Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Smruti - A Sanskrit word. Meaning, memory. As I write this, I recall the memories of a good friend. A friend in need and a friend indeed.
A project assignment took me to a faraway land in the recent past. We were a team of people who went there. Certainly, we were not birds of the same feathers. Needless to say, we did not flock together.
To my good fortune there was one colleague who kept me company throughout my stay there. I shall refer to this colleague as Friend.
I am told that every relationship is for a reason or for a season or for a lifetime.
When Friend came into my life, I thought it was for a reason, because Friend came into my life at a time when I was away from home, friends, near and dear ones. I was in a land where there was an abundance of consumer items, shopping malls, electronic goods and cars among other things. But there was a scarcity of people.
As I mentioned before, we, the team, were not birds of the same feathers (although half of them had very weird feathers and kept me quite entertained for three months).
Just when I had started to worry about how I would live for 3 months all alone, Friend placed a hand on my shoulder, gave a warm smile and said “Main Hoon Na”(meaning, “Don’t worry, I am there”).
My face lightened up at once. And the journey began.
From then on, we were together in everything we did.
We used to take long walks in the evening. We would have conversations about subjects covering a whole spectrum. Food, drinking, music, family, marriage, destiny versus freewill, project work, confused managers, child psychology, parenting, west versus east, astrology, mind reading and the art of listening among other things.
He would chop vegetables everyday very religiously and I would cook.
We would both relish what we cooked and praise each other for possessing such culinary skills. Over a quiet meal we would continue what was left of the evening conversation or start a new conversation.
We would listen to music for hours till late in the night; Ghazals, melodious old songs, the new releases depending on my mood. I say my mood, (not our mood) intentionally because Friend was very considerate and being a few years older than me, allowed me the advantage of being younger.
I, being short tempered and stubborn would be difficult at times. But Friend was most patient with me, putting up with my tantrums, pacifying me, consoling me and advising me.
And then both us would loose it, argue and sometimes fight. After a few hours, everything would be alright again.
As days passed, I began to think that this relationship started with a reason but lasted for a season.
As our conversations progressed, I began to realize how wise, sensible and thoughtful Friend was! The following are some of the pearls of wisdom I gathered from my friend, philosopher and guide.
1. Nothing unites a group of people better than a common enemy. If you see such a group of people where there is no true cohesion but there is unity because of a common hatred, then beware of such a group. If YOU happen to be the common enemy, then get out of their way, and the group will break immediately.
2. The greatest learning in life is to unlearn whatever you have learnt so far. From time to time, format your system and start afresh.
3. When someone you don’t know very well is talking to you about someone/something, then, listen carefully. Do not pay attention to what is being told. You can always ask them to repeat it later. But try to judge their motive. That will tell you if you should believe them or not.
4. Life presents battles before you every now and then. Fight the battles. But once a battle ends, throw away the weapons immediately. If you carry the weapons, then your struggle will never end and you will be your own opponent.
5. All those people who are finicky about minute details, the perfectionists, this is for you.
“If it is GOOD ENOUGH, then it is GOOD ENOUGH”.
6. It is very important to have a high level of self esteem. If you want to succeed in life, raise your self esteem. All the people who are struggling to make an impression, eager to please others are lacking self esteem.
7. Whenever it is important to win an argument and prove that you are right, talk less. The chances of misinterpretation are less. When you talk less, your opponent will find it most difficult to argue with you. When you talk more, you are giving your opponent more time to prepare a counter argument. Also, by divulging more information than necessary, you are giving your opponent several points any of which he can counter. Narrow their option by talking very little.
8. Most important of all learning was the Law of Attraction – you can get all you want in life. All you have to do is ask for it earnestly. When you want something genuinely, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it.
9. Take a sheet of paper. Draw 2 small concentric circles at the bottom of the paper. The inner circle represents all that you know. The out circle represents all that you know you don’t know. The rest of the empty space on the paper represents all that you don’t even know that you don’t know!!!! First thing, be aware of this. Next thing, try to increase the circles in size, such that, the empty space on the paper outside the circles, becomes less and less.
The day of departure arrived. Friend left to India.
Today, I have returned to India too. I and Friend are together once again.
I am hoping this relationship which began with a reason and withstood a season, will last for a lifetime!
Thank you Friend for the Smruti. Thank you for giving me a friend, philosopher and guide.