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The ‘Business’ of relationships

Mumbai monsoon is an extremely wet affair. You get caught at least once, get completely drenched and curse the rain gods. Most people enjoy it under a roof than out in the shower. A few days ago, betting on my analytical skills in calculating as to how much my car can run till the last drip of fuel, I ran out and for the first time I was stranded on the road. To my amusement the car twitched, hitched and stop right when I was climbing a bridge. This was 7 a.m. and it was raining heavily. The fuel station was about a kilometre and a half away. At this hour of the day this bridge is generally with very less traffic and help is difficult to find. Just when I thought that its time to burn some more calories after the morning workout I looked into the rear-view mirror. A guy was walking leisurely and was very close to where my car choked. At seven in the morning on a day when it was raining heavily I could hardly fathom where he was going using a bridge which he very well could have avoided. The moment I got out of my car the pour turned to a sprinkle and this guy asked me “What happened”. I said “I ran out of fuel”. He helped me to push the car and I crossed the bridge and walked to get some fuel from the nearby fuel station. This man who I met helped me casually, and did what he thought was right selflessly. He gained nothing, I did.

Our relationships lack this simple and selfless approach. Almost all relationships are based on the principle of give and take. Devoid of love, our social transactions become more like business transaction than a ladder for growth. Each individual at every stage of life expects the other person to behave, give, abide, respect or do something in a certain way. If this expectation is unfulfilled they feel betrayed or incompatible. This feeling of betrayal and heart burn has its root in our fancy view of being the centre of the universe. Driven by our ego we continue with a funny and misplaced intuition that each individual we come into contact with should act according to our standards. Through experience we classify everyone into different baskets and create a template of behaviour to conduct ourselves. These templates are largely driven by the business like concept of “what do I get in return, if I do this for you?”

Even in best of relations we see confirmatory behaviour due to training we have received or to attract attention. In case of people who come from northern states in India, it is a fad to make people eat more even if they can die of eating. Most gifts satisfy the ego of the giver than doing any good to the recipient. In a healthy relationship the presence absence of the self is the most important ingredient. Just like the concept of ‘falling in love’ denote that “I” fall in love to “You”. Unless this “I” falls love in a relationship can never prosper. If we stop and examine our present relationships how many of them will stand strong in face of adversity? Do we relate to any person at home, work where we do not have any pre-set conditions?

We walk out on the people we think we love the most the moment they behave in a manner which is not in accordance with our expectations. The difference that we see between our sense boundaries and everything else is so long that its difficult to bridge this gap by constant give and take. One day it snaps and our world shatters. The behaviour templates that we use to soften our tone or raise our voice is just our own ego and recorded past. If I am incapable of loving the person next to me what great mountains can I move? This capability of unconditional love arises when one shuns discrimination and acts with compassion. The baby step of love begins with loving yourself. For that to happen the “you” would have to fall to reach the Self.

See this world as a sea of love flowing without boundaries and everything a part of the whole with no breaks and separation. This vision has the immense power of separating our business driven mind-set and giving as the opportunity of being true love.

We have been taught

Patience, Fasting and Thinking, the triad of life.

Sahil Kapoor

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