Of epiphany and catharsis

Of epiphany and catharsis

I have always believed in the power of destiny. We always meet people for a reason if only for a season. Little did I know that my physiotherapist would initiate a process of enlightenment in yours truly when he became instrumental in arranging a lecture for me.

The ball was set rolling; I was invited to give a talk to the educated and elderly. Since I had some decent experience in this area, I accepted the invite without a shred of hesitation. I ventured out with great zeal with the idea of keeping my audience informed and entertained for an hour or so.

When I reached the facility, I realised that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Here were veterans, experts in varied fields waiting to listen to me on a subject, about which their knowledge seemed to be several shades better than mine. Since I had committed to the schedule, I put on a brave face and began my talk. In due course, my passion got the better of me and I was able to slip into an uninterrupted flow during which time my thoughts metamorphosed into words. The talk was received with great grace.

The positive body language of my audience helped me sail through the session rather effortlessly. I was not self-conscious even for a moment. The way they hung on to every word I spoke and lavished me with generous praise at the end of the hour had me bursting at my seams with pride and happiness.

A new surge of confidence and contentment enveloped my very being. That night, I tossed and turned in my bed for a long time. It took quite a while for the “feel good factors” to sink in. Slowly realisation dawned on me. The fact that my audience, avid listeners, veritable veterans were collectively patient and appreciative had little to do with my talk. They could have interrupted me with their questions, opinions or simply added their own viewpoint or knowledge of the subject. Yet, they chose to listen with focus without getting distracted by cell phones or by exchanging thoughts with the well-informed friends sitting beside them.

Their response was actually a reflection of their fine culture and refinement. They had patronised me by displaying an unconditional generosity in letting me have my say though myriad thoughts on the subject may have been crossing their minds. The initial euphoria evaporated as humility set in, I was able to see that they had empowered me by being an avid audience. My catharsis had begun…