Friday, June 2, 2017


Some days ago, Anand, a dear friend of mine, had come to speak to the students of our on-going P.D. course. During his talk, he told our young ones about Amitabh Bachchan’s most harrowing phase in life. Amithab’s ship – ABCL, his company – had sunk… He had become bankrupt with more than ninety crores in debt, and there seemed no hope… The creditors were hounding him, friends had either deserted or turned foes… The bankers had come to take his two houses…  He was no more an angry young man nor a romantic hero to get roles in new films… Yes, the future looked dark, scary!

Anand told the young ones this: “During this dark phase, Amitabh had gone to meet – seek help – from Dhirubhai Ambani. Maybe, deep in his heart, Amitabh must’ve prayed, that ‘the Richest Man of India’, Dhirubhai, would bail him out in one straight go – pay off the ninety-crore debt! But, Dhirubhai didn’t. He did not send back Amitabh with cash to free him from troubles… but, he sent back Amitabh, his friend, with something far more valuable than cash: HOPE!”

“Don’t lose hope, my young friends,” Anand advised our young ones, “With hope in your heart, you can sail any storm in life!”

I could immediately relate to what Anand was telling our young Amitabhs and Ambanis… I have been ‘there’ – where Amitabh had been – countless times…

Robert Schuller had made this line famous: “Tough times never last but tough people do.”

But, do they?

Yes, they do!

I have been to my own Dhirubhais, so many times, whenever my boat seemed to be caught in stormy waters… and, many of my dear friends have sent me back with ‘Hope’… a currency far more precious than ‘Money’…

I have been on the other side of the story, too, many times. So many have come to me - and they still do - to seek my financial help… It may be peanuts compared to what Bachchan sought from Dhirubhai or Anil Ambani, Dhirubhai’s son, presently is seeking from the government to pay-off his company’s (RCom) debt – 45,000 crores! When people come to me, sometimes, I go out of my way to bail them out… Sometimes, realizing my own plight, I send them back with hope… But, I do reach out…

“Don’t say ‘Yes’ when you want to say ‘No’.” I was in my twenties when I read this book on being an assertive person – and a person of healthy self-esteem – by Herbert Fensterheim and Jean Baer. We cause harm to ourselves if we do not show enough care for our own wounded hearts… Often, learning to say ‘No’ can be the best help we can do to someone who has come to us in distress… But, ‘No’ coming from not cold blood or insensitivity… but, ‘No’ coming from self-care, empathy and compassion for others…

“Sir, I really want to help you,” said a very dear one recently to me, “give me some time.” He continued, “You know sir, my challenges are ‘huge’ compared to yours… If my ship is stable, it will be able to pull a few boats!”

I loved that!

I came back with loads of ‘hope’!

Pic.: Anil Sajnani

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