Saturday, January 25, 2014

Three faces

We have heard of Super star Rajnikant playing triple roles in a film called `Moonru Mugangal` ( three faces)and thespian ShivajiGanesan playing the role of a father and twin sons ( one bad and one good guy) in the film `Deiva Magan`. He also played nine different roles in the film Navarathri. Not to mention `Ulaganayagan` Kamala Hasan performing a record 10 roles in a recent film Dasavatharam. We also know that every human being has to perform different roles – as a son, husband, father ,grand father, friend, etc. in his life time. This article is not about different  roles that an actor or a person performs in life but three different faces of the same person. Let me elaborate.

I was introduced to a person a couple of years ago at a party.  We got talking and I found out that we had  many common interests.  He came across as a gentle, soft spoken person with an eversmiling face.  As we were talking I saw  a number  of people passing by, patting him on the back and wishing him. He seemed to know everyone in the crowd.  He had a great sense of humour and the one line jokes  that he cracked  from time to time were making people around him laugh.  I was very impressed and felt happy that I had met a good human being with  a charming personality.

 In another context he  invited me  for a discussion to his office. On the appointed day I reached his office on time and as I entered his room he asked me to take a seat on a sofa in the room. He  requested me to bear with him  for a few minutes and  continued his discussion with the  staff members sitting in front of his table.

He  looked very angry and disturbed.  He was screaming and shouting at one of the staff.  When another staff member intervened on behalf of his colleague he barked at him using  foul language!  He did  not bother that an outsider was sitting in the same  room.  He quickly wrapped up the meeting and asked his colleagues to leave the room.  I could see them walking out of the room with sullen faces!

Obviously I was witnessing another avatar of my new friend, whom I thought was not even capable of getting angry based on the experience of my earlier interaction with him.

After the exit of the staff, he invited me to join him at his table.  He was now smiling and profusely apologized  for keeping me waiting.  He had  transformed  back to the  friendly soul I knew him to be!

On another occasion, I had an opportunity to suddenly drop in at his home. I was sure, I was going to meet a happy family.  It was not to be.  He was as rude with his family as he was with his staff. While he was shouting orders to his wife who was busy in the kitchen, he was admonishing his children for something they had done or not done!

When he tried to introduce me to his family, I found them indifferent.  There was palpable tension in the air.  I could not believe that this same person who was very popular among friends was held in contempt by his own family.

One day I was talking to a common friend who  happened to be very close to my new friend.  When I tried to express  my surprise at the contrasting profile of my  new friend  – one for the home and office and another for the public at large –Two faces of the same man- almost like the famous Dr. Jekyll  and Mr. Hyde characters.

My friend smiled and said that the gentleman concerned also had a ‘third face’– which was what he thought of himself- as a mature and  balanced person who did whatever he did in the best interests  of the people near and dear to him.

It  immediately  r reminded me of  another friend with three  faces. A  loving husband and  affectionate father to his  children, this friend was a very reserved person in public. Answering in monosyllables to any questions put to him. He will shun company and seemed happy to be by himself. However,  when  any one known to him was in trouble,  he would run around trying to help the person, using all his resources. He will not rest until the problem of the friend concerned was resolved. This transformation of the quiet guy into an aggressive personality has to be seen to be believed!

 I wonder  if every human being has three faces -what his acquaintances or family think of him, what he thinks of himself and what he really is!

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