The Balancing Act

The man was clearly putting on a dazzling effort to show his well-being. His face was known to me, but his name was not coming to my mind, not because of any major-minor memory lapse; it was due to the fact, that he was an acquaintance of a sort, whom you met ‘sometimes,’ at some social gathering. That evening, the person in subject, had emerged after a gap of almost four years. He was ever-so-quick to connect with me as soon as I entered the teeming drawing room of my host and hostess. Just I was exchanging the preliminary greetings with them, this man began gesturing with all his might for my attention. He was about eight yards away from where we stood, and I could not help but respond to his waving hand, and so I smiled at him. He returned my smile with a series of amplified grins. Huge and quick grins. One Grin. Two Grins. Three Grins. I was a bit startled and thought something was off. So, I tried looking away from him, but couldn’t, because, now he was making conversation with me through his silent exaggerated lip movements.


Either he was extremely talented in conveying his message by way of this exceptional skill, or, I was naturally gifted at lip-reading! End to end, he was telling me. End to end, I was getting it. I LIVE NEXT DOOR. WE MOVED HERE. JUST NEXT DOOR. THIS AREA IS TOPS. YES. YES. Having received the doughty intimation, never mind: why and in which way it was being conveyed, my conscience nudged me to congratulate him on his accomplishment.  I sent a delicate ‘thumbs-up’ sign in his direction. To my dismay, he gloated over the sign and blew a dozen more words in the air.  This was becoming like an episode. The scene had an impact on me.  Things were not a bit off, the guy was totally off.  In all righteousness, he could do with some help.


Soon after, I went up to him and with no effort at all, he picked up the pieces of his earlier communication.  Piece by piece, he let me know how well he was doing.  Piece by piece, he assembled the profits of his business. Piece by piece, he showed me how much he could gather, if he sold off his stake.  Piece by piece, he informed me, he was the chief controller of the company.  Piece by piece, he explained he had the lion’s share.  He was the master, the employer, he was… he was… he was… Suddenly, the man seemed to trail off somewhere else.  He looked extremely distraught. “You know, actually, I am quite tired and fed-up, in fact, sick of this palatial place.  Too many years burnt contributing for the family’s wants.  I’m very, very tired, sick and empty,” he exclaimed.  Without fear or favour, I asked him, “But, you’re well. Aren’t you?” “Oh, yes, I’m keeping well, except that… er…er… the trouble with me is that I’ve been looking for peace since a long, long time and I don’t seem to find it.  You know, I’ve been here and there and where all, can’t find any peace.  Otherwise, I’m fine.” 


Once again, without fear or favour, I said this to the man, “Sir, how can you be well, if you have no peace!”  It was more of a help-giving statement, than a question put to him. It was a tested-belief being forwarded.  What is strangest of all, the man was reflecting on my statement seriously and remarked in a trice, “You’re right, without peace no one can be well, that’s a given, I’m not well.”


Sri Sri Paramahansa Yoganandji, of whom I am a firm follower, taught that the best and the most scientific way to find peace is by having as serious a commitment for our spiritual evolvement, as we have for our business or careers.  If we do not draw a balance, acute problems can arrive.


Geeta Chhabra


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