp… Cap worn right…

But, honestly, when I look back, I feel really bad, that I did not realize this true essence and purpose of our camps. The reason, as I already told you, was my low self-esteem… I just went and came like a herd. Probably, the camp-fire nights appealed to me as they were filled with fun… But, even those camp-fires had a meaning and purpose. I missed out, that, too!

I have just returned after attending our two-day Tai Chi camp at Lonavala. Mr. Rakesh Menon, our Tai Chi teacher, has been conducting these camps for years. This was my fourth camp in a row, at the same camp-site. But, unlike my experience at the NCC-camps, about forty-five years ago, my experience at the Tai Chi camps, here, has been completely different: I have worked on my self-esteem… I am aware of what is happening in my life… I am aware of why a camp is held - its essence and purpose. Well, here, we did not raise tents and dig ditches for our toilets… we did not run for miles before sunrise, or learn shooting and gliding… We did not go there and come back by sturdy Shaktiman trucks… We pooled our air-conditioned cars!

But, none of these things really matter till we are ‘awake’ and ‘alive’! So many ‘little’ things happen around us, as we are busy doing our ‘camp things’… To me, those things make our camp experience complete. For example…

Early, when we assembled, around 6.30, to leave for Lonavala, I saw what Nabeela, one of my fellow-participants, had carried in her car-dickey: a couple of brand-new cricket bats and balls, a couple of footballs and many boxes of varieties of chocolates and cakes. It did not take me too long to understand why Nabeela was carrying them along…

Some twenty-minute distance from our camp-site, there is an orphanage for small boys. These boys curiously watch us doing our Tai Chi exercises as we watch them play, bare-foot, football, and, sometimes, cricket in the orphanage ground. After we check into our rooms and finish our breakfast, Rakesh Sir, always, makes us walk to this orphanage compound to do our very first set of Tai Chi activities… We spend the first half of day-1, always, at the orphanage compound… It has been a tradition…

So, Nabeela had seen these little boys like the rest of us had. But, just as a quiet commitment Rakesh Sir had made, years ago, to this less-privileged lot, Nabeela, too, had quietly made her own, last morning!

Most of us were happy to meet a new participant, who was very inspiring and enthusiastic. His name was Yezdi, a Parsi. He surprisingly looked fit, agile and vibrant… with his lean frame, weighing around 43 kilos, for his age 55… His ballet-like movements baffled us. He had been learning Tai Chi from Rakesh Sir for years at another centre. Yezdi, we learnt, was deeply into Karate, with three black-belts already tucked around him. We were inspired not because of his three black-belts. But, because of his never-say-die spirit. We learnt, that, some ten years ago, he was diagnoses with a life-threatening disease… which made him spend six months in hospital of which three months in ICU. He was almost declared dead, twice. But, this champ was not going to give up… His food-pipe has been removed, which means he has to be extremely careful about his intake. But, for two days, he did Tai Chi like a ballet dancer… leaving us baffled and amazed!

Post dinner, late last night, Rakesh Sir made us sit in a circle… like we did in a camp-fire. We all spoke about our camp experiences. I spoke about a casual comment I had made before Sir, just an hour earlier… A few of us were the first ones to reach the dinner area, last night. Rakesh Sir was already there. While we all took our plates and served ourselves at the buffet counter, Rakesh Sir waited for all others to come. When all completed, Rakesh Sir took his plate and helped himself. After the dinner, I whispered into his ears, “Sir, you remind me of my mom… and Simon Sinek’s book – ‘Why Leaders Eat Last’. Yes, I spoke about this at our post-dinner session, late last night.

The key to our self-development – be it physical, mental or spiritual – always lies in our wakefulness and watchfulness. That’s why they say, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears’…

True. In life, our learning is, always, about our readiness… All kinds of leaning camps, included!


Pic.: Amit/Chetna Shetty

Friday, March 16, 2018


Tomorrow, early in the morning, I will be leaving for our annual, 2-day Tai Chi camp in Lonavala. This will be my third camp in a row. During the earlier two camps, I had published two of my books. First one was ‘Flowing With The Wheel’. The second one was ‘The Dragon Tail’. This year, I have no plans to publish any book…

Patterns and compulsions, in life, are, always, counter-productive. They drain our energy and make us deviate from our authentic, joyful living. Yes, a couple f times, I did contemplate on working on a new book to be published during this year’s camp. But, I wasn’t feeling strong about it… The call did not seem genuine… Yes, I did not feel, that I was flowing with the wheel!

So, here I am… On the eve of our Lonavala Tai Chi camp… feeling excited about the camp… but, not bad about ‘missing’ a new book…

I have nothing to prove to anyone… and, nobody expects me to do that, in the first place, you see!

After our morning walk, sitting with Bhadekar aunty (She is 80-plus, but, a great lover of life), one of our fellow residents, and regaled by her stories, is a simple delight my wife and I look forward to, every early-morning. Her stories pop up like a spring in the woods… spontaneous, unpretentious and sincere. She is involved with many women’s organizations which carry out varied social work. One of these organizations has planned a programme tommrow and Bhadekar aunty has persuaded my wife to attend this programme…

So, as I will be doing my Tai Chi exercises in Lonavala tomorrow, my wife will be busy listing to stories from women of substance, tomorrow…

Bhadekar aunty had this story to tell, this morning…

“Uncle (Her husband, Bhadekar uncle, passed away some ten years ago) used to regularly go for  the ten-day Vipasana programme in Igatpuri. You know how Vipasana course is… Observe complete silence… live with bare minimum food… just watch your breath, meditate. But what's the use?”

“Why, was it not useful?” my wife asked Bhadekar aunty.

“He found it very useful, and that’s why he went to Igatpuri every year,” aunty said.

“Then, why do you say ‘What’s the use?’” my wife asked.

“Want to know why? Listen to this,” Bhadekar aunty was geared to complete her story… “As soon as I opened the door when he came back from Vipasana, uncle would start his medley… ‘Has the cheque from L&T come? Has the tenant paid his rent? Did you call my sister-in-law? And this: What is there for the lunch – mutton? So much for your uncle’s Vipasana!”

My wife gave me a relieved look. I decoded: “Honey, aunty is narrating this story ‘for you’, understand?”

Yes, I understood. The same Buddhist wisdom says, “Wherever you go, you carry yourself.”  Like Bhadeker aunty said, that her husband thought of his dividend cheque, rent from tenant and mutton for lunch as he sat in meditation in Igatpuri, year after year, I, too, have been carrying some of my cravings to our Tai Chi camp in Lonavala… Yes, year after year…

This time, for sure, thanks to Bhadekar aunty’s story about her husband, I am going to dump my own cravings, on our way back, at Khandala ghat…

“Let me see,” I hear my wife saying, knowing her husband best!


Pic.: Kamal Kishore Rikhari

Thursday, March 15, 2018


“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them
without removing some of our own skin.” 

A year ago, Ravish* had joined our P.D. programme and found it extremely useful to him. Ravish had enrolled for a MBA programme and suddenly realized that he needed to deal with his stage fear and lack of self-confidence.

I have always noticed this: when you ‘realize the need’ to do overcome your deficiencies, you, invariably, do. So, Ravish did exceptionally well during our programme; and, once it was over, he moved to another city to pursue his MBA programme.

Last evening, Ravish’s mother called up. “Sir, this is not regarding my son,” she said at the outset, “this is about me… I wanted to discuss with you a problem that I have been struggling with.”

I made Ravish’s mother feel comfortable to talk. We spoke nearly for twenty minutes over the phone. She said, “Right from my early school days, I had been excellent in academics. I always stood out during my Computer Engineering days and MCA as well. I got a great campus placement and I went on to become a Vice President in my organization. Just as in academics, in my profession, too, people always thought I was brilliant… I, always, knew what people around me thought of me and tried to live up to their expectation… I had to make regular presentations in office… and, though I dreaded it inside, I kept motivating myself with positive self-talk ‘I can do it,’ ‘I can do it.’ Somehow, the fear and anxiety remained at the deeper lever, but I survived. A strange thing, however, had been bothering me: Why am I not willing to reveal my weak side to others? Why am I trying to live by others’ expectations, that I am bold, fearless and flawless?”

Ravish’s mother continued, “I also love singing. We have a recreation club in our office, where some forty of us regularly gather. As my office colleagues know I love singing, they expect me to sing at our gatherings.  But, I am not at all my natural self when I hold the mike to sing… Despite all my positive self-talk, I find myself with this inner conflict. I love singing… I want to sing… but, I feel ‘forced’ and stressed.”

Sometimes, the best help you can offer someone who is in distress is a very kind ear. You do not need to question too much, you do not need to analyze and judge too much… All that you need to do is: Listen with a kind heart… which, last evening, I did when Ravish’s mother opened up before me… “Sir, is it because, I have been scared to reveal my weak side?” she asked me.

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, without even blinking, “You just need to remove that mask of being bold, fearless and flawless. It’s okay to be weak… It is okay to be fearful… and it is okay to be flawed.” I quoted Rick Warren: “Wearing a mask wears you out. Faking it is fatiguing. The most exhausting activity is pretending to be what you know you aren’t.”

“How can I do the unmasking, sir?” asked Ravish’s mother sincerely.

“Instead of ‘psyching' yourself with ‘I can… I can,” try to empower yourself with an earnest plea to the Universe, “I need help… Guide me; give me strength and wisdom… That’s a prayerful attitude, which means, you don’t try to control the situation… You allow yourself to be a great instrument of Higher Power. Let go, and let God in.”

It is difficult to do away with our masks till we do not accept and acknowledge our flaws gracefully, with humility. We do not have to be strong always, and, we do not have to live other people’s scripts. “Ma’am, the next time you hold the mike in your hand, just tell everyone, that you are dying to sing even though you feel terribly nervous and scared… If they are your true friends and well-wishers, they would love you cheer for you, anyway. Remember, you don’t have to be ‘outstanding’ when you sing your heart out for simple joy. It takes courage to drop that mask… The weight of distress will drop on its own.” I concluded, quoting Alan Moore: ‘You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it’.”

There was a long pause, before I heard from the other end, “Thank you so much, sir.”

* Name changed


Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


When you grow up in a village, you invariably grow up, alongside, some lovely animals and birds, too. So, throughout my childhood, I remember growing up alongside a couple of dogs, cats, chicken, cows, oxen, buffaloes and, even pigs. We had scores of fishes in our wells and ponds.  These were there not as pets, but as part and parcel of our existence. Rather, it was our co-existence… That was how it was for every household around. The concept of keeping pets at home came much later… when the standard of living of families started improving… When money came home, the cows, oxen, dogs, cats, pigs and chicken, which once lived with us ‘just like that’ – yes, they were all out and made room for some 'classy' breed of dogs, cats, fishes, parrots, and turtles.

Here, in Mumbai, obviously, one can only think of keeping some pets, if he loves to. Kids, here, will never know what it means to grow up alongside cows, buffaloes, oxen, chicken, dogs, cats, goats, fishes and pigs… So, they have started calling such an existence by a very ‘expensive’ name: ‘Organic’!

In those days, we never dreamt, that the same leafy vegetable, bhindi, kakdi, melons, doodi, pumpkin, bobla, chilies, drum sticks, suran, baigan, tomatoes, karela, sweet potatoes, jack fruits, coconuts, mangoes, cashews, papayas, bananas, pineapples, berries, and a dozen other fruits and veggies – one day, here in these big cities – would be crowned as ‘organic’… and, yes, would fetch three-four times more price compared to the one we grew in our backyards and fields… yes, ‘just like that’!

Well, this Post is not about village dogs versus city dogs, or village crows versus city crows. No one   in our village had crows at home. They came in plenty to eat whatever they got to eat in and around our houses… When they were thirsty, they went to the ponds. But, I remember learning the story of the thirst crow in my first standard (Our schooling started directly at the age of 6 in first standard!). I had not imagined, that this story would help me put my English in place, many years later… Like this:

There was a crow. He was very thirsty. He searched for water everywhere. But, he found no water anywhere. At last, he saw a pot. It had little water. His beak could not reach the water. So, he got an idea… He brought little pebbles and dropped them in the pot. The water came up and up and up… The crow drank the water and flew away happily.

I also learnt to tell that crow story in present tense. Like this:

There is a crow. He is very thirsty. He searches for water everywhere. But, he finds no water anywhere. At last, he sees a pot. It has little water. His beak cannot reach the water. So, he gets an idea. He brings little pebbles and drops them in the pot. The water comes up and up and up. The crow drinks the water and flies away happily.

Thirst crow was my first story at school, in my village. It still is here in our great cities, even today, for our new-age kids. That’s something nice… Crow still inspires even though no one likes to raise him at home as a ‘pet’… Sadly, he will never, ever become ‘organic’!

Summer has already started… It is extremely hot outside. Outside my ground-floor office, I have placed a small bucket to collect the AC water. Two-three crows have been visiting here,  every day, for last two weeks to sip chilled water from that bucket. When the bucket is empty, they are desperate and toss away my bucket. I have to go out, understand their plight… be empathetic to them… realize the truth that there are no ponds around here… So, I have to keep the bucket out there filled with water. They just need a few sips… It is a delight to watch them quenching their thirst… and flying away happily.

Through the day, my friend Buzzo, who is our colony dog (No one calls him a street dog), comes to drink the chilled water from the bucket. If the bucket is empty, he stands outside my glass door and draws my attention… A few Marie biscuits and cold water later, he goes away happily, too…

To me, this is what an ‘Organic Life’, all about... Just wanted to tell.


Pic.: Sandeep Malhotra

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


“No, I didn’t see the red flags; 
I saw their red blood which is the same as ours”.

- Aditya Thackeray

I repeat it once again, today: I have consciously decided to stay miles away from hardcore party- politics and the hardcore 'party-religions'. Like others around me, I, too, cast secretly my ballot to a political party or a candidate, who, I think is better. And, like all, I, too, follow a certain religious faith and keep my faith totally a matter of my personal choice. I have no business to impose my preference on even my own wife or son… Leave alone on people outside my home.

So, the night before last, when I blogged about the farmers’ march from Nasik to Mumbai, I wasn’t guided by the Communist red-flags or any bias towards the ruling party. As I said, I have better things to do in life than waste on things like playing dirty politics.  Those who love to do it, let them do it… I am fine to keep my political or religious tastes private. I, also, do not like to engage in any political and religious debates from public platform, including social media, for the very same reason. I have friends and associates who belong to different religious faiths… I have friends and associates who support different political parties. And I have to recognize, respect and celebrate that difference. The moment I go public, decrying what I do not prefer, it is clear, that I have chosen to sabotage my friendships and relationships…

It’s sad, we do not see it that way.

As we don’t watch TV at home, I was keen to read on Times of India, this morning, as to what had happened to the farmers’ demand. I was shocked to see the kind of coverage – is it called ‘importance’? – to this news report. Barely some inches! It’s the only news paper I have been reading ever since I arrived in this great city… Like every other addiction in my life – tea, reading, blogging, or whatever – TOI has been my four-decade-long addiction. But, today, I felt angry, let down!

This was not the way to treat our poor farmers and tribal, sir. No matter, what, a paper who is crowned ‘Old Lady of Boribunder’ – hello, you have been here much before many of us were born, here or elsewhere born… You owe it, therefore, to the people of this city, Madam… a news that really mattered.

Did I say, ‘a news that really mattered’?

“IT’S A LONG, LONG NIGHT’… Yes, this was how I had titled my last Post. The farmers and tribals had come to the city on Sunday, walking in the burning heat… most of them with worn-out chappals and slippers and many barefoot… The less I describe it, the better it is. They were supposed to camp for the night on Sunday at the K.J. Somaiya ground and complete the last lap of 20 kilometers to the city on Monday morning. I was quite anxious as to what might happen… I was also worried about things going out of control – violence, destruction and bloodshed. But, on Monday morning, when I woke up, I learnt what had happened: over thirty-five thousand (or fifty thousand?) of them, had quietly walked the last twenty-kilometers in the night itself! Because, they did not want to cause inconvenience to students who wrote 10th standard and 12th standard Board exams! They did not shout any slogans… Because, they did not want to disturb people who were fast asleep!

By the time, we Mumbaikars woke up on Monday morning, the farmers and tribals had already completed their last lap of march!

Let me tell you this: To me, what these poor farmers and tribals taught, through this march -  with their discipline, patience, tolerance, sacrifice, determination, faith, trust, empathy, courage and hope – yes, it is far, far, far greater in value than all the education I have ever received through all my schools, colleges, motivational books and sessions. Yes, what they taught me, particularly on the ‘Long, Long Night’ – has left me humbled for life!

So, do I need the mainstream media – the print or the electronic – to help me ‘feel’ for the poor farmers who feed me?

There were many who bled… and they voiced how they felt…

Nandita Das quoted Martin Luther King, Jr.:  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Anand Mahindra tweeted: “Mondays are a time to share quotes about Motivaton to get to work. Over 35K farmers have walked for days to get to Mumbai. We Mumbaikars are fed by them...Seeing the elderly amongst them with calloused feet, I cannot preach about motivation.”Their determination is enough of an example.”

I was particularly moved by what young Aditya Thackeray said in his tweet: “I spoke to them yesterday. and before when we toured the State to hear them, help them. No, I didn’t see the red flags; I saw their red blood which is the same as ours. Whichever the flag they carry, whoever their political hero, govt has to hear them. Fellow citizens.”

There are some moments in life, when we all have to rise above our individual biases… I strongly feel, that the Farmers’s March from Nasik to Mumbai, in the burning Sun, was one of them.


Pics: 1)  DNA   2) The Hindu  3)The Indian Express

Sunday, March 11, 2018


Some days ago, when I first saw the images of the Farmers’ March from Nasik to Mumbai, I was over-awed by its very idea… I knew it would be powerful… I knew it would make its impact, even though a large section of media, for its own reasons, chose to ignore it, down play it or even ridicule and condemn it…

I knew, this: Nothing could stop an idea whose time had come!


To me, the poor farmers of drought-hit districts of Maharashtra are brave! Imagine walking a distance of 180 kilometers in the burning heat for six-seven days! Imagine the magnitude! What are their demands? Loan waiver and transfer of land to the tribals… Both these demands are genuine and they have been long-pending and not taken seriously by the authorities…

Hence the March to Mumbai…

As I write this, over thirty-five thousand of protesting farmers have camped themselves at the K.J. Somaiya grounds, barely 15 minutes away from where I live. The sky is their roof and the stars are their guiding light and hope… My heart really bleeds for them… I pray, “Lord, please guard them, help them… May nothing unpleasant happen tomorrow!”

It is going to be a long, long night!

My mind goes back to Gandhi’s historic Dandi March. It was an act of defiance. Gandhi had conceived this idea as a potent weapon of Civil Disobedience. He had started with barely about 70 trusted Satyagrahis… from his ashram in Sabarmati to the beach of Dandi near Navsari village... some 280 kilometers… walking 10 kilometers a day. Along the march, thousands of people had joined the march, drawing worldwide attention… Gandhi picked the fist of salt as a mark of defiance and courage. This march had inspired courage and passion in the hearts of millions across the nation… and had served as a definite impetus for the freedom movement…

Gandhi’s vision was so clear and so piercing, that, today, as the free citizens of this blessed land, we all feel the need to bow before our visionary leader, who we rightly hail as ‘The Father of our Nation’!

Barely three decades later, Gandhi’s non-violent freedom movement in general, and Dandi March in particular, were destined to inspire another remarkable figure, thousands of miles away from Gandhi’s land… Martin Luther King Jr.! His historic March to Washington D.C. had culminated at the Lincoln Memorial… with over 2,50,000 people, of which about 60,000 White and the rest, Black. Can you imagine the plight of the Black in America at the time of this protest march… that is, not even six decades ago? The Black were treated as untouchables… That ‘N’ word is now treated as racial comment… But, during those inhuman times, the Black were not allowed to walk, eat, travel, study, play, sing etc alongside the White…

At the Lincoln Memorial, that afternoon, Martin Luther King’s awe-inspiring speech – ‘I Have a Dream' – carried the vision that he, as the Messiah of his fellow Blacks, had so vividly borne… It was so clear, so prophetic… that, today, when we see the status of the Black citizens in America, we feel the need to bow before their visionary leader - Martin Luther King Jr.!

I do not know what is going to happen tomorrow when our own poor farmers – over thirty-five  thousand of them – reach Maharashtra Assembly… I only pray, their simple demands be met. We, as a privileged citizens of this state, owe it to our marginalized farmers… Many of us are simply clueless about their plight. For, it hasn’t affected us directly, you see!

So, let me conclude: you and I may not be able to join their march, carrying red, orange, blue, green or white flags … For God’s sake, let’s not be mean by looking at them from the coloured glasses of our political ideologies…

They are poor farmers and tribals. The least that we can do, tonight, is: Wish them well… Pray, all will be peaceful and will end well…

Yes, it is a long, long night!


Pic.: Internet

Videos: YouTube

Saturday, March 10, 2018


A friend of mine, who is a consultant in one of the organizations in Mumbai, narrated to me this interesting episode…

Some days ago, we got the notification in our office complex (A twenty-one storey office complex), that the server would be down for an hour. The employees, so dependent on their computers, suddenly felt clueless as to what was to be done when they could not use their computers for an hour! They were waiting for instructions from me. Meanwhile, a young employee came over to me and said, ‘Sir, we would like to listen to some motivational things from you.’ A couple of her associates seconded their friend’s proposal.

I spontaneously proposed to them something different… ‘We are on the eleventh floor here,’ I said, ‘Any of you has come up here or go down from here using the staircase?’

There was none. So, I suggested, that we walked down the stairs and discover what was there on each floor… They loved the idea. By the time we all landed on the ground floor lobby, a lot of discovery had been already done. Now was the time to climb up… That was tough. They were expecting it (an ‘order’) from me. So, they were pleasantly surprised when I asked them, ‘Has any of you gone on the terrace above the 21st floor?’

No one had. So, we all took the lift and landed on the terrace. Once, we landed there, I sensed a sudden burst of new energy… It was like discovering a new continent… Or, like landing on the peak of Mount Everest! They did not know, for almost two years, that they could behold such a breath-taking view from the building they had been working, every day, for over two years… That, they could see the magnificent sea, scores of ships, the glory of the rising and setting Sun, tens and thousands of small and tall buildings… Above all, they had no idea how breeze felt while it played over their shoulders… They were happy and playful - a moment their selfies beautifully captured!

A couple of them came out with this suggestion, ‘Sir, we should come here regularly… It’s an amazing experience!’

I smiled. ‘Let’s walk down the staircase to 11th floor,” I said, “We will discuss about it once we are in our office.’

Once we were inside our office, I said, ‘What happened, today, was all spontaneous… not planned. The experience that you all relished was fresh, first-hand… Now, the moment you try to recreate this event and relive this experience, you are going to spoil the experience. Someone had said, ‘I may be going nowhere, but what a ride!’ 

By now, the server had started functioning… and, my boys and girls were back to the grind!

Spontaneity is like our tears… As Marty Rubin said, tears are easier to shed, than explain! Spontaneity, too, is easier to experience than explain… Our desire to recreate the events that give us great joy and relive those experiences, are, definite sources of our disappointments and unhappiness.

Many of us have experienced it in the context of ‘Reunions’. The thought of getting reunited with our schoolmates after a span of twenty/thirty/forty years can be really exhilarating. So, the very first reunion brings in us that ‘all-time high! Then comes that desire in us to recreate similar events at regular intervals – say every month,  three months, six months or year and so on – and relive the experience  - the ‘High’!

What comes out from this, usually, is a big disappointment… It’s human disaster!

My consultant-friend had two more episodes to share. One involved the wedding of one of his associates, who was a H.R. executive. She had sent a wedding invite through WhatsApp to my friend a day before her wedding with the words, ‘Please come’.

‘Thanks,” was my friends reply.

“You did not come,” was the newly-married woman’s complaint.

“Sorry. It was a ‘remote presence’… Maybe, you did not realize… Busy, no?” was my friend’s response.

“Wanted your ‘physical presence’ as well,” was her contention.

“Not getting ‘what you want’ inevitably brings you ‘what you need’… Universe takes care,” was my friend’s piece of advice.

“What about relationship, then?” was the young bride’s question.

“It ends in conditions and selfishness… No?”

The conversations, too, had ended with it…

But, incomplete?

The other episode involved the birthday of one of his very close relatives, who looked up to my friend for advice and inspiration. A week ago, was the birthday of this young man, and my friend, while wishing him said, over the phone, “You have been in my mind for many days… Today, I am just wishing you. In fact, I had written a mail to you, but I couldn’t complete it… Hence, it got left, unsent.”

“Why didn’t you send me the incomplete mail?” was the sincere response from the young man to my friend, “I would have loved it, anyway!”

In Life, everything need not be ‘perfect’ or ‘complete’. Everything need not be as per our plan and preparation. Yes, Life is always what happens to us while we are busy making our ‘other’ plans…

Joy doesn’t, always, come from the main door, you see… Very often, it comes from the back door and the windows!


Pic.: Sandeep Malhotra