Thursday, 10 April 2014

The relevance of ‘now’

“The way you react to your ‘now’ defines you as a person” Vivek told his friend.

“Now, now, don’t start off on your long-winded philosophical speech. I am in no mood for any of those”, Aryan told Vivek.

Vivek laughed at his friend’s remark. He put his hands over Aryan’s shoulder. “Okay, can I tell you a story instead?” he asked.

“Hmm….let me think about it. We have to wade through this early morning traffic and it is going to take us at least an hour of negotiating through civilisation’s best bane for ordinary mortals like us. I don’t mind a story. But keep it short and yes, it better be interesting, lest I divert my frustration on you” Aryan mockingly threatened his friend.

We have to wade through this early morning traffic...

“Agreed” said Vivek before he began his story.

"Two friends were walking home after closing their shops. They were not only neighbours, but also owned adjacent shops.

They never allowed their professional rivalry get the better of their friendship. As they walked homewards, one of them started a conversation. He asked his friend if he would loan him 50% of his sudden riches, were he to win a lottery. His friend instantly moved closer and put his arm around his shoulder.

“My dear friend, you are the best wealth that I could ever ask for. Do you think I will be so selfish? Of course, I will share my spoils with you”, he said confidently.

“Assuming that you won a lottery of 10 lakhs, would you still be interested in sharing it with me?” asked his friend nonchalantly.

“Now don’t you tease me with these questions. Whatever I win in a lottery, 50% of it is yours. You can take my word for it and I will not go back on my words” said his friend reassuringly.

The first man was happy on listening to such kind words from his friend.

“In my opinion, you are the greatest philanthropist I have ever known!” he exclaimed. He was encouraged to continue as he put across his final question to his friend.

“If you had a 1000 rupees, then, will you share 50% of it with me?” he asked.
To his surprise, his friend said a blunt “No”.

“You were willing to share 50,000 rupees with me, if you won a lakh, you were willing to share 5 lakhs if you got 10. Why, then, is sharing just 500 rupees difficult for you?” he asked his friend.

His friend said, “My dear friend, if I had 10 lakh I would share half of it with you. But fortunately, I do not have 10 lakhs. If I win a lakh of rupees in lottery, I will share half of it with you, but I have not yet won it” he said.

As his bewildered friend listened, he continued. “Unfortunately, I have a 1000 rupees now and I did not win it in a lottery. When you have to part with your hard earned money in the present, it is difficult” he concluded.

After narrating the story, Vivek asked Aryan what he would do if he had a 1000 rupees. Aryan told Vivek that he would share 500 rupees with him.

“Okay, I gather that you do not have 1000 rupees and I have to find someone else from whom I can borrow money” Vivek said, pulling his motorbike to a halt in his designated parking lot.

Both friends proceeded towards their workplace laughing over Vivek's remark. One more story had helped them curse less, as they swam through the crazy city traffic to reach their workplace!