I was speaking to my old school friend after a long time. It went on for 45 minutes. During that conversation we went into one of the initiatives she is planning, to uplift a certain section of society. That resonated with me and the above quote flew out of my mouth. Sometimes, you don’t have to worry about articulation as somebody has said it very well. The point was very clear and we decided to keep in touch in the future for this initiative.
After our conversation, I was grateful for this profound thought on how we have to look at our deeds beyond the immediate and plant seeds for the future. That made me look back at my life. There are people, places, and things that have planted seeds in my life without any expectation.
It was after my engineering in 1994 that I was looking for a job. I still recollect how my project guide gave me a letter and asked me to meet his friend in Pune. That was the seed that was planted for my professional career. As they say, ” A man doesn’t plant a seed for himself, he plants it for posterity”. I took that letter, met his friend, and the rest as they say is history. If I have to trace back my 25 years of professional life it can be narrowed down to those moments and I am grateful to these two souls who made a big difference. To date, I make it a point to call them once in three months and check on their well being.
I am also grateful to another two souls. One uncle (not a relation) picked me up from the railway station during the wee hours and made me settle well in those initial days. It was my first trip alone by train outside my native place and I still recollect A.H. Wheeler’s bookstall which was our meeting point in the railway station. Next was another uncle who took me around to attend interviews and also cooked food and helped me settle well in those days. Both of them are not with us but I have fond memories of them and I had the opportunity to be in touch with them and do my small bit for them.
This tree in Mexico is said to have the greatest circumference (girth) ie 36m and a diameter of 11.5m. It is located at El Arbol Del Tule in Oaxaca state. This Montezuma cypress tree is estimated to be 1400-1600 years old. When this image came in the school Whatsapp group I saved it as it reminded me of those various leaders and bosses I worked with in my professional life. I had a blog dedicated to all of them on April 5th, 2020. I also recollected the letters I wrote to my first boss. I must be having a copy of that letter. In the late ’90s when the email came over I recollect a couple of emails I wrote about two bosses who made a big difference in my life. I am grateful that I am in touch with one of them on Whatsapp to date. Not all relationships have longevity. As Mandy Hale said, “Accept that some relationships are seasonal. Learn what they came to teach. Let go when it is time for them to leave.”
A few months back, I started the practice of writing a gratitude journal. I list three people or places or things I am grateful for every day. In fact, to remind me, I had initially put a post-it just beside my bed.
As I was reading Think Like a monk by Jay Shetty, chapter 9 is dedicated to gratitude. In that, he mentions about Benedictine Monk Brother David Steindl Rast, who defines gratitude as the feeling of appreciation that comes when “you recognize that something is valuable to you, which has nothing to do with its monetary worth.”
Last weekend I was chatting on WhatsApp with another friend and I was thanking her for the song she sang during our 25 years of CET get together. I told her that song led to many songs of Salil Chowdhury and today when I hear those old songs it brings some good memories. Jay Shetty in his book mentioned that “location has energy and time is memory.” Whatever practice you are looking to cultivate is affected by where you do it and what time you do it. Those songs always evoke good feelings and they also give me the time, mostly on Sunday mornings (in my man-cave) to share my slice of life with the world.
The question which I ask ask everyday is ….