70 plus 500 is equal to Nil!

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I don’t know if this is a blog or a retrospection! The meaning of the title is a bit odd. But I completed 70 th year on 7th October, and this is my 500th blog on the  8 th October, Dussehera, one of the significant festivals of Hindus! So, I can say that these two events, or maybe milestones, were reached on two consecutive days! But the meaning of the title is that I am resetting both figures 70 and 500 to zero. It is going to be the new beginning of a phase in my life, the length of which I do not know!  

What will resetting 70 achieve? What will resetting 500 achieve? Honestly, I feel a little embarrassed to mention the blog number when I publish one. But I do not know how to keep track of these numbers. There is no target; there is nothing to prove! I have been a reasonable engineer but never a writer! Someone asked me what my objective of publishing the blogs is? There is no objective or a target, and there is simply passion. What created this passion is very difficult to say.  

I started creating some technical documents during my software business. The need for these documents was to have full clarity and avoid ambiguity. As the projects began becoming larger and customers started becoming more demanding, the need for clarity went up and up! It helped me to write what I wanted to say with clarity; this is helping me while writing the blogs. Some friends tell me that I don’t write precisely like an engineer but argue from both sides. When I write the blog, I am not proving anything or anyone right or wrong. Hence, I write more than one viewpoints. The idea is to delve on a thought or an event or a situation. Get an overall feel and then go deeper into the subject. Some blogs need me to research on the net. Some issues are memories from my life; others are experiences that acquired over a period or got them while on the go!  

But the idea is to start writing as thoughts are gathered for a blog in my mindMy friend Jayprakash has divided my blogs into two types, impulsive and compulsive! He has hit the bull’s eye!  I have given below one example each of Impulsive and Compulsive blogs.

Impulsive blog 

https://panvalkarpramod.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/brave-art/ 

Compulsive blog 

https://panvalkarpramod.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/article-370-common-mans-view/ 

Impulsive blogs are visualised by me like setting the destination on Google maps. I know the beginning, the middle and the end at the start itself. These are written almost in one shot. Whereas for the compulsive blogs, I generally know the beginning and have a vague end in mind. I am not sure what I am going to writeIt can be compared with the olden way of looking for an address. I stop, I think and then move forward. It is like getting down from the car and asking the autorickshaw chap or pan walla for the direction to reach my destinationBut I reach my destination missing a turn or two.  

To me, the most important part is the end productThe result of my satisfaction can be achieved by editing and fine-tuning before I publish; it is the toughest aspect of blog writingI also use an English checking software called Grammarly, which is of great help! For images, quotes or diagrams, Google baba is always there to help! I think, in the end, it is your comments, suggestions, discussions that help me get better. I know there is still enormous scope for improvement. So here I declare my target! I have no targetbut I am going to do my best to improve to the best of my abilities!  

Now about the resetting of the number 70! Many of my friends and classmates have been reaching this landmark (if it can be called landmark) in 2019 as they were born in 1949. When I ask them about their feelings, I am mostly getting pleasant responses. Some have gone through major tragedies; some have suffered health issues. In some cases, health problems continue. In other cases, the event was a onetime health event. Friends have said thGat they mostly feel as if they are 15/20 years younger! I am sure such thoughts come to mind when life has treated you generally well. But a friend suffered a major tragedy in her young age, but I was happy to note that she was also quite enthusiastic about life in general. But someone haat this age faced the death of his 45-year-old son in an accident. The usual adage of time helps to heal all the wounds may not work in tragedies of such nature!  

Resetting the counter at the age of 70 opens up many vistas! My blog published yesterday discusses the benefits of the golden period of our life! 

https://panvalkarpramod.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/the-beauty-of-the-golden-period/ 

It will open many possibilities in life, and you will wonder why you did not do certain things in life! Have a glass of wine if you have never done it before– it is no big deal. World over, the people do enjoy a drink or two! सोमरस  has always been discussed in our mythological storiesMention of  सोमरस can give you the moral support you want. Join some clubs and enjoy playing cards! Try and spend some time doing social work, give time for needy. There are many lonely people in this world because of many reasons. Don’t wait to create some big system which will help others. By all means, do it, but you can start with small selfhelp groups in your locality. Go to old people’s home in your neighbourhood and spend some time with these lonely people. The meaning of resetting is simply to bring back your enthusiasm to do whatever you want to doDon’t do it to prove something but do it to give satisfaction to yourself and help othersMeet friends, phone them up! Meet your cousins, they will be probably of the same age as you are 

Resetting of the number 70 is a significant phase in your life. What you plan and do after reset is going to decide the way you are going to live in the golden period of your life. It is very easy to get entangled into a rut and a sad, unpleasant mindset. I have some definite plans in my mind, which I am going to try and see if they work. We tend to become rigid in our thought process as we grow older, so I am going to attempt to become more flexible. Empathy is one more aspect which all of us have to some extent; I will try my best show more empathy towards others! I want to delete the word EGO from my dictionary today.

Some of my friends have jokingly told me that I had reached a stage where I will have to be treated by paediatricians; I will try not to be treated by any doctor as far as possible. I would instead meet them socially, with that famous glass of wine I mentioned above 

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The long and short of the Queue!

A queue is a line of people or things waiting to be handled, usually in sequential order starting at the beginning or top of the line or sequence. In computer technology, a queue is a sequence of work objects that are waiting to be processed. The possible factors, arrangements, and processes related to queues are known as queueing theory. What do the queues do? They make life orderly, save time!

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But one thing I have never understood is why the word queue is spelt as queue and not Q! The spelling is the quirk from the English language!  

Forming a queue is the indication of a developed and organised society. Yes, we in India are not a developed society! What does a line indicate? It indicates that people behave in an orderly fashion; if the line is too big, then there are obviously a smaller number of windows than needed. If the line is moving slowly, then the person handling the work or the work process is inefficient. Or it indicates that the quantity of things being offered is limited. (school admission forms) People sometimes reach very early to enter a match arena. I remember that when I went to Melbourne to see the Cricket world cup finals, there were no big queues! The total number of spectators was 93 thousand plus. We reached inside the stadium about 45 minutes before the start time without any hassle or jostling 

Queues are the reflection of the world. The society has always been divided based on cast and creed. To manage complications, the boarding process at the airports is handled differently. While you board a flight, there is a separate queue for first/business class and others! Those who pay a significant additional chunk of money, get priority for boarding and deplaning. Is this fair? Yes and no both. Honestly, the flight takes off only after ALL the cattle class and the privileged board. Still, the boarding distinction takes place. It is done probably to pamper the ego of a particular category. Some want to pay more, get on the plane only at the last moment. But a separate queue is a fact of life. Frankly, what happens by boarding late, I have never understood. Ego boosting? 

A lot of discussions take place on this subject. Should human rights be the same for all? Can the state or an airline sell the rights at a higher price? Priority access is given any many places like theatres, theme parks and many such public areas. In India typical jumping the queue is done at the Balaji Mandir at Tirupati. The passes are sold at a fee, that gives priority to jump the queue.   

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Many people do not have time these days and are always in a hurry! Why does it happen? It is their mindset; let me do things quickly. In India, we see many such people. On an inquiry counter, they barge to the front without standing in the queue. When someone objects, they will claim that they have only half a minute inquiry!

A priority access line allows people to choose what resource they want to use to get to the front – time or money. For many people, time is more precious than money, so being able to hand over money to save time is a boon. The other side of the argument is if the service offered is efficient, reasonably quick, then people do not mind waiting for a few minutes. The value of the service provided depends on the actual service that is being offered. If the process of sending a parcel takes a couple of hours at a post office, then it is a strict no-no! But if the renewal of passport takes a couple of hours people do not mind.  

That brings me to the passport renewal process in India. First and foremost, one can apply only online. There is no manual process hence no queues. The application is locked after the required documents are uploaded. Based on dates availability, the appointment is given online. All are expected to be present at the office 15 minutes before their appointment time. At the allocated time, people are let inside the premises. You are generally done in one hour. For senior citizens like me, one can walk in at any time suitable. I came out in thirty minutes flat. Yes! There is a set procedure for priority appointments for an additional fee! Why should this be available? Sometimes an emergency crops up in life which needs jumping the queue! This emergency could be because of real crisis or neglect!  

But there are situations where people love to be in the queue. For example, a famous cell phone is launching a new model! Some renowned brand is launching shoes! People love to stand in line. When McDonalds started its first outlet in Pune, people used to stand in queue for some time to visit them. The queues continued for the first six months!  

When people are in the queue for entry into a sports stadium, waiting to enter a theatre to listen to their favourite crooner, they love it. It is treated as recreational queuing! People chat, smoke, have ice cream and have fun. Nobody cribs standing in these queues.   

Priority queuing will depend on what service is being offered. When people go to buy grocery, they hate waiting for checking out. Such businesses are already proving facilities like selfchecking counters for those who have purchased less than ten items at a time. Now they are providing apps where the buyer can scan the barcodes on their cell phones. When the last purchase is made, buyers can pay using their cell phone apps directly. The method makes checking out hasslefree.  

Does all this mean that the class is being replaced by money? Market forces take over. I read a facility provided in an office building in olden days. People used to get fed up of waiting for the lift/elevator to take you up; during peak period queues were long. They provided mirrors inside the lifts. As soon as people got inside the lift, most would adjust their clothing, ties, scarves, dresses and suits! They used the time to make themselves presentable. The provision of mirrors reduced the cribbing to a great extent. I never knew the reason for putting the mirrors in lifts!  

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Technology and evolution have changed many things, and it has changed the interaction of people standing in the queue! Oh, I am sorry! There is no interaction, people keep on looking at their respective screens! Technology has created a new situation. When we chat with Customer Service Support of some companies, the first thing that generally happens is that we get a message. “You are in the queue. Your call is valuable to us. One of our executives will attend to you shortly.” The music starts. Shortly can become annoying five minutes too!  The “person” chatting with you could be a BOT! Of course, there is always a variant in the message! You are our Gold Customer and will be attended to on priority!

I know that with most of you, my blogs are in the queue for your attention! But I will respond to you right away if you write to me! You are all Gold for me!

 

 

  

Anatomy of group behavior 

A mischief of mice, A Barren of Mules, A leap of Leopards are the strange names given to groups of some mammals. We humans have also been living in groups for a very long time. So, forming a group for cohabitation is nothing new to us. Only thing strange in human groups is the behavior of humans.

In pre-agriculture days we were all nomads and kept moving as and when required or needed by situation, like other mammals. There was no ownership concept including spouses and children. Children were “owned” by mothers because father’s identity could have been difficult to prove. Survival of the fittest law was used to prove “ownership” of the lady! As there was no concept ownership, bickering and disputes must have been much less compared to today. Main fights would be about the lady and the food. The fights have reduced today, comparatively, due to rules of the society and general abundance of food.

Ownership concept started bringing in rules which were formed and stabilized over a period. Different ways of meeting each other have been devised like clubs for playing cards, billiards. Rotary clubs came into being. All have their own rules, regulations and etiquettes. Then there are special groups by profession and trade. All these groups have one thing in common; they physically meet once in a week or once in a fortnight or whatever was thought suitable.

But during last few years new type of groups, which are virtual, have started, the WhatsApp groups. Formation of these groups has been similar to groups mentioned above with one difference. People meet each other less frequently and in some cases, they almost never meet. Such groups are alumni groups, organization groups and so on. I am a member of couple of groups of people who were in school or colleges, years back. Technology has brought them together.

In the groups which meet physically often, one gets to know each other where people see gestures, expressions on face and those in the eye.  Intonation of sound also plays an important role in knowing each other, better. In case of WhatsApp groups, physical meetings are infrequent, all “talk” is mostly in writing; somehow people have apprehensions in talking to each other on cell phones. Another important aspect is that in case alumni, people are meeting each other after 30 to 45 years. We forget that people do change during such a long period. They try to interact with each other as if they were still in college. With some close friends this maybe ok but not with all. In many cases people live in different cities or countries; even in Mumbai one could be in Kalyan and other could be in Virar. With this difficulty, it takes time to reach the closeness that was there in olden days. Something that we write may sound quite different when spoken face to face. Anonymity is also an issue as all are behind a screen, this case a small screen. This lead to different behaviour.

Etiquettes for WhatsApp groups are still evolving. Slowly it looks like people are reaching an agreement with the idea of avoiding religious, political discussions for obvious reasons. Main issue that many groups face is “forwards”. This is a new phenomena in communication. If the group size is upto 20/25, forwards maybe manageable. But I am in a group where there are about 150 members. Imagine, all 150-people sending one forward every day. There will be 150 forwards and comments thereon. The clutter it will create is unimaginable. During the efforts to prevent forwards in this group, there was so much fight and bad blood, it is unbelievable.

Then there are some people who are trying to push their agenda. Somebody is interested in problems related buffaloes, some are very keen proponents of palmistry, some want to forward some unproven remedies which will cure all the diseases in the world! Luckily nobody has sent some remedy which make alive a dead person! If group has common interest in buffaloes, by all means send such things, same thing about other subjects. But not otherwise! We should be working with lowest common denominator.

People simply don’t understand the concept of clutter. We declare birthdays of people from the group, on previous evening. We took almost two weeks to make people understand how sending wishes to individual id, instead of sending on the group avoids clutter. Similarly, achievements of members and their family members are shared on the group. It was suggested that same as birthday wishes, congratulatory messages may be sent to individual id’s. One friend is opposed to it. Not only that, he quit the group.

This is something not understood by me. Average age in our group is 68/69. Quitting the group is simply beyond me to understand. Disagreements should be treated just like disagreements and nothing else! It is simply a different view point from matured persons. Things discussed are so mundane, how can there be serious difference? We are lucky that we could come together after so many years. Is it worth quitting for mundane reasons? My logic says, quitting is not an option!

Some psychologists say that after the age of 65 maybe our thought process and behaviour supposedly becomes childlike. I remember a small incident about my grandchild Suyash, who then was 4 to 5 years old. He had become excited and crossed the limit of naughtiness. My son Sachin said, “Suyash waaa!”. This was an indication that Sachin was unhappy. Suyash ran upstairs and sat at the top of the stairs with head in his hand. Sachin and me were smiling and watching him from the dining table below. After a few minutes, Suyash said, “Dad, do you think you are sorry for saying Waaa to me?” Sachin said, “Yes, beta come to me”! Suyash ran down and gave a hug to his dad! Psychologists seem to have judged correctly or is it the usual culprit the EGO! C U! 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺 in WhatsApp lingo!

Ego or Maniac 

After I heard a story about a person, I am not sure whether that person has a large ego or he is a maniac; maybe he is an egomaniac! This is what happened. One day a gentleman received text message, in our city Pune, from traffic police. We have a system, if you break traffic rules, the cameras placed at strategic locations in certain busy areas automatically take your picture. With vehicle details captured, a text is sent to you with the photograph in action, and challan for the fine, in this case Rs.250/. Our man was caught on camera but he was using his son’s two-wheeler hence the text message went to his son. His son paid off the fine, online, and next day he casually mentioned the incident to his father. His father said how can they know that I had broken the law, I did not have any interaction with police. So, his son showed him the text with photo!  

This is where the real story starts. First let me tell you the background of the person. He is senior gynecologist, my age, a reputed person in the society. The next day he met his gang who take morning walk together every day, and have their cuppa post walk. During the tea session, he told the story to others and was extremely agitated. He said how they can fine me for just standing on those white lines. I am sure, that he did not want to be “aware” of the concept of Zebra crossing! He felt that the government is looting the people under the garb of discipline. When he showed the photo to the friends, one of them said, “You are the only one standing on Zebra crossing, others are all behind”. He was so upset that he asked his friends, ” Tell me alternate route so that I don’t have to pass through that area, with cameras. I will make sure I will never pay the fine again. In fact, it was a big mistake that my son paid the fine!” He was told by friends, “Don’t change the route, simply follow the basic rules!” He said no way he can do that, heavens will not fall if I stand on those white lines. 

What would you call such a person? Why is so angry against basic thing like self-discipline? Is it because of his big fat ego? Or is he a maniac which means  that he has a specific type of mental abnormality or obsession? Or is he an ego maniac meaning a person who is obsessively egotistical or self-centered?  

If it were only ego, I would expect that good offices would have prevailed with a bit of pampering of the ego.  His friends were just suggesting that a highly educated person like him should be the role model to all. As a doctor he is a leader in the society. If he had said something after road rage or some altercation or an argument with police, it would be understandable though not acceptable. His son paid the fine indicates that the progeny is behaving normally and doing fine so nothing in DNA.  

A professional like him cannot be a maniac, I am confident. This would have been known to all, had it been the case. But can be termed as ego maniac! Too much self-centered, very high self-esteem and person with an attitude are the terms that can define such a person. Where does the world go if an  educated professional has this attitude?  

Anyone breaking law is not acceptable. But did the doctor achieve something with this behavior? I do not visualize any apparent gain. There was no interaction with any human in this episode. Is lack of interaction bugging him? That he was caught unawares is also bugging him! If a policeman had been present and pointed out to him the incorrect action, the doctor would have probably bull dozed the policeman into letting him get away.  An illiterate person does not know the rules so he may break it. He would not generally break rules once it is pointed out to him. Our man brazenly challenges the law; but does he have guts to challenge it in court of law?  

Do we come across many such people in life? Honestly not many, but what could be the genesis of this thought process in humans? Can this be the superiority complex? This can happen in a smallish group of people, if somebody does far better than others in life. Or it can also happen due to perceived success in life. What is the definition of better? What is the definition of success? A lot of money, a lot of political clout? Or What? Is it better? Or being a good human being is better? But if we take the case of our doctor, there may be hundreds of such people in our city who have reached their success station in life. Why did our doctor become this way? Is there something skewed in his persona? Could it be due to some specific incident in his life’s earlier phase? How does his family handle him or even tolerate him? Maybe there is no option!  

We can only pray to Him that our doctor does not become role model to anyone! I also pray to God to “cure” him of his issues; honestly it is embarrassing to see people behave so differently!

 

  

 

Yes both are right but sometimes one is more right!

The Internet has made things so easy, some of the best ideas are made available with ease, and the list includes, photos, videos, articles, caricatures and so on. I came across a cartoon a few days back, and it set my thought process rolling. The god’s gift to us humans, life, becomes quite complicated because every situation has different interpretations, a way of looking at it. Death is the only situation in our lives, which has no two sides. A dead person is always a dead person!

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This caricature is the epitome of complications that exists in our world. The number six viewed from the other side is nine. This is what happens in all situations. When both parties understand the meaning of caricature above, conflicts are avoided, or both teams will react differently. But in most cases, people don’t want to understand or don’t understand that there are two sides to any coin, which leads to conflicts, fights, murders and even wars! But a different approach to the same event can lead to significant evolutions.

First human society came into being around 10000 BC. Earth has been in existence for millions of years before. With the evolution of society, there came a time when humans started communicating, remembering, in general thinking like we do today. That is when the ownership concept started evolving. Ownership of crops, land, home and later wives! Before this period, disputes must have been only about eating stuff available as nobody owned anything. Eating was the only thing that was required for survival. Humans must have behaved mostly like animals, but the evolution of the brain changed things rapidly.

Why do two persons look at the same thing differently? The example of six and nine defines this different outlook perfectly. What could be the possible reasons for this different outlook? Ego? Superiority complex? Narrow thought process? Not able to grasp the situation? Out of box thinking!

Example of narrow thought process is exemplified in a short story. A shoe salesman is sent to an island with no instructions. After two days of the survey, he sends a message to headquarters, “People don’t wear any type of footwear, don’t send any shoes!” He is called back, and another shoe salesman is sent. The new salesman sends a message to headquarters, “Nobody wears any footwear, send two containers of shoes immediately!” Same situation but different interpretation and approach.

The classic example of “Out of Box thinking”. A few days back, Mukesh Ambani made a statement that H1 visa issue in the US, for the Indian IT sector, is a boon for India. He felt that many talented people who would move to the US will be forced to stay back in India and will work for the betterment of India. In India, we always think that our large population comes in the way of our growth. Mukesh Ambani has made one more statement recently. He said the “Data is new Oil”; he spoke with India’s 1.2 billion population there is a vast data available. It is for the next generation of entrepreneurs to use data to create processes, products and systems which will benefit a large population.

My personal opinion is that this is an excellent opportunity for the Indian IT sector to go up the value chain instead of remaining as glorified contractors! With such a massive pool of talent, cash-rich companies, none of the big ones even thought about going up the value chain. “Narrow thought process”? Companies run by so-called bean counters? Is profit the only motive?

In good old license raj days, some very successful companies made Nylon fibres. One of the businessmen in Pune thought that he will also make the same products and replicate what the other companies did. License Raj ended, good businessmen manoeuvred out of the situation, but our friend in Pune was “Not able to grasp” the situation. In a few years, from Rs.300/ crores, they had to close down!

In the war with India before 1971, Pakistan used to boast that they can easily defeat India with superior fighter planes F16. But Indian fighter pilots with their Gnats had excellent skills, and we know the result! “Ego & Superiority Complex?”

In examples mentioned above, things can be done in different ways, but as mentioned in the title “one is more right”! By the way, to avoid 6 & 9 or M & W situation there is a method of writing, to avoid the confusion! 6 & 9 or M &W. Cheers, always think for the betterment of whatever you are doing and try to be more right!

Maturity!

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.

(http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/O-zone/what-does-it-mean-to-be-mature/

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.”

Sorrrrry but what about my EGO!

My wife and I go every evening to drop off our grand-daughter to join a group of children who play, sing and have fun in general. The place has a small ground and a mandir. There are some benches kept on the premises, for people to enjoy their evening chit chat. Many senior citizens have their adda and discuss all the things in this world. It is a fun place.

There was a small incident yesterday. At the entrance, one of the young ladies, who drops off her child, parked her scooter in such a way that it caused inconvenience to people. A gentleman came and declared his displeasure at the difficulty he faced. The lady was around, and the moment she realised her mistake, she said: “Sir, I am really sorry, I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience”! She removed the scooter and parked it properly. Matter ends!

No, it does not end. Why? I used to think that saying Sorry is one of the tougher things in life, especially when you are young (though I personally do not have this problem) but I realised that some people find it even tougher to accept the apology gracefully!

Why the event did not end? The gentleman, instead of accepting the apology gracefully, kept on arguing “today you are saying sorry, tomorrow there will be someone else and so on”. What did this argument achieve? Nothing. The young lady kept on asking the gentleman, “Sir, the first thing I did was to apologise and parked the scooter properly. Now, what more do you want from me?” The same argument kept on going for some time. The gentleman really did not have anything worthwhile to argue, but probably his ego came into the picture.

Some senior ladies, who knew the young lady, came into the picture. They kept on arguing the same thing with the gentleman, but he just would not budge! The young lady got a bit emotional, but through all this, she kept her grace, always kept the respect for the senior person. Another five-ten minute of back and forth arguments, with no proverbial end of tunnel seen anywhere in the vicinity.

Then I called the young lady to come and sit by me on the bench. I explained to her that, even as early tomorrow morning, she will not remember this incident. She agreed, but she was emotional and kept on saying the same thing. “When I apologised immediately why this gentleman keeps shouting at me?” Honestly, I had no answer. But I explained to her that she had behaved gracefully and it showed her proper upbringing! Even under stress, she kept due respect for the person all through his irrational behaviour. I also explained to her that we see children behave and they react differently to the same situation. The same children grow and become senior citizens. All of them retain their childhood straits!

On the lighter side, had this happened in the wild west in the USA, 200 years back, there would have been a duel, and one of them would be dead! I hear that Wild West still exists in northern India! I have read of people being killed for lesser reasons!

Friends the jury is still out, let me know your say!