There is a lovely song in the Hindi film Amar Prem. Kishore Kumar has sung it. The enchanting music is by R D Burman, and some of its lyrics are below.
“Kuchh to log kahenge logon ka kaam hai kehnaa
Chhodo bekaar ki baaton mein kaheen beet na jaaye rainaa.”
People will say something or the other; it’s their business to talk,
Ignore it, lest the night should pass in these useless things.
“Hum ko jo taane dete hain, ham khoye hain in rang-raliyon mein
Hum ne un ko bhi chhup chhup ke aate dekhaa in galiyon mein
Ye sach hai jhoothi baat nahi tum bolo ye sach hai na”
Those who taunt us, saying we’re lost in debauchery. I’ve seen even them come in these lanes in hiding. It is the truth, not a false rumour you say, isn’t it true?
Listen to the beautiful song.
I have taken only a few lines from the song. Life is full of people with hypocrisy. Whatever you do or say, some will say bad things about you; they will blame you come what may! Then why bother about such people. That is why the title “You don’t owe anybody anything!” They want to say something against you, they will say it anyway.
I will make only one exception of owing. You owe something to your children, but lest you get me wrong, they don’t owe you anything. You have brought your children into this world, so it is your responsibility to help them learn things until they become independent.
What is the purpose of our life? What do we expect from it? You may want to achieve things, or you may want to take it easy in life. But I am sure that all of us are aiming towards a happy life. My friend Vijay sent me a video yesterday about happiness. The video made me think. The person in the video mentioned that we should strive to be happy, we should work hard and love our work. Satisfaction in the work will not make you happy. We should be in touch with our family and friends regularly, even if others are busy. People think that they are busy and don’t have time to be in touch with others. But it is not so. You should take out time to keep in touch. The third thing is that you should take holidays every year — a couple of longish holidays, or at least a few small ones. These three things are independent of each other. As a surgeon, you maybe passionate about your work. As a scientist, you may get engrossed in your work. But that completes only one part of your life. If you don’t do the other things, at some stage, you will feel empty.
There is one more rider! You owe it to your spouse. You have taken an oath “Till death.” So, spouses owe it to each other. Over a period, spouses are expected to become close friends. I need not explain more. Other than this, you don’t owe it to anyone, and nobody owes you anything.
Our main aim should always be to become a good person, a happy person. Others may like you because you are a good person, but don’t forget that they don’t owe it to you. Don’t feel bad that someone does not behave well with you, and she does not keep in touch with you. That does not mean that you are not a good person. Her thinking may be different from yours. Once you understand this concept, you will be much better off in life. You will have fewer issues with life!
I was coming back from school. My friend Pradeep was not on the bus that day. There was another child, whom I knew, was eating chocolate. Though I knew her, she did not offer me chocolate. After I reached home, I told the episode to my mother. She said to me at that time, “Pramod you are a good child. But that does not mean that your friend had to give a part of that chocolate. She might have been hungry. There could be many reasons. That she did not share chocolate with you does not make you a bad person.” It is one lesson I learnt in my childhood that is helping me a lot!
You meet and become close to many people in your life’s journey. They may be colleagues, or they may be your neighbours. But we sometimes forget that we may not be able to keep in touch with all of them throughout our life! It has nothing do you with how that person is! Only with very few people, you will continue to have a life long relationship. That is how life’s journey is. You can compare the journey with ever-flowing water of a river. We like the river, and we love it’s flowing water! But does the river like you? You will say that the river is not a person, and it has no feelings. That is my point. The persons may have emotions, but that does not mean that the same will be reciprocated with you. If they like you, they love you, then it is good. But don’t forget that they don’t owe you.
Love and respect are two things that you must earn! You can’t go inside the minds of the people and force them to love or respect you. Years back, I had just started my business. I went to see the purchase manager of one organisation. He was a dear friend.
He called his assistant. My friend told him, “This is my friend Pramod. Please see if we can buy some items from his company. Do not come to me for anything. The deal should be beneficial to our company, and our buying should be as per our company’s policies.” I got the orders. I supplied my products to this company for 2/3 years. But after that, their company policies changed, and my company did not fit into the scheme of things. Purchase Manager was my neighbour. We met often. But the subject of business never came into discussion, ever. Both of us knew why my dealings had stopped with them. I knew that he did not owe it to me!
In Bhutan, they worry more about Gross happiness Index rather than worrying about GDP, Gross Domestic Product. I think Bhutan’s priorities are correct. Better GDP or more money help you to be a little happier. But if people are already happy, lesser GDP does not make people unhappy!
Friends, this is an essential subject and should be introduced to children while they are young. At the same time elders also can think about what I have written and should try to become happier. You owe it yourself to remain happy!