Monday, December 19, 2011


When I first came to Mumbai, my cousin’s wife helped me get a job in an Insurance Company. It was just a temporary job; but, for a struggler like me, it meant a lot.

I was not interested in any office work, as I was dreaming about a teaching world. But, the hard reality was that I was alone in Mumbai and I had to earn… I had to accept any job that came my way… Yes, I had to be ‘practical’.
So, there I was… in that office doing a job not of my interest. Naturally, my heart was not in it.

What I still remember about that short stint in that office is: there were two very senior colleagues around me; they have stayed in my mind for two different reasons.
The first one was a very rude person. He was unapproachable… extremely critical and for my every mistake - like little children in school do - he would run to the Manager’s cabin to complain. It was a daily scene… and, I would dread to think about this man… So, negative he was!

And, the second one was a kind soul. He was very caring for all the new-comers. He empathized with them… and went out of his way to guide them, teach the, share his experience with them. In the process, he empowered them. I still remember how patiently he would help me see and overcome my mistakes. He would do it in a very gentle and positive manner. For him, mistakes of a junior like me were an opportunity to share, teach… Make a difference in someone’s life… And, in the process, feel good about himself. That was his way of self-growth… His way of living life.

The other man was a sadist, to say the least. He found tremendous amount of thrill when we juniors sulked, cried. When we were frightened, he felt good about himself… Every time he ran to his Boss to complaint about us, he got a pleasure out of it… He felt secure. He derived his sense of security by keeping others suppressed, uninspired, and dumb.

The good soul sought
his security by enlightening, inspiring and empowering others. When others around him grew,
he too did.
He found a great joy
for being a part of success
of those around him…
particularly, we juniors.

This episode took place about thirty-two years ago. I have no idea where those two men now are. But, if today, at this moment, if I am remembering them, they certainly must have taught me something. And, because I learnt what they taught me, I am now able to pass on the same to you… my readers.

THE LESSON: Be kind to those around you, who are new and inexperienced. Empathize with them… Share your knowledge and experience with them… Empower them. Find your own security and happiness in the security and happiness of these novices. Find your own growth in theirs.

Empowering someone around you – particularly the less-fortunate ones, less experienced ones – is a quality stemming straight from our healthy self-esteem. It is also the best way to enhance our self-esteem. You cannot empower and help some one and feel low about yourself at the same time.

There is sea in this world by the name – ‘The Dead Sea’. They call it so, because, it doesn’t’ share… Whatever it receives, it keeps to itself. They say, no one travels by its sides… No merchant stops to take its water…and no bird flies over it… No one goes near it with a hope… The legend has it that even the Sun – the perpetual giver – is angry about it…!

I do not know where those two men are, today. But, I want to cry out to both of them “Thank you”.

I have never gone near ‘The Dead Sea’…

I do not wish to!


The brilliant images used in this Post are by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members of The Dawn Club, and, along with his gifted-artist wife, Sudha, has been helping me, and the Club, right from its inception.



Yes Gerry.

We always come across in life - in every area - these tow kinds of people. One, open, one closed. One, hurts, one heals.

Great piece!



Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thanks Usha... Oh, Yes! we have plenty!