My friend Vijay and I always exchange notes on what we have read from Sunday newspapers. Our favourite paper being Times of India (minus its political coverage). Both of us have been reading Times since the sixties. Vijay asked me if I have read a blog by Vinita Dawra Nangia, from “O Zone” titled “What Does It Mean to be Mature”. I am giving the link for the same below.


As luck would have it, I was reading the same. I jokingly replied to Vijay that to become mature, one should become Admin of a WhatsApp group. Ours is a group oldies from COEP, Pune who became engineers in 1971. We are a crowd of reasonably successful engineers and have done various things in life. From a group of 400, at least 10% are active, and balance are partially active to passive! We are in this group, I have secretly named our group as Cartoon Network. On this group, we have friends from various levels of maturity. Some are extremely mature, and some have remained “a”mature! (Amateur!!)

My take on maturity is

A person who has self-belief so strong that he/she can accept his/her own mistakes, if required openly, is open to a different viewpoint of others, willing to accept totally new viewpoint or direction, and still show as if he/she was saying the same thing though something opposite was being agreed!

I will try to explain my definition in small segments.

Owning a mistake

This is the biggest and the strongest trait of maturity. We all make mistakes in our lives, and up to an extent we keep on justifying them. Justifying till proven as a mistake, (innocent till proven guilty) is also maturity of owning what you said or did! But at some stage when we know that it is a mistake, the individual is mature and magnanimous enough to accept it openly. By openly accepting error is to show your acceptance to your friends and colleagues, who may also follow the example set by you, for the betterment of whatever we are doing.

Being open to a different viewpoints

GOD has given us a brain that really has no limits. We humans will have totally different views, up to 360 degrees on the same subject. In cricketing parlance, we know that a batsman will be bold, caught out, LBW, and what have you on a specific ball. But a Sachin Tendulkar will hit the same ball for a six at Cover, and yes Virat Kohli now will hit for a six over mid-wicket! If we keep on arguing that such and such ball should be played carefully, is not using your brain fully. By remaining in your own cocoon, one’s growth may get stunted. The mature person will always have mature ideas but is mature enough to embrace someone else’s better ideas with open arms.

After embracing new idea take it forward with the same zeal as your own thoughts

Maturity of a person is seen when he/she takes forward a new idea brought forward by someone else as if it’s his/her own idea. In short, the individual is a total team player! This situation does come up daily from the smallest of issues, like which Ice cream to eat, to which generator should be purchased for an organisation. Once a consensus is reached mature person will not even show that there were different opinions. In an organisation, a society or even in the family, an individual cannot have his own agenda. The individual agenda can cause disharmony and discontent.

There are various ways of looking at maturity. Some say that with age, people become mature, but it is definitely not so. Age has nothing to do with maturity. Maturity can definitely be acquired, but I feel that persons with a very big Ego can never become mature. This is obvious as it has been explained above. Let me share an experience from our WhatsApp group. One of our friends is the CEO of an organisation. When there were discussions on the group, our friend would just not budge. He would stick to his viewpoint, always. In fact, he would not follow basic rules formed to run the group. His behaviour we realised is a typical immaturity caused by a large size EGO. But we were all friends and obviously equals. We took a long time to bring him in line with others!

Friends let me know your thoughts on maturity and don’t worry, I am matured and open enough to take your suggestions. I hope it shows my maturity!!

 I am also giving below some definitions of maturity shared by Vinita

  • “Maturity is not when we start speaking big things; it is when we start understanding small things.”
  • “I used to walk into a room full of people and wonder if they liked me… now I look around and wonder if I like them.”
  • “Maturity comes when you stop making excuses and start making changes.”
  • “Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty.”
  • “Maturity begins when we are content to feel we’re right about something, without feeling the necessity to prove someone else is wrong.”

The Other Side of EGO!

My last two blogs recently were about EGO. Some people wrote to me that there is other side to these incidents too! So I am attempting to cover the other side in this blog. With this blog I am completing the Hat trick of Ego blogs!

The first incident was about incorrect parking done by the young lady. Given below is the link.

My friend Anil commented on the blog, writing about his frustrations due to the similar problem he has faced for last 25 years, due to unreasonable people like our lady parking incorrectly! Near Anil’s home there is a similar situation and a garden. Anil has given up long back; people simply park in front of his gate and he cannot get his car inside. The solution he found is to come home late in the evening so that he can take his car in his house! Now the fall back of this action, may be having repercussions on the home front. (I must check with Anil) But that is a subject for another blog!  This is a major problem that we have in our society. People are simply self-centered and don’t care about others. If the lady had parked correctly I could not have written the “Sorrrry” blog! When every day a different person creates the same issue for others, it is impossible to prevent outburst by someone at some stage. I have full sympathy for the old man I covered in my blog, and that he lost his temper on that day is quite possible though not 100% justifiable!

Why people do such acts? Concern or courtesy about others should be a reflex action! It should be part of our upbringing. What is the big deal in doing something to ensure that others are not troubled in public domain? When we live in society, it should be a natural act to show empathy to others.

I will give a few observations that shows how we Indians handle our acts in public places. Consider any inquiry window and a queue (you should be happy if there is a queue), it could be small or big. But there will always be someone who will try to jump the queue and go directly to the window! When challenged, that person would claim that he/she has “only two minute work”! We can conclude that “my” two minutes are more important than your two minutes!

I was so shamed at Frankfurt airport recently. Our flight to Mumbai was announced and I was wondering why row wise entry was not announced. The flight was full and probably had 90% Indians. The moment the flight was announced, pushing & jostling, elbowing started as if there is no tomorrow. Mind you there were 5/6 passengers who needed wheel chairs. But the crowd was not bothered! Airline officials had to make a special path to try and make sure that assisted passengers got in first. I think Lufthansa has given up row wise entry for India flights! I have seen on internal flights recently, assisted passengers are helped ONLY after all others get down. It’s a real shame.

I was in Melbourne for 2015 world cup cricket final. At the stadium there were 8 or 10 gates for the entry. Each entry was bar code scanned at the turnstile. There was crowd but not an instance of pushing and jostling. Let me remind you that there were 93000 plus spectators on that day, making it an average of 10K per gate. After the match we came back by public transport, again there was rush but no pushing & jostling!

Why is that we behave differently in public domain? Is it because of shortages of everything in 60’s caused this mind set in Indians? This mind set causes us to take short cut at every activity in life. The young lady in this mind set must have said I am just parking for two minutes! Amen!

My take on “Sorrrrrry” blog, after considering both sides Old Man: Lady , is still 50:50!

Next one is about the most recent blog for which the link is given below.

Our lawyer father was a famous and prominent person in the society.  Naturally I am sure many people from the society must be taking his advice and suggestions from him on many matters in life. Now our hero is taking an important decision in his life about his marriage. How could the hero ignore the father’s advice? The father had so much experience in the ways of the world , he must have judged that something was not right in the match. With this experience and knowledge he must have told his son not to get married to the girl. I am sure only thing behind this suggestion was the thought about well-being and love for his son. The father must have brought up his son in such a way that the son would follow the father’s advice to last T. But alas in Love things don’t follow the charted path. Son rebelled and rest as they say is history!

Initial court case etc may also be justifiable considering the “insult”.  But once a lot of water had gone down the bridge, I feel that the father should have relented. It is not for the want of trying. I checked up with our Hero and he had attempted many times. With the birth of the grand-child I felt that things should have normalized but it has not happened.

Probably my take of, the Ego is coming in the way, appears to be validated. Friends do you have any thoughts and suggestions why this could have happened. Why could father not take a “step backwards” after so many years? The son could not take the step back as he was happily married. What is the justification for such behaviour? This behaviour runs parallel to the behaviour of the old man in the first blog! Even in the first blog old man’s losing control was not fully justified though we have given him some leeway. But in the current case the behavior of the father, I still feel can not be justified. My take on Father:Son is 30:70 . Any takers on the ratios 50:50 & 30:70?

One Man Khap Panchayat- My Ego!

My favourite subject appears to have become the Ego! Last night my wife Jaya and I had gone out for dinner with some friends. I met the Hero of this episode for the first time at the dinner. You must be sure that when I talk of Khap panchayat, the hero must be a hot blooded Punjabi or a Haryanvi. But he is a pure soft spoken South Indian, called Madrasi by our North Indian friends, though he is from Kerala. This episode only proves our faith in National unity and integration. You go North, South, and West or East we will have exactly same behavior, no deviation when we handle marriages!

Our friend is happily married for last twenty years. Has a lovely family with a brilliant daughter. Now here is the story. (I am not going to write the story in details because of copy rights issues!  ) Our friend wanted to get married and had met his future wife before family started getting involved. When his family suggested to him that he should get married and settle down, he told his parents that he has a girl in mind and would like to marry her. The girl was from the same caste, religion and whatever they see at the time of the marriage. She was from the same बिरादरी! Everything was perfectly matching plus the groom and bride had already agreed. So where is the hitch?

Our hero’s father, a famous lawyer in their area asked him what is going on. The hero said, “as suggested by you and amma, I want to get married and have looked for a girl”! Oh my god! My son is getting married and the son is taking the decision! What’s going on? The father was upset and said he will not allow this marriage. There was exchange of views, to use a mild term. The hero being a cool guy decided to let the dust settle down after the storm or the typhoon. The dust did settle down but the clouds never went away. The father said sorry you cannot get married to this girl. When the reason was asked the father said, fixing the son’s marriage is his privilege. He would not allow him to marry this already selected girl. Period. No more discussion. Case is dismissed, in court parlance.

One thing is for sure. Love changes the personality of a person. Our hero decided to take things in his own hand. He told his mother “I am going to get married to the same girl.”  When his mother rechecked with the father the answer was plain NO! The hero went and met his would be father in law (he was an astrologer) to ask for his permission. He got it immediately. I will briefly share about how our friend overcame all the obstacles. But I want to basically talk of human nature. The astrologer would be father in law was a very practical person. He said “since you two have decided to get married I will NOT see the kundali” Wow! This is the kind of support expected from ones parents.

But the father chose a different path. He went to Bangalore on the 8th of April; marriage was to take place in his absence on 11th April. He put in an application for maintaining status quo against his son. Morally it was not tenable but because he was very senior lawyer he managed to get the order on the 8th April. Look at the scheming. 9th was a Saturday and from 11th court had 2 months summer holiday. He got the order out at the closing time on 8th. Concept was that in two months of chaos, during court holiday, marriage will fizzle out!

Our friend had genes from his smart lawyer father. When he came to know about this, he got marriage certificate and registration dated 7th April! Status quo order was from 8th but marriage certificate and registration were dated 7th. He has not broken any law! Remained married to maintain the status quo! ! Probably this was the only case the father lost in his career; the father kept on fighting for 16 years.

Now my question to you friends is why did the father do all these things? Was it the pride or EGO? What did he gain by going all the way? Even today the family is a joint family with parents and sibling staying together. Married sister stays elsewhere. But there is a clear cut rule. If anyone visits our friend’s home, they will not be allowed to come back home. This rule is applicable to mother also.

Is it adamant nature? Can a human being not forget a small aberration, if this can be called an aberration, by one’s own child even after 20 years! What can be the reason? How this action or reaction be justified? Can this be justified in HIS court? Look at the family background. Father is eminent lawyer, siblings are well settled. Our friend works for a multinational company. Does education have no effect on such thought processes? We blame the Khap Panachyats but what will you say in this case? Ok the couple was at least not physically damaged. How this action is different? Why did the father keep on fighting for 16 years after the event?

Our friend said that many people suggested to him that he should have a counter case against the father but he said no way! What is the purpose of our arrival on the earth? I thought that humans would want to live a peaceful life, especially the educated people. But then again it comes to the definition of “educated” people. That you have a degree from college only indicates that you have taken education. It does not make you “educated”. The grandfather does not talk to the granddaughter also. This according to me is taking things really too far! I am just wondering how much the father must be suffering? Today he is 77 but status quo of cutting off the son and his family remains. Friends I feel that not even my enemy should be required to go through such a severe punishment. Only thing that comes mind after knowing this event, is the hope that in near future this episode will get over and the family will come together again. But hats off to my friend for remaining calm and composed under such duress.