Out of the blue Anjali asked me last night.
'Nanna, did you ever fight with anyone?'
I thought of some filmy fights and recalled no such moment in my life. No Bruce Lee, Amitabh. No Jackie Chan moments.
'No,' I said. 'I never hit anyone.'
'No,' she said. 'Not like that. Did you fight with people.. like those who come on the wrong side of the road etc.'
Ah, this I do on a daily basis. At least I crib about it and Anjali has surely heard my cribbing many times.
'Yes,' I admitted. 'That I do often.'
Now, I was feeling uncomfortable already. Where was this leading? I know for sure that she does not approve of my holier-than-thou / I-am-right / How-can- they attitude when I drive and normally takes their side. So I geared up.
She suddenly changed track.
'You know Nanna. We are all helping someone or the other without them knowing it also. See you help people with your talks or workshops or a TED talk and someone sees it and finds something useful in it. The same person may not know you if he sees you in traffic. But you have helped right? Or Mamma helps so many people with their problems and they may help somebody else and they may not know Mamma. They may do something and help someone else. Even Mamma. Or me. Or Jyo maushi (her air hostess aunt) helps so many people by making them comfortable in the flight and Jyo maushi may not even know how she has helped them and how that has helped someone else. So you see, everyone is helping one another without even knowing how we are helping every one else.'
Whoa! That was a long a deep explanation of a thought I could not perceive so easily.
A bit like that network Prashant Dhawan spoke about in his TEDx talk at VNR VJIET recently, about an underground network of roots that we cannot see which keeps the forest going on a cooperative basis, together, helping one another, while on the outside it may appear that the trees are competing with one another.
I never thought of the world like how Anjali described it. That everyone is helping everyone one way or another. It's stupendous. Never so deeply, not so all encompassingly. That someone could have helped me out there (and I may be finding fault with the same person on the road). That we are all helping out someone or the other with the very nature of our work, our life, our nature, with every breath we take. That we are all interconnected with the effect of our actions. That all life is so interconnected. Fantastic. It suddenly made me open up my mind to a huge possibility that exists before me.
Thanks Anjali for a lovely thought. We should talk about this some more.