Sunday, 19 September 2010
TO THE CURIOUS MIND..........PART I
On one of my previous posts (“Life Is The Greatest Teacher”), my good friend Vel (Velm of MS), raised a few ticklish questions: What is maturity? When and how does one gain maturity? Who and what are the factors responsible for maturity? Parents? Mentors? School? Age? Experience? Knowledge? Failure? Questions to which I did not have definite answers! Questions which made me ponder. I thought to myself, really, who is or when can one be called a mature person? Questions were too many and the answers perhaps hidden within them. My curiosity was triggered. I peeped into my own self and asked, “Am I mature enough to answer these questions?” The reply came in the following form ……..
As a child, if I was denied a box of chocolates, I’d throw up such a rowdy tantrum that my parents in the long run had to succumb to my onerous demands and get me not one but two boxes of chocolates as compensation for the chance denial. Now, if I miss one, I am secretly relieved that I have scraped past an opportunity to gain additional ounces of calories. But if my colleague, bypassing me gets a promotion, I am in the throes of almost incurable depression.
Moral of the Story: I have matured but relatively – yes, when it comes to the box of chocolates and an emphatic no, when it concerns promotion. Maturity, therefore, is not absolute. As we proceed with age, knowledge and experience, so does maturity.
When my friend suffered her first heartbreak, she went berserk with grief, humiliation, betrayal etc. When it happened the second time, she waived the mishap out of her system with a “Yeh toh hona hi tha” sigh and did not take much time to bounce back to daily routine.
Moral of the Story: My friend has matured and come to accept the adversities and deprivations of life in her stride aided by a philosophical shrug and smile.
Soon I earned the nickname of “Jhansi Ki Rani” in office. Reasons - a volatile temper and ready-to-lash-back attitude. Over a period of time, I realized it was doing me no good –a formidable image was attached to my name, my temper was telling upon my health, it was impossible to change people/situations to my choice and colleagues poked me more on my weak point (read short temper). Gradually, I learnt to avoid confrontations and keep my cool even though incited. There were better and calmer ways of tackling friction and resolve differences! Nowadays, I drink a glass of cold water and count slowly till 100 when anger tries to have the better of me. More importantly, I have learnt to evaluate my foes a bit more neutrally, impartially, in a quiet and detached manner.
Moral of the Story: I have matured on two accounts – I have realized my limitations and tried to get over them and stopped indulging in futile exercises, like changing the world, which takes one nowhere.
My aunt (my father’s sister), with whom I spent a considerable period of my life (in Kolkata), would never let me help her in the kitchen or do other sundry household chores. Her standard reply was “What will people think! I am making you work?” When she was ill, one day I forced myself in to the kitchen and told her it was more important to do the right thing rather than what people thought would be proper for us to do. My aunt, after a prolonged debate, gave in.
Being a football of people’s perceptions is a self imposed burden which robs us of the joy of life. It takes time to learn that the alternate course of doing what is right in a given situation is a far better option. Giving in to people’s wish is too easy a way.
Moral of the Story: Maturity comes without an age bar. It can gatecrash anytime, especially, when one musters up the confidence and courage to choose between what is right and what is easy.