31 May 2013

I Wish.......

One day, when I reached home from office, very late in the evening, tired and irritated, my son walked up to me and asked very sweetly, “Dad, how  much do you earn?” I found this extremely silly, and so I did not reply. He continued to stand there silently, watching me unpack and change my dress. Then, again he asked, “Dad, how much do you earn per hour in the office?” This question really pissed me off, and I shot back at him in a loud voice, “That’s none of your business. Now off to bed you go so that you wake up on time for tomorrow’s school.”

Immediately sadness descended on his face and he quickly turned away to probably hide it from me, and ran off to his room. I did sense this feeling, but shrugged it off. However, my conscience kept pricking me. I had my mind immediately flooded with thoughts like, ‘poor child, he’s been waiting to talk to me for the whole day and I just shooed him away while he tried to strike a conversation’, ‘he was not asking for heaven, he was just being inquisitive and I should have simply answered ’ and many more on the similar lines.

I felt heart broken, and decided to make amends. So, I walked over to his room. His face on the pillow was facing away from the door. I sat down, and touched the pillow. It was moist. The poor fellow was crying, and that made me feel even worse. And the moment I placed my hand on his head, he started to cry even more. I rolled him over and picked him up in my arms and hugged him. I felt extremely bad and angry at myself at this point of time.

With a little consoling, I calmed him down and he stopped crying, probably after feeling the warmth of affection. And, then I said, “Son, I am sorry. I should not have behaved in the manner I did, and then hurt you.” He replied, “It’s okay Papa”. Then to steer away, I engaged him in other talks related to his school and other activities during the day. He soon became normal and I could see the smile returning to his face. Then I told him that I need to go and prepare for next day.

The moment I stood up, he very innocently asked once again, “Papa, how much do you earn per hour?” For a moment, my fuze blew off and in a flash I was angry at him within for asking that silly question again, but somehow managed to retain composure. After taking a few deep breaths and moments of silence, all the while when he kept looking at me, I said, “Why do you ask, son?”

“Just tell me Papa”, he replied.

“Five hundred rupees”, I said.

“Can you please give me one hundred rupees”, he requested sweetly with a glint in his eyes.

“Sure”, I said, and took out my wallet and gave him a crisp one hundred rupee note.

He became very happy and excited on receiving it from me. He quickly got down from the bed and rushed to his study table. He opened the drawer and pulled out an old pencil box and returned to the bed and sat in front of me. And then, when he opened the pencil box, twisted and crumpled notes of denominations of 50, 20, 10 and 5 fell out of it.

While he became busy in arranging them, my anger suddenly shot up. “So, this is what the brat has been upto. Collecting money with flimsy excuses”.

And then even before I could snap at him, he extended his arm towards me with all the notes neatly collected in his hand, and said with a very innocent sweet smile, “Dad, here are five hundred rupees. Can  you please give me an hour of yours tomorrow, as I want to play with you, something which we haven’t done for months now”.

And, then the obvious happened. I cried inconsolably.

No, this really did not happen with me. It is actually an adaptation of a email which I had received quite some time back. However, it is quite probable that is waiting to happen with very many of us.

I WISH…………..this does NOT happen with you.


I have this friend who worked for a particular big corporate company at Gurgaon. He was on a very important position and earning well. Unfortunately his aged father, who stays at Chandigarh, got unwell. He had to therefore take some leave and rush to attend to his father. The ailment was treated and his father recovered. However, there was  a requirement of prolonged hospitalization of his father, for which the presence of my friend  was essential at Chandigarh. His aged mother would not be able to manage this crisis alone, and there were no siblings or close relatives to fall back upon.

He brought this to the notice of his bosses in the company, and requested for permission for a little more absence. The reluctance from their side was evident, however they granted him two more weeks. Sadly, the hospitalization was to be for about a month.

So, just before two weeks were to end, he again approached his boss, with a request for another two weeks leave.

“Please find yourself another JOB”, was the curt reply he received through the Secretary of his boss.  

I WISH…………..this does NOT happen with you.
Neetu is the name of my wife’s friend. She is the mother of a cute seven year old child. While her husband works for a flagship company, she also goes to teach in a reputed school. Both of them earn handsomely and stay in a rented bungalow.

It happened on a particular second Saturday of a month. On this day, the periodic Parents-Teacher Meet was scheduled in her school. When the family woke up in the morning, the parents realized that Rahul (their son) was quite unwell with severe throat infection and high fever 101 degrees centigrade. She was in no position to miss her school because of the PTM. So, she asked her husband to take leave and stay back at home to look after Rahul. However, he too was not in a position to do so as he had to attend an extremely important business meeting with a client from China.

Left with no option, she rang up one of her doctor friend and enquired about the medicines which could be given to Rahul. Fortunately she had those medicines available at home. She then gave those medicines to Rahul, comforted him and guided him before leaving for school. Her husband had already left for his office and poor boy Rahul was left all alone to fend for himself at the home. Luckily, Rahul was already getting used to such situations and was mentally prepared for it, which may not be the case with every child.

She did go over the formalities of the PTM at her school, but all this while her heart and mind were worried about the well being of Rahul. With God’s grace the situation did not deteriorate  an d the fever had come down by the time she returned from school.

I WISH…………..this does NOT happen with you.

I have this good friend, who’s doing extremely well in life. He is financially well off, owing to the income which he had from his  small business unit engaged in manufacturing. He had no business partners and this  factory was the outcome of his dedicated hard work and toil, which he managed independently.

He is particularly careful about his health and loves to exercise regularly. Unfortunately, one day while doing a household chore and in the process of lifting some heavy weight, he severely strained his back and suffered a slip disc in the backbone.

The pain was debilitating and he was bed ridden for a very long time, during which he had to undergo regular physiotherapy treatment for relief from the problem. This led to his continuous absence from his business unit and the production began to suffer. It became extremely difficult to manage the daily functioning of the unit and also to attend to the aspects related with the workers. Somehow it got managed for little less than two months, but thereafter it became extremely impossible. His brothers provided him the support they could, but it did not work out. The workers at the unit began to leave and the work was on the verge of a standstill.

Finally, he decided to shut it down completely, as it was impossible for the work to progress without his physical presence at the business unit premises. He suffered financial setback in the process, but luckily he was able to convert the premises into a ware house and give it on lease to a few companies, and the losses could be minimized.

I WISH…………..this does NOT happen with you.


Abhishek is a good friend of mine. We took pre-mature retirement from the Army nearly about the same time. While I had to move to a far off place down South to find a job, he was comparatively luckier as he found a good job in New Delhi itself. He could now stay with his aged parents and take care of them. His wife also picked up a good job and her income supplemented their earning to maintain a desired standard of living in the capital city.

He lost his mother a year back. His father was able to overcome this grief in a few months and adjusted to the lonely life, waiting for everyone to fall back home from school and office. Sadly, his father has now started showing signs of early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. This is the time when he needs complete support of a caregiver, the best being someone from the family. However, the dilemma is completely killing for my friend Abhishek. He and his wife are at important juncture of their respective careers, and none can afford to let it go. I feel extremely pained when we meet and find this dilemma quite evident in his daily life and body language, and his often expressed desire for time and financial freedom.

I WISH…..this does not happen with you.
‘He’ is younger to me, but not in the J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) cycle. He has already built his pipeline of wealth through this excellent opportunity.

He gets up early in the morning (does he still have to!!!), does his prayers and then settles down to enjoy a cup of tea in the company of his wife in the balcony of their house, while his pet Dalmatian runs around in the garden.

Then, he takes his dog for a walk, and at the same time sees off his son in the school bus.

Leaves the dog at home thereafter and off he goes to gym for an hour long sweat out.

Returns to home, freshens up, and enjoys a healthy breakfast at peace with his wife, who in the meanwhile has been through her yoga session.

After a little while, having attended to his mails and other important household chores, goes to spend time with his parents, who stay in the same colony, but in a separate house. Helps them with their requirements, enjoys some refreshments with them and returns about two hours later.

Gets into his Skoda Octavia, and off he goes to his music teacher. Yes, he is passionately into learning what he always dreamed about. Playing a saxophone!!! Returns after about an hour.

Spends quality and quantity time with his wife, before lunch, who’s trying to master her painting techniques.

Takes a small siesta, and then he is waiting at the entry gate of the colony, to receive his son back from school.

The complete family takes an hour’s nap after their son finishes lunch. Then it is homework time for the son for two hours, assisted by his wife, and he either attends to his prospects explaining them the benefits of this opportunity, or is busy enhancing his knowledge through books or other AV media.

Once done with that, the wife goes for her evening walk, and he and his son are off to play cricket/badminton/tennis/table tennis or swimming, at facilities already available in their colony.

And, thereafter the family get together happens at his parent’s house over the evening tea.

Back home, the child is busy with TV or other toys, wife gets busy in the kitchen, and he with his evening prayers.

Post dinner, the family sometimes watches TV together, or play some board game, and enjoy the mutual company. On alternate days, they take an evening walk in the colony.

This is normal daily schedule.

Apart from that, he manages to take his complete family (including his parents) for family vacations either in India or abroad twice a year. He plans his holidays well……as he has no one bossing over him and waiting to disrupt his schedule. He is always available to his parents, be it for any minor household chore or something important like their periodic medical check ups.

On weekends, the family is usually enjoying a movie together, or an outing in a resort close by, or enjoying watching a play or other artistic performance, or calling on family and friends.

On Sundays, the family goes to attend their religious congregation, and thereafter for some charitable activities (which he much prefers not discussing).

A very down to earth man, a very jovial and cordial family, and without a hint of show off or ugly display of wealth. Hat’s off to my friend….he is a smart guy…..who has already ensured that a firm foundation is laid for his son…..and that the son will not only be able to pursue his dreams and hobbies/likings, but will also be available to his parents like a big happy FAMILY.

What a healthy life style……. NO stress…..NO worries……. complete time and financial freedom.

I WISH……. THIS HAPPENS WITH YOU (and in quick time with me too……. well, I’m already half way up there).


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