I had a friend who lived in Agra for a long time. I came in contact with him through another close friend from Lucknow. Soon our friendship turned into a family relationship and he became like my elder brother. Whenever an occasion arose I visited him at Agra, sometimes with family also, and enjoyed his hospitality. He was very popular in Agra and was well-known in the high society. During my stay in Delhi in 1991, my friend’s son got married and the ceremony was held in Delhi. It was performed with a lot of enthusiasm and dignity at a five-star hotel located just opposite my residence. I, along with my family attended the same and enjoyed the whole function. The son who got married was my friend’s only son and was working with him.
In 1994, I shifted to Kolkata from Delhi on promotion, but used to travel to Delhi very often. It was at that time that I learnt through our common friend that my friend from Agra had shifted to Delhi with his wife. The tone of the message also did not sound very positive. When I came to Delhi the next time, the first thing I did was to ring him up. I was keen to meet him and so was he. He was available on the phone and we fixed up a meeting at my guest house the same evening.
When we met, I asked him at the outset about the cause of shifting to Delhi and I also told him not to lie, if he really considered me a good friend. He was left with no option and told me the reality. The problem was the trouble created at home soon after his son’s marriage. There was a serious problem of adjustment with the daughter-in-law, as a result of which separation became necessary. Since my friend had a small flat in Delhi and also some business interest, he decided to shift to Delhi along with his wife, but he was not happy about it. In addition to this, there were some problems with his brother also. All this had made him bitter and he was not taking all these developments very kindly. He ended narrating his story by saying that he would take the revenge of brick by stone.
Though I was quite concerned about his problems, I was not happy with his state of mind. I felt that with such a state of mind he was throwing the stones on himself while others had thrown only the bricks. But he was not prepared to listen and asked me to keep my counsel to myself. Even then, I tried to pacify him and also gave him some write-ups that I had recently written. One of them was a write-up on JRD Tata under the caption ‘When You Miss Your Wish’. In this write-up, it was concluded that if sometimes providence does not fulfill our genuine wish, we should outgrow it and then we might get much more than our wish would have given us. JRD Tata had no son but he gave all his employees the affection of a father. In the process, the Tata Empire not only grew, but grew magnificently. And he named his holding company as ‘Tata-Sons’.
My friend perhaps did not read the papers immediately because he was very angry with the treatment he had received from his near and dear ones. But when he read this write-up after sometime, it worked. I remember to have received his call late one evening in Kolkata, when he told me that his family too would expand thereafter. He would consider all those coming in his contact as his children and derive joy out of it. By this time, he had also become somewhat cool towards those who had hurt him. I was very happy at this development. Thereafter, his compassion grew constantly and he became compassionate towards his son, daughter-in-law and brother also. Once this happened, all family relations became normal and they started visiting each other with even greater concern. Wittingly, I then told him that it was now that he had replied to the attack of brick by stone.