Sunday, June 4, 2017

Eternal Optimist

      In my early days in the advertising business I had a boss who was known as a `No Problem` man. Though he had problems galore in life , he would go around telling any one who came up to him with any issues, “ No Problem – it can be fixed`.  A man with a very positive outlook in life, he would often land himself in messy situations because he was terribly disorganised
I remember an incident. He was hardly a week into his job with my agency as the new Branch Manager. He was getting several invitations for dinners from the media representatives and friends to celebrate his new job. One evening he found himself having accepted five dinner invitations. When confronted with the reality his response was typical of him- `No Problem .. I will have a drink each in four of the five homes and end up for dinner at the fifth friend`s home`. This was in Mumbai where Parties always start late at  night and end in the wee hours of the next morning. This attitude helped him survive the high pressure advertising business with all its uncertainties and  problems!

While he represents a category of  people with positive attitude, this piece is about  genuine optimists. I believe I am one of them. An incident in my life involving my Sindhi Sardar friend `B` in Mumbai several decades ago converted me into an eternal optimist. B had bought  a second hand car without even knowing how to drive. He rode a two wheeler those days. On the day he bought his car, he forced me to drive his car to his home in Khar. Though I had a license I did not have enough experience of driving a car and that too in the night.

Next morning, I was shocked to find B at my home with a sheepish grin. “Rajan, you are going to teach me driving yaar!” I screamed, “Are you mad? In this rain you want me to teach? I could do with some practice myself!” He literally dragged me out of the house. With great reluctance, I decided to take the car in the pouring rain to Carter Road in Bandra which used to be fairly empty in the mornings. After the initial briefings about the clutch & gear, B took to the wheel and soon got on to the fourth gear. The car picked up speed and suddenly, in the pouring rain, it started skidding. As a novice myself, instead of asking him to slow down by changing gears, I shouted for him to apply the brakes, which he promptly did. The car took several spins and stopped after hitting a parapet wall.

Due to the impact, my head hit the wind shield and I passed out! When I came back to my senses, I found my head throbbing with pain with a bleeding gash on my forehead. I was staring at the face of B, who was
telling me “Rajan, everything happens for the good, yaar”. I was livid! Here I was with a bleeding injury while nothing had happened to the Sardar, thanks to the cloth pagdi (turban) that he was wearing.

He explained, “Imagine, if this had happened on Link Road, not only would we be in trouble, we could have knocked off a few other cars and people as well!” What logic! Though I was very upset, B taught me
an important lesson in life. Always look at the positive side of every experience and you will find life interesting!

This article has appeared in Adyar Times issue dt.4-10th June,2017 under my column `Rajan`s Random Reflections`

No comments:

Post a Comment