“Uncle! Since when…”, I tried to start the conversation but was interrupted by him. He said with a stern voice, “Don’t try to build relationship. I am not your uncle. Just call me Girish. I hate when people try to build relationships without understanding the meaning of it. I hate relationships. People just try to keep some people for emergency use in case of a need by faking these relationships. It’s like now a days you guys try to make as many friends as possible in facebook so that when you post a photo or article you will get a lot of likes. These friendship is fake, love is fake, relationship is fake and truth is nobody cares about anybody. I just love myself. I called you today because I wanted to repay my debt. You took me to the hospital and paid my bill. I called you to my home, offering you tea and will pay you the money back. That’s all.”
I was not sure how to react in that situation. This man looks strange. I had two sips of tea by then. I felt like running away from that situation. But on second thought I found this character interesting. The only harm he can make to me is take some of my time and I have to listen to him. I thought of taking that challenge. Sent one text message to my wife stating I will be late. Turned my focus on him and found he was having tea in a hurry as if he has to go anywhere. He finished his tea and went inside his house. He came back with money in his hand and gave it to me. “Take it.”
I did not resist and took the money because I did not want to upset him, rather wanted to know more about him for which I have to stay with him for longer. I did not even say ‘Thank you’.
“Girish, you are right in your view that we all build relationships to protect ourselves. Like we build house or wear dress to protect ourselves. But if I do not take care of the house or clothes it does not serve me for a longer period of time. Similarly, if I do not work on the relationship it does not help me when I need. The need is to ensure that every relationship is performing. Everything is a transaction which has two major parts. One is give and the other is take. If you do not give, don’t expect anything will come to you. Similarly, If you do not take what comes to you then you may not get the opportunity to give again. Do you disagree with me?”
He was constantly looking at one empty photo frame while I was giving my lecture to break the ice. He took few seconds before he turned his focus on me after my question.
“You think you know a lot. Finish the tea if you like”. He said and turned his focus back on that empty photo frame. I found it little awkward and extremely rude. But I was prepared for that. I turned around and found in his big drawing room there are dozens of big and small photo frames and all are empty. There are many books lying all over the house.
I finished the tea and again dared to start the conversation. “People say that you live in the footpath like a mad man. You have a big house here, I guess you have money too. Why don’t you live a decent life?”
He smiled and for the first time I saw him smiling, “People notice me when I sleep on the footpath. Really?”
I said, “Yes”
He looked at me and asked, “You want to know about me. Right? Is it because it might be interesting for you to know the story? So that you get entertained?”
Without putting much thought I said, “Yes”
“Good to meet you. You seem to be honest. I like it. I am very tired today and you must be tired after office. Come home this Saturday. I will tell you.”, He said.
I was glad that finally he accepted me. I got up to leave.
“Relationships last if they are performing, I agree. But, making it perform is not one persons job. Both the parties involved in the relationship must act to make it successful. If one does not but the other does then it becomes a hostile situation for the other. When you give examples of house and clothes, it’s a different story because they are not humans and they don’t have mind or heart. But when the relationship with humans, it’s much more than just give and take. It is based on needs and fulfillment. When somebody gives you something but you do not feel the need of it then there is a possibility that you will not feel the value of the thing that you received. Hence this will not help in the relationship. So, as long as there are needs and the other party is fulfilling it, the relationship lasts. These needs need not be materialistic, it may be spiritual. So, it is necessary to understand the person so much that you can really understand the need. But you have to remember that needs once fulfilled are no longer needs. So you have to constantly analyze the person to know what is the need at that moment. Sometimes you keep on giving expensive gifts but still relationship does not work because there the need may be to just spent some good time. In some other situations you may spend a good time but still relationship does not work because there is a need for costly gifts. I do not feel that I should spend my entire life in understanding people with whom I am in relationship and keep fulfilling their needs. That’s an utter waste of time. Mainly because that people just want you to fulfill their needs and once they find another who can fulfill better, they just ditch you and go.”, He said.
I was pleasantly surprised by his response but was happy because I felt I could gain his trust. I told him that we will meet on Saturday evening and he acknowledged. I left the bunglow with a great feeling because I met somebody interesting and was looking forward to Saturday evening meeting.
– Stray Dog