One more thing !

Of memories pleasant or otherwise.

|| om tat sat ||

Of memories pleasant or otherwise.

Recently I had a nostalgic trip, a two week swing through places and events when I met many friends and relatives.

The high point of that was a conference where I could coax a former colleague who is active and in a very senior position to come and speak. Though I was seeing after more than couple of decades I could easily recognize him as soon as he arrived. We sat in the speaker's room and exchanged the notes about how seemingly easier earlier it was to do things that were needed to be done.

Our walk through the past ended quickly with the arrival of the MC requesting him to join the next session. Being a senior official he was accorded the space to address the gathering. Either because of our chat that just ended or out of politeness to an old colleague he went on to say a few words about me as his mentor etc. I was definitely feeling embarrassed about the unnecessary and undue praise. At the end I was mildly reproaching him for using extravagant words. Then he said something which rang a bell. He said "Sir, I was being difficult and you were being kind. How can I ever forget that"? That I was happy and delighted at that moment goes without saying. Also goes without saying is that the occasional self-aggrandizing thoughts of being free from ego are all imaginary. My ego was shining in that pleasant moon light of praise.

That also reminded me of another meeting, a meeting in the twitter / Face book world. After nearly four decades one of my earlier colleagues came back with an apology for something he thought he did. Though I remember the sequence of events he referred to, I did not see anything terrible. And I told him that those were times when we respectively did what we thought was needed to be done and so there is no need for the apology. Having said that, I was also amazed that he would remember something and come back with an apology. More than anything saying sorry after decades requires a courage.

These two events reminded me of the difference in facing pleasant past and the not so pleasant past.

Confronting the past is relatively easy when it involves pleasant happenings. More difficult is confronting a past of even mildly dark happenings. There would be events of our own anger spilling into a verbal brawl on equal terms or a verbal attack on the other with a self-justified righteous indignation or even a physical assault out of a self-justified anger of that moment. The hurt caused by such event on the other would have been enormous. If it has been settled at that time with a due regret it would be a very pleasant remembrance in the later part of the life. Pleasant because one was able to realize the foolishness and closed it at that time. If it was not addressed at that time, then that hurt would last like a festering wound. Irrespective of the causes of that ill-mannered behavior, irrespective of the self-justified motivations for that ill behavior, being able to face up to that, being able to say sorry would heal that wound. It is never too late to say sorry, overcoming all that self-made justifications for that boorish behavior, if it did happen.

||om tat sat||