Picture by Suma Nair
A message : I am Sunder from Kota. Reminding you of our Delhi days. Will call you, need your confirmation, this is your number.
I dialled Sunder’ number and said” Hello beautiful” ( Sundar in hindi means beautiful and I addressed him that way ).” Menon, good of you, I searched linkedin for your number , so many menons, its more than 20 years”
Here I was listening to him, at the same time trying to recall highlights of our association which were only for months.” Yes, it was in 1996″ I said.
He is alone, his wife died a few years ago, his two sons in States. After we caught up with each other’s life of the bygone years, he said” I have stored 3 life lessons from you”
“Really, what are they, I don’t remember any lecture” I said
” Anger management which you learnt from the Auto-rickshaw driver, Accepting situation and people as they are, Learn not to regret for things you have done and not done”
The Auto rickshaw story which I had told him.
The three wheeler passed by me, while I was walking on the footpath and the next moment it screeched to a halt and fell on to it’s side. It was at a cross road with absolutely nil traffic, I ran towards the fallen Auto-rickshaw, gave my hand to the driver to help him out. There was no passenger, only the one who was driving. He does not accept my hand, instead asks ” is this a main road or a cross road ?”I quickly assessed that he is not injured unless he has gone out of his nut, he repeated the same question, smiling. I said, come out, we will find out. I helped him climb out and together with the support of another passerby managed to put back the vehicle on its wheels.We were in a layout with wide roads and I showed him the board which read as 40th cross.” My mish..take, he is right”. He was talking about the car which he avoided by his adventurous breaking. The traffic on cross road should give way for the vehicles on the main road. Generally in situations like this, people flareup blaming the other, whether right or wrong. These reactions are due to “I am never wrong”.This particular incident helped me to practice to delay my reactions in people matters. The gap in reaction time helps to get a handle on our emotions. You are through when this practice becomes a habit, it helps to make life that much easier. When you look back, the cause of many damages in life were due to the reactions in anger especially in relationship.
Back to Beautiful,
” Grieved for a few days, when my wife died, accepted the situation like you said and made adjustments to live without her”.
” There is a new situation coming up and preparing to deal with it “
” Whats that” I asked
“I am losing my eyesight, matter of time before I go completely blind. There is no treatment, though there is a treatment with 10 percent chance, costing a nuclear bomb “.
“You should go for it” I said
” Menon, its not necessary, they say its one in million chance, I will wait for one less than a million and go for the operation, ha. Ha, paagal hai, I have already spent lots of money to hear that there is no cure”.
I did not know what to say.
He continued, ” I haven’t told my boys, I have started practicing to be blind. I have also learnt braille.Seen so much of life and the world, enough boss. Its better than born blind”.
I was finding it difficult to listen to him. He is Accepting an inevitable and preparing to deal with it. I may have preached about accepting a situation, doubt whether I can practice.
” I will manage, shall work seriously with my other faculties.I may go blind, but I have enough money to see through my life with my style of living, simple hai bhai. And there is the third eye, shall visit andar ki duniya (inside world), the world within”.
“And then there is a family staying in my house, relatives, have a room to myself, shall manage with little assistance. Initially, they may be enthusiastic, later it may wear out. Dekha jayega, will see then”.
“Don’t have to tell anybody about me, sympathy is what I don’t want and then we don’t have any common friends”.
“Your third lesson, I am following, no regrets for not doing something and whats done is done, no regrets”.
” Beautiful, I have no idea what I can do, let me know”, I said”.
You don’t call me, I will call you,. All these years, I did not think of calling you, never felt like, though your lessons reminded me of you.”.”Dont know when I will see you, hey, can’t we have a video call, why are we doing an audio ?”” it never strikes me, there is a video facility, disconnect and I will call you “.
We connected and saw each other, I could not take my eyes off his eyes (he had his glasses on, I could not see his eyes), while I was senti and tried to hide it, he was cool about his impending future, maybe thats why he said he will call and I need not call