Archive | June 2015

Meet the greatest traveller

Meet the greatest traveller of all times – travels ticketless – but never gets questioned – receives worldwide acceptance with no effort. This traveller can build or break empires, relationships, people, you name it! Even strangers embrace this great traveller with no reservations whatsoever. Old, new, male, female, young or elderly all alike – they love him! Wow!! How cool!

Would you like to be like that? Do you want to know who is it and how can someone be so popular and widely accepted without having to offer any credentials – Meet the one, the only – RUMOUR!

Rumour became powerful after the downfall of Trust. Trust failed in relationships, in people, in situations. Rumour took advantage of the failing Trust and took charge. People started believing in Rumour more than they ever believed in themselves, their loved ones, their friends or in their own faith. Trust’s loss is Rumour’s gain. Rumour first walked, then ran, then flew like a wind and engulfed like a forest fire.

What were the qualities of Rumour that created such a wide acceptance in a short span? Well, Rumour knew how to be compelling and convincing without any facts. Strange isn’t it? But true! It had that unique skill. And what’s even more strange is people who question with reason and logic too, started accepting readily when it came to Rumour! They were charmed by this new imposter who promised great stories that could save the world. They needed no reality or evidence. They were willing to sacrifice long standing relationships in return for some interesting, baseless and unfounded stories by Rumour. Rumour cashed in on these naive humans! Characters were assassinated without much ado! No one thought for a second as it felt very ordinary to assassinate a co-human morally. They did not know that it was the biggest sin in itself and would come back and bite them soon. And soon enough, it did! People were devastated. Beautiful relationships built by Trust were ruined. Great empires crumbled. All in no time! People were not willing to give the good old Trust a chance. They did not want to invest time in seeking to understand the truth. They instead found it convenient to believe in Rumour.

Trust sought help from Facts. Facts tried to intervene and help the friend in need. However, Fact was punished and painted with distorted perceptions. People only saw what they wanted to see. They put 2 and 2 together and made it 4 or 5, depending on their need to match Rumour. People questioned each other’s love and genuineness. They encouraged Rumour by listening to it, engaging with it and spending their time in helping it travel far and wide. Rumour felt most powerful. It was on a massive rampage crushing all beautiful things that came in the way. Nothing seemed to have the power to stop Rumour.

Just then, Pause came in – only for a few minutes. But it created a great impact. Everyone looked around what they were doing, realized where they were headed and shook their heads in dismay. Pause was so powerful, it helped them realize how they went out of their life and gave up beautiful people and relationships – all for the sake of this imposter called Rumour. They realized Rumour was a tyrant – Rumour had no reason or logic. Rumour lacked authenticity. All that Rumour had was an attractive outward appearance. But that too began to fade. Its ugliness was exposed. They were able to see the damage this traveller had created with all the travelling. Rumour had to be stopped from travelling any further. People realized it could be dangerous to their species. People realized that Trust was more important and helpful than Rumour ever was. They realized their mistake and apologized to Trust. Trust – being their trusted friend, readily forgave. Trust helped lock Rumour in a far-far away land. And Pause was guarding the gate so no one could accidentally unlock it.

Trust helped people realize that there’s more to a person than what meets the eye – and what we need to have is patience and willingness to understand them. Rumour had hurt so many people and relations that it was now paying for its sins. Rumour had parents but they were too timid to own it. Rumour found itself all alone and eventually died. With it, went all the negative energies and bad thoughts.

My ‘GRAND’father

A very charismatic and learned man – always dressed in impeccable white – just like his character! His aura was such that anyone who saw him stood up in respect automatically. The man I am talking about – Ramaswamy – My adorable, admirable grandfather.

I can talk about the various roles he played from society’s perspective – like he retired as a Deputy Collector and was the most learned man in his entire district, etc. However, I’d rather talk about the man that he was above and beyond all the roles he played and the unforgettable impact he had in my life.I wonder if my life would have been as rich as it is without his invaluable presence!

He used to come visit us 5 times a year for sure (if not more) – those were my sister’s birthday, mother’s birthday, father’s birthday, my birthday and my parents’ wedding anniversary. He never missed coming. And every time he came, he’d give these crisp currency notes as a gift – we’d look forward to that – not because it is money but more because we never get to see such new notes without a single fold. I used to save my money inside a book and keep it away for a rainy day (something that I don’t do very well now 🙂 ). Even after he retired, he continued giving us money – I never found any difference in him post retirement – he still used to shave, dress up in those freshly pressed, crisp white clothes, hair neatly combed, the same zest for life, the same schedule, the same helping nature, moderate on food – nothing changed. I never knew retirement meant something because he made it feel like a man is just as useful and wonderful and fantastic regardless of whether he is in service or retires – it depends on how he continues to lead his life – with dignity and respect. He continued to be the head of the family – guiding people on important decisions like marriage, kids, education and work life.

I, for one, was the luckiest of them all – every time he came home, his evenings were exclusively meant for great conversations with me as a 7 year old. I used to ask him for stories from his younger days – pre-independence era – how was life back then – and boy o boy! What great stories I heard. I grew up listening to his stories – and I was so inspired that I told him I’d write his autobiography! My grandfather laughed and corrected me explaining – it would be a biography since I’d be writing it. It would be an autobiography only if the person himself/herself wrote it 🙂 . He was brilliant in English Literature too. Shakespeare and Milton used to come alive – I learnt Shakespearean lines much before kids of my age could. He quoted verbatim from Macbeth, Hamlet, Paradise Lost etc. He helped my mother with studies when she was preparing for her Masters in English Literature with 2 little brats in the house.

Though I was quite an introvert as a kid – there were 2 people, who I recall having great conversations with – one was my mother’s father who I have just described, and the other was my father!

A lot of values, respect for language, respect for people, helping people in need are things that I have learnt watching my grandfather.

Wait! Before I end – I just have to talk about a recent fantastic interaction with another elderly gentleman Mr. Chidambaram who came for my training program with his grandson. He came to me and said, “My grandson, who is in 10th grade wanted to attend this training and we stay very far – so I came along with him.” I thought, how sweet of him to take all the trouble, start early in the morning, change two city buses and reach the venue even before I did! What a commitment! What amazed me even more was – although he came to accompany his grandson, he participated in the training program with the same amount of curiosity and enthusiasm as a child would – like a clean slate. It was a humbling experience for me to say the least, to watch him learn and contribute in such brilliant ways. I salute the spirit! It’s inspiring to see such models of excellence. Following their footsteps, I am looking forward to growing up graciously and aging wisely. What else could I have, but respect for yester year’s youngsters and today’s shining stars!

We are who we are because of the inspiring generations before us, who live for us. It is now our turn to take care of them just as much as they take care of us with their unconditional and undying love.