Last night I added a new chapter to the book of my life. Every time a new event takes place, I look all the way back to the first chapter and derive great pleasure in reminiscing about the whole story in its proper order. It gives me a great personal satisfaction in revisiting the progression of my life and how the interplay of life’s million nuances has affected it. I was seated last night with Vaz, an old colleague of mine. The two of us have been quite close for the last 50 years. Because our ages match, communication is easy and rich. Vaz is undergoing a bout of poor health but that didn’t make any difference to the warmth that exuded from him. I couldn’t read his mind but I still hazard a guess that his perspective on life’s events could not have been too different from mine.
We were invited to an event, related to the wedding of a young boy whose father worked with me. Allow me to call him ‘Guy’. His son is now 33 and he has daughter as well, who is much older. Guy retired from work about 5 years ago and that puts his age as 65. He had invited a lot of people, whom he has known over the years. The place was thus full of people, many of whom I have known pretty closely. Yesterday, just looking at them gave me a strange thrill. Guy was barely 23 when I saw him first. He was just out of college when he got a job. He joined the same organization where I worked. As a leader of a small group of engineers, I was assigned the task of executing a project. When Guy came to see me on his first day at work, I found him a bit shy. Well, that was expected of a newbie but he appeared quite promising as an engineer. My team consisted of many other young and intelligent engineers and all of them had traits which matched my temperament. Guy had a great quality of touching people’s hearts and pretty soon he adjusted himself in the new place. It was a young team bubbling with enthusiasm. We all enjoyed thoroughly while at work and many times carried our pleasures outside. Since most of us were bachelors, we had weekend parties, without the pressure of going home early. Guy proved to be great party manager and everyone liked him.
Those days, I was still in my early thirties and unmarried. However, I was in a steady relationship with a woman. Since my fiancé and Guy came from the same religious sect, my liking for Guy was to become more enhanced in later days. As a human being, I could not have detached myself from either the effect of cognitive psychology or the behavioral chemistry. But I am happy even to this day that Guy and I have remained in close contact, regardless of all that has happened in the individual spheres of our lives. Therefore, sitting there last night was akin to sitting in a family function. One by one, members of my team tied nuptial knots. In between, I also got married. All of us now had family bonds that brought us even closer.
Just when the whole place was in full bloom, I had to leave the organization, having found a more challenging work outside. I could sense that those close to me were not very pleased with my decision. But I had some compulsions which they couldn’t understand. I promised them only one thing. I told them I would stay in touch all my life and they were free to call upon me anytime they wished. This is the bond which has kept me going. I was deeply concerned when Vaz fell terribly sick. By God’s grace, he has been able to recoup his health remarkably. When Guy had his first child, the whole team was thrilled. I paid a visit to Guy’s house to see the little angel in her cradle. There were other persons like Guy who were just as close to my heart, like Web, who has always been extremely close. All his life, he has fought diseases. His son, aged 5, fell sick and couldn’;t recover until very late. Then his wife had multiple diseases which finally took her life and now Web himself is literally bedridden.
My team also had Prado. Guy and Prado shared a fantastic camaraderie. They were great trouble-shooters worthy of my complete trust. Prado was extremely intelligent and a great student of people. His later life revolved around his family and bringing happiness to his only but handicapped child. Prado and I remained very close for a long long time. While I was much closer to Guy, Web and Prado, I never forgot about others. I still recall their names and many faces, despite the passage of life bringing discernible differences in appearances. It is a profound and Godly feeling and cannot be described in words. Sitting there last night with Vaz and watching another scene from the theatre of life, I silently thanked Guy for inviting me there.