For the past 10 days, I have been recuperating from surgery at my hometown. I felt that I was back in my childhood with my mother telling me to chew properly and eat slowly. Unlike my childhood days, I realized that I can eat slowly and have a conversation as well.
Ever since I’ve been home I have been meeting scores of relatives and they all had stories to share. With two of my family members, I have spent time more than I ever had in my life. One went to talk about the relationships with parents and how he is rediscovering life. It was interesting to note that we both liked Jay Shetty and Sadhguru’s videos which were inspiring for both us. The conversations touched all facets of life. On recollection, I am not sure if I had spoken to him for so long in as many years.
The other conversation with a relative was very interesting where he narrated his full life. It was indeed very fascinating, as he had left a very cushy job and decided to explore his life. He went to Himalayas and Bhutan. He narrated a very gripping incident in Goa and finally how he got that vital break in Delhi when a person whom he had never met gave him a break that he could have never imagined. This was in the early 1980s when COBOL programming was on the ascent. He successfully completed the COBOL programming course and was in demand by 1984 when the computer revolution took center stage in India.
Spending so many hours with the two of them helped me to make a deeper connection with them. Apart from these two stories, the numerous anecdotes I heard from my relatives was very soothing. As they say, you see what you seek and I guess I was in that frame of mind.
Y’day my wife met one of my college friends during her dance class in Bangalore. Before she could explain what happened to me, he said, I saw his FB post and blog and I had spoken to him last week. It was even more interesting for me when my school friend Harish seeing my Facebook post called me last week and checked my status of recovery. He followed that up with a personal visit. We were meeting each other after 1991. We both were in touch over some over phone calls and through social updates. As we met we recounted stories of the past. He and his brother would come regularly to see Star Trek. It was very nice to go through all the old stories of school and college. The best part was when he came to meet me, I was at my neighbour’s house. We called the neighbour out and showed him how Harish looked now after so many years. As we settled down for a cup of tea, Harish told me how we made our neighbor angry every time when we hit our rubber ball into their house while playing cricket in our street. We had a nice laugh and nostalgia was evident.
On the 1st of Feb, my in-laws participated in a school event. It was for recognizing their contribution in supporting around six school children for higher studies. The occasion was the institution of Hemant Education Memorial Award. It was in remembrance of my brother – in – law who had an untimely demise in 2017. As a family, we all felt good about this service and contribution.
In that function, Gopinath Muthakad (famous magician) engaged students very well through his motivational talk. I was not aware of this facet of him. My in-laws were very impressed with the way he spoke at the event. He created an acronym called START (I checked out on the web for this acronym but couldn’t find) and was encouraging the students to study now, staying away from devices as the exam season is fast approaching. That conversation got registered in my mind.
Later I checked out a couple of his videos and I was very much inspired. I shared it with my wife and mother. I particularly liked his storytelling style and that led me to discover the story of Alexander and Diogenes. The story goes like this: according to legend, Alexander the Great came to visit the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope. Alexander wanted to fulfill a wish for Diogenes and asked him what he desired. Diogenes replied, “Stand out of my light.” It is said that Alexander was so struck by this, and admired so much the haughtiness and grandeur of the man who had nothing but scorn for him, that he said to his followers, who were laughing and jesting about the philosopher as they went away, “But truly, if I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes. I was very captivated by the way Muthukad narrated the story.
Isn’t it interesting how a defining moment lead me to create a refining experience?
It is heartfelt gratitude from my side for all the support I got from family members. Special thanks to my friend Kavitha. Her morning messages were an inspiration and I owe my sincere gratitude to her. From my TILT Kaizen group, a big thank you for the support. In the company of my family members, friends and others I understood myself better. I guess that I leveraged the Emotional Intelligence foundation skills of Self Awareness, Attention and Empathy.
It was also interesting to see how my 94-year-old grandmother was running her daily chores and it was fun. The one-sided conversations between my mother and grandmother was a treat to watch ( save it for another day). I received a call from my 90 yr old great uncle. His message over the phone was to look at this experience as a very positive one. Think of it as an opportunity where you could spend some good time with your mother &grandmother, In-laws, friends and family.
All my well-wishers “stood out like a light “ for me in this process of recovery.
Healing becomes easy when you get so much care and attention. Be it in person, be it virtually, their wishes do stimulate you. I reflected and understood that all the conversations were priceless.