Thursday, July 20, 2017

Two Lovely Gestures I'd Like to Pay Forward

At a time when I was getting cynical about life - I noticed two fine gestures that happened to people I know a few weeks ago. Upon closer inspection I noticed that I was opening up my life to miracles too.

The first when my friend Suresh stepped in while I was struggling with the Hyderabad book event. Landmark bookstore had not confirmed the place (they kept poor Sonal waiting in a most unprofessional manner I must add) so we were struggling to find the right place. I was somehow banking on Landmark so it upset me a bit.

As luck would have it, I was meeting Suresh that day and instead of our usual route, we decided to stop by at the Press Club which was an option. It looked decent. However it was not suitable venue for one  of the guests, so we had to look for another. That's when Suresh simply said - "Leave it to me. I'll book the Park.  My expense." Somehow I could not see this book fitting in with Park Hyatt or Grand Kakatiya (which was his other option) where I felt the grandeur of the venue might take the shine off the book so I went ahead and looked for more. Finally we found the most perfect venue, Saptaparni. Landmark would not have been a patch on this venue - it was so perfect.

But then Suresh insisted on throwing an after-launch party. I remember throwing a party after 'The Men Within' but since then watched out for expenses because there will be more costs concerned with book marketing (even if it is just tickets). So Suresh just went ahead and booked a private place for 30 people without even confirming with me. It was a fun gathering at Sailing club with Venkatapathi regaling us with stories of his cricketing days. AP, Ram, Srikant, Bhasker, Narayana Raju, Pavan, NP and a whole lot of friends came by. When Naresh dropped in later in the evening he was shocked that Suresh had thrown a party for me. 'That's amazing,' he said 'That someone is actually throwing a party for someone else's celebrations.' I think so too. I am not used to anyone doing things like this for me and I can only thank Suresh for his generosity and love. I am also watching keenly at how thoughtful and loving the world is. And how, despite his busy schedules, he is always keeping a watchful and thoughtful eye. I loved the fact that he just went ahead and did it - he did not need my permission for the after-party!

Within a couple of weeks of this event, Anjan came to town. He had been telling me since "50 Not Out" days that he would organise a launch in Delhi (where he was posted then). But this time (Kolkata now), he said he would fix it all up. I thought he meant he would help me with the launch and the logistics etc. But no, he wanted to organise the entire thing himself. He fixed the date, got me to get the publishers Jaico involved, took over from there, blocked the place, got everything organised and took such wonderful care of me that I told him - I don' think my family would do so much for me. He was also my Chief Guest, hosted an after party dinner and just took care of me like he would his own brother. I was overwhelmed to say the least. It was a wonderful experience and once again my faith and belief in humanity and its goodness got firmly asserted.

There is something in the way they just took it up and went ahead with they felt they should do. I am immensely humbled to receive such love and affection from my friends. They are both nonchalant about it and wonder why I am going on about it. But to me its simply wonderful to experience something like this.

And these are stories that I would be able to tell Anjali or so many others, when people may doubt humanity in a particular low moment, that the world has some other shades too. These are real stories. And we could aspire to be just like them. I for one would like to pay it forward, this generosity of spirit, whenever I get the chance, and keep it going and growing. The world needs more Suresh and Anjan. 

No comments: