Discerning true well-wishers

Even today, I remember a science teacher of ours in our school days, who used to be a strict martinet and a stickler for discipline. With her lynx-eyed vigilance, she made sure all of us listened to her lessons with lashings of focus.

To be fair, yes, with paramount sincerity, she did punctiliously impart the precious knowledge to all her pupils. To such an extent that it remained ineradicably graven on students’ mind even after decades. Still, we students seldom took a liking to her, since we used to see her as a singularly despotic tyrant.

On the other hand, we rather liked another teacher, who perfunctorily delivered the lessons, without caring a fig whether we rightly assimilated the knowledge that she disseminated. 

Apparently, we had lots of leeway in her class to indulge in all kinds of tomfoolery, without being admonished for that. But only later on, did we realise that we actually scored better marks in the subject, taught by that supposedly strict teacher, presumed to be a hard taskmaster. Interestingly, even as we grow, we have this proclivity to get gravitated to such folks who offer us those fleeting moments of joy. 

We also tend to get swept off by those who put us on high pedestal without discerning their true self, which at times, could be a conniving one, cloaked under the veneer of their outward charming demeanour. And, that their ostensible honey-dunked words could be more of flippant fawning, too, maybe to winkle out favours from people.

And then there are those genuine well-wishers, who may not overtly, with all verbosity, advertise their love for us. Since, they believe in ‘actions speak louder than words’. 

Naturally, they are the ones springing to our support, to bail us out, whenever we get mired in formidable situations. In fact, some of these well-wishers, who eternally care for our well-being, may even try being harsh with us.

But their abrasive behaviour is only to steel our nerves and to make us more self-reliant, so that we could recruit all our energies and rally up our full courage, during the trying moments of our life.

Here, I’m reminded of an impressive Sanskrit Subhashitani that goes like this… “Kakah Krishna, pikah Krishna; Ko bheda pika kakayoho? Vasantha kala praptey; Kakah kakah, pikah pikaha.” Which somewhat means, the crow is black (in colour), so is the cuckoo bird. 

What then is the difference between the two? When the spring season sets in, one can easily find out the crow to be a crow, and the cuckoo to be a cuckoo.

So, just as the spring time is the revelation factor to distinguish between the two birds, (as generally the cuckoo coos during the spring), in the same way, the times when we are in dire emotional crises, these testing times are like the ‘litmus test’ in identifying who all are our true well-wishers. And of course, to winnow out those fake ones, who aren’t blindest bit use to anyone in any way.

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