Sunday, July 26, 2009

A brilliant couple

I am sure most of you who stay away from home have experienced this - your father or mother calling you up to ask you to call some so-and-so who stays in the same city as you, arguing that it is good to be in touch with known people when you are so far from home. You may not have the slightest of hint who that person may be, but just because your parents want you to be in touch with the person, you oblige them by dialling the given number as reluctantly as possible.

The other time, my father called up to say that one of his fellow distributor friends, a very respected blind ex-army official's daughter is married in London and that I must get in touch with her. 'But Papa, what will I talk to her? She must be quite old and I have only talked to Uncle a couple of times and that too when I was a kid'. He replied - 'She is a very nice girl (though I know he has never met her) and you know what - she has married an ex-army official who is blind arguing that since she has grown up helping her blind father, she has no reason to make a different choice'. I was flabbergasted – I dint know what to say and jotted down the number without uttering a word. How many of us would do so?

I gave her a call two weeks after this conversation, after having fought with myself many times over. I din't know in which language to greet her - so a fumbled me said a Bengali Namaskar, followed by a Hindi Namaste followed by an English how are you, all in one breath. She replied hi adding she was expecting my call as her father had briefed her about me. To break the ice she said what was going on in my mind - 'I know you must be feeling a little awkward making this call as our fathers want us to talk to absolute strangers giving us only small references. It happens with me a lot'. I could not agree with her more. We talked about 2020 cricket, Wimbledon and she invited me and my brother on one of the weekends.

Yesterday we visited their place for dinner, a house in a nice location close to Oval cricket stadium. It was a pleasure to meet the couple. I had the most fulfilling conversations with them. The husband Mr. G, was a Major in Indian army, had lost his eyes towards the end of Kargil war in 2000 during an anti-terrorist operation in Kupwara. For the first time I met somebody who had fought the Kargil war and had suffered injuries because of it. I could not stop a few tears, invisible to him and unheard to his wife. He was in various hospitals for the next two years and had met her in one of the hospitals. He was a delight to talk to. Given his life-changing experience, he talked very highly about the Indian army.

The lady of the house, our host Mrs. M, had cooked amazing Bengali food which we both loved. We stayed there for 4 long hours, dint stop talking even for a second. Mr. G currently works in an NGO for people with disability and Mrs. M works for an NGO against the recruitment of child soldiers across the globe. I told them about my initiation to help street children in India and they were very appreciative & supportive.

Meeting such great minds in life is so enriching. I called up my father to thank him. I will now meet everybody he asks me to meet without questioning.

13 comments:

Renu said...

I am very glad to read this post of yours. Same happens with my children also, but I always say that keep your mind open,and initially just be nice and respectful to someone recommended by your parents, and then go by your feel.In life we must rry to be non judgemental, though its very difficult to be.

Anonymous said...

I cannot agree more with Renu, we must not be judgemental in life, especially at younger ages...this way we miss out a lot. And to the author of this blog, I wanted to say that had nice people ceased to exist, this world would have collapsed like a pack of cards...it is the good which balances the bad at all times...keep posting!!

Niedhie said...

@Renu: Very very difficult to be non-judgemental, but I assure you I am learning as I am growing.

@Anon: I don't disagree that nice people exist - I am one of them :)

Anonymous said...

I rather thing one has to judgmental, rather very much, after all this is precise time to form ideas, opinions. Later in life, we stop caring, many a times we become so adjustable that there no judgments at at all.

Anonymous said...

Anonymus part 2, I would like to say that in situations as this in which Niedhie was, it is have always been a good idea to be non-judgemental, and to reinforce what you say - it is indeed the precise time of form ideas and opinions, and if we are already judgemental, we are not forming them rather we have already form them - so we must be flexible at this stage to be able to form the right opinions later - looking forward to your 'opinion' Niedhie...

Anonymous said...

and Niedhie, this is for you for calling yourself nice...please not mind me...

bade badai na kare, bade na bole bol,
rahiman heera kab kahe, lakh taka mera mol

if you not understand it, ask :)

Niedhie said...

First of all, may I suggest that my anonymous readers leave some anonymous signatures so that it becomes easier to refer to them while commenting.

@Anon1 & Anon2: I agree that it is the time to form opinions or judgements and precisely that is what Anon2 means to say, that to be judgemental, one needs to start from being non-judgemental. Does it sound like the chicken-egg mystery, not sure??

Anon2, only if I call myself nice, will I persevere to be nice. It is just like motivating oneself with 'I can'. And I would be lying (or may be anybody for that matter) to say that being nice comes naturally to me since I have very high bars in the definition of 'nice'. Also there is nothing wrong in pampering oneself once in a while :)

Anonymous said...

Actually being nice starts with a feeling of being nice as Nidhi says.
As one said, "be the change you want to see". And of course if everyone in the world has the feeling of being nice, that world be actually nice(this is based on assumption that ones conscience knows all).

@Anon : Now a days Diamonds do tell their values, else they don't sell :), Dont you remember your CV preparation

Anonymous said...

@Anonymus 2 - Oh yes, I do rem my CV preparation, but that is when you are selling yourself....and by the way, it is the johri who tells how much worth the diamond is, not the diamond itself...u agree?

And I don't thinking that Niedhie is trying to sell herself here - I am not wrong I hope.

@Niedhie - i completely disagree with you for a change - if you want to remain nice, you should be nice to others so that they calling you nice always so u remain nice always...how many times have you heard APJ kalam saying he is a great sceintist so as to be able to remain a great scintist? or Mother teresa professing/pampering herself by sayin that she was a very nice person so tht she remain nice...no, it is not done...rest is up to you...it is alwaysothers who shud praise you, self-praise is forbidden - anonymus 1

Anonymous said...

and it is me anon 1 who left the comments about being non-judgmental and about the doha of rahim - anon 1

Niedhie said...

Anon1: I feel happy to see that you compare me with APJ Abdul Kalam or Mother Teresa. I however feel I am a mortal with my own set of flaws, who in order to be nice motivates herself by reminding that she is nice. Thanks for all your inputs on this.

Anonymous said...

What if the diamond and Jouhri are same?
In this short life, when I am not even going to "meet" Nidhi what do I think about her on how she is?

What do you think about the line
"Aham Brahasmi". Ok u may not believe in Vedas!

Its infact good if one person tells how nice she or he is?
Why? Let me give an extreme example which will move you!
Have you seen movie Rangeela?In that Amir Khan's father is traitor but he lies about him being a great freedom fighter,truthful guy, why?because he wants his sons to follow the right path. how does it compares here, well Nidhi when she says she is nice, she might has ways of making other people nice? Or atleast if I have enough trust on her(this is the best possible way to know about someone in your short life or short interaction), it gives me a feel good factor. Dont you feel happy to meet a nice person, or read what nice person has written?

I think its requires guts, to say you are nice, (truly ofcourse).

Ofcourse you, Nidhi, me or anyone else have different ideas of living their life.I trust what people say and judging by that if someone says she is nice, its gives me nice feeling(why and how, I can write an essay on this but I hope you have intuition).

Well People like APJ or Teressa do tell that they are nice in their own way. How? for example what do you think drives APJ to go around gives speech. It is his confidence about being nice(or being great scientist). May be if you ask him to write a blog about him being nice or not, he will definitely write he is nice.
Ofcourse I understand what anoy 1 is trying to say, but what I mean by writing all this can be summarised in two points
1.People have different Philosophies of living their life and different ways of expressing themselves, best option is to believe them and be appreciate different kinds of people.
2.By putting Doha of Rahim, by examples of terresa or APJ,anon 1 has shown how strongly judgmental he is about how people should not express themselves hence he is fallen into a contradiction to his earlier "talk" that he is non-judgmental.Rather he is very.

Ps: Nidhi I deserve a treat from you

Niedhie said...

@Anon2: I would first need to know who you are to consider that!

Thank you Anon1 and Anon2 for all your comments. Can I please ask you to rest the matter?! Let me just insist that this blogpage is my personal space wherein I intend to write what I think/feel. Lets please agree to disagree and move on.