Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

17. Invitation

The place I work is comparatively big. We are about 3000 people spread over 12 states. Some are here for about more than 30 years and some have just recently joined. We come from different states, different academic backgrounds, different interests and different views. So, naturally I do not know all the people here. Some I work closely with, some I have met occasionally, with some I do not have anything to share (and vice versa) some I know but they do not know me, and some know me and I do not know them. But even without knowing my colleagues well, life moves on smoothly.

Last week, I was working on a document in the office, so was engrossed in my PC. Then I heard couple of loud voices saying “There, there only. Yes, that is the desk. ” The voice was very near to my desk and a man was standing little confused at a short distance from my desk. He was wearing Gandhi topee, so at the instant I did not recognize him. But I know him by his name and may be we have interacted just a couple of times (mind you it is almost nine years I am here … that will give you glimpse of the environment in which I work…). I stood up and asked him, ‘Sir, whom are you searching for?’

He was happy that I had stopped working with PC and addressed him. He said, “I am looking for ……..’. It was my name. He did not know that it was me, he was searching for. But that is the usual happening here and I was least offended by it. I very politely told him, “Yes, I am here. What can I do for your sir?”

Now he was embarrassed. He was bit nervous. He said, “Oh, sorry, I mixed you up with XYZ. I know you very well, but somehow I get confused when I come here’’. I thought it was ok to get confused when you don’t know the person very well, and have not bothered to converse with in a decade. For me, this still was very natural. So, I again asked him what he wanted me to do.

Then he produced a marriage card from his bag. His daughter is getting married next week and he had come to invite me for his daughters’ marriage. I congratulated him, wished happiness to his daughter… generally the formality ends here. He again said, “Please, do come.” I smiled, said all right things and he left.

Afterward I stopped working. The person, who does not know my name, does not know anything about me, has hardly talked to me or smiled at me when we met across. … Why is he inviting me to share his ‘private’ happiness? Why he thought that without knowing him well, I would feel happy to get such an invitation? I have nothing against marriages and I wish well to his daughter… but .....

I know this is all about formality. We are more bothered about customs, traditions, log kya kahenge …… type of things. We hardly listen to ourselves and hardly do what we want to do. To keep society together, we need to follow certain norms, but we can choose to be anarchist in our private lives – without hurting anyone’s interest. The cost of such a behavior is high….. But I think anyway you have to pay the price - either by doing things you don’t want to do or by being isolated, alienated. Why not pay price and still be happy?


  1. The truth about this sharing being a formality is sometimes true. But there is other side of happiness sharers...
    I have seen the kind of people who like to share all their happiness with as many people as they can...that makes them happier than what they would have been in their privacy....
    People sometimes dont have much developed idea of "private emotion". And they are amused when they realise that you like to keep your happiness private!! They dont understand, "how do you enjoy it alone?!!
    Sometimes things can exceed and they can even invade you privacy to make you happy...because they dont know the limits of it....and you just remain struck with their innocent right over you!!

  2. zendagi migzara is saying in afganistan meaning life goes on. read it in a novel 'the kiterunner'.

  3. Inhi tano bano se zindagi buni hui hai.. These flimsy threads shape the cloth of life.. This give and take is the basis of life as we (the common men) know it.. Only thing- this giving and receiving must not become one way street.. One person must not be forced to give all the time.. Lastly, you can still be a private person in a marriage party, if you want to.. and give the other person happiness of your 'participation'- Try it sometime..

  4. I have visited your blog yesterday. I read all your blogs.

    The most I like was MFJ. The short form you made is very funny. When I read the heading I think it may be regarding group of terrorists. But it is very funny. Keep on writing.

    Also the first article Invitation.... we all come across like these situations and persons. This was also good.

    Not about Udaipur... was slighly boaring, but one who starts reading this blog was forced to read it till the end.
    I think that's your skill of writing.

    I also highly appreciate the "Wake up Call". The last two paragraphs I think have great meaning.

    So keep on writing. I was not able to comment on the blog itself. The comment button was not activated when I have visited the link, therefore I am replying here.


    Harish Ghatpande


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