As an author it is usual for me to get calls from some readers who are inspired by my writings or just to convey their best wishes to me. I make every effort to stay connected and listen to them carefully and improve my work. However in the busy schedules of life even I miss out things that at times seems to have bigger impact. This is a real incident from my life that shows how unknowingly we can approach life inversely.
He called me on my handphone one day and I heard a little timid but clear voice saying, "Hello Vidya ji, I read your book and I am deeply inspired by the way you write from your heart. All the important things you wrote changed my conviction about many things in life". I said, "Thank you. I am glad you liked the book and it helped you..." We went about discussing some topics from the book. He emotionally said, "People take the book lightly, I think they should believe in it and take the benefits from it..." He also went about praising me a bit, I heard it all and thanked him. I found him to be a bit emotional and genuine in communication.
From that day, he kept calling me and messaging me now and then asking me to say something inspirational and sometimes spoke about challenges of his life. He was honest and that's what kept me in the conversations.
After a few times, I started feeling little uncomfortable as these calls would come at odd hours, like when I am stuck in the traffic, at late evenings or early mornings. I knew there was something serious going on in his life but there was only so much I could do to listen and share my thoughts. Every time before we end the call he would say, "I feel better after talking to you and things are improving in life."
Slowly I started missing a few calls from him, sometimes deliberately to attend to busy schedules of life, work that demanded heavy time and sometimes unintentionally. Slowly the calls reduced from him and even stopped for many months. I forgot about him among several events of life.
One early morning the phone rang, I was in the bathroom and thought whoever was it I will return the call a little later. The phone stopped ringing and started ringing again within a few seconds. I felt something was urgent and quickly reached out to my phone. It was a call from his number but someone else was speaking this time.
He quickly said, 'Vidya ji, he is gone." I didn't understand for a moment and I asked, "Where has he gone?" He said, "He is no more, he passed away last night." I froze, my voice shivered, I collected myself and asked "What happened to him? How did it happen?" He went about explaining me. "He was not keeping well for a while however doctor said he was recovering well and soon he shall be fine. However, last night he died suddenly. We are all shattered." I was in a shock, I consolidated myself and said, "He was a nice man. He was leading a group of people in his town and many people looked upto him. Everything happens for a reason. Stay strong. By the way, how are you related to him?"
He said, "Is it so? We are not able to think like that. We lost faith in God. I am his elder son. Please tell us what should we do now? How should we conduct his funeral? Can you give some suggestions? My mother is all shattered. Can you speak to her for a moment? She will feel better?" I heard him whispering to his mother, "Vidya ji on the call." They knew me. With heavy heart I somehow managed to speak to the lady in tears and sobbing for a few minutes and ended the call.
There was a squeezing feeling in the heart and the regret that pointed out my failure clearly. It grew even bigger when his son and wife valued my opinion and I did not know for what. I have done nothing. I probably never knew how important was that energy and inspiration he was drawing from those short calls. Calls I missed and never thought were as useful. May be talking to me would have given him some more happy moments, I regretted.
In life many times we give importance to Things than People, to Business than Relationships, to Money than Happiness and to Future than The Present. Life slips away from our hands unknowingly and we watch it go helplessly. Regret for all the important things that we have not done and all the unimportant things we were chasing.
Phone gives us choice to pick the call or silence it. In the spree of being successful, many of us do not want to miss our work related calls or commitments and postpone talking to family, friends and well wishers. Mother's call comes on the top of this list. We think emotions can wait but work should not, personal priorities should not. It is forgotten that the work can be done by someone else but someone wanting to share their love specifically with you will not find your substitute.
So, pick that call.. someone is waiting to hear you on the other side!!
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