A Special Human, A Special Bond
Jyotsna first met him when she walked into his office one sunny morning a few years ago. Their interaction was brief, but it was enough to make her think that he was a man of respect. He was smart, well-read and viewed things from a different angle to others. She was intelligent, smart and had a captivating innocent air about her. But something in her demeanor suggested a strong, smart, yet compliant nature. Her smile, when it appeared, was radiant. He was intrigued by this seemingly innocent, helpless-looking young woman.
For her, it was a new city, new language, new people and a new experience altogether. She had special needs and staying in a house by herself was a novelty for her. She had certain special requirements both in her house and at work, all of which were made possible thanks to his intervention. She was a hot-head; his steadying hand helped cool her down. She acted with astuteness and impeccable calm in most situations, but there were times she lost her composure and threw a tantrum. At those times, he neither admonished nor reprimanded; instead he simply listened until the tirade was over and patiently explained that everything cannot happen to her speed. He once told her she was amazingly mature, but had certain child-like qualities which were part of who she was. (Having two lovely daughters, he knew just how to handle her tirades) He wanted her to be the best she can be. He made her a part of all the activities planned by his team and valued her inputs. Soon, her other co-workers realized her potential and stopped doubting her capabilities.
Staying away from her family for the first time, she had to deal with a lot of issues. She was learning and adapting fast and having a good time. Within a few months, she had found good friends and sharing fun times with them. But from time to time, she suffered from bouts of loneliness. At those times, talking things out with him gave her solace. If that radiant smile was missing from her face for some reason, he went out of his way to make it reappear. She was a confident young lady, but she was prone to bouts of self-doubt and the “Why Me?” syndrome. He counseled her and enhanced her belief in herself and always made it a point to speak highly of her in front of others. Being a person with special needs, she had overcome many obstacles to get to where she was in life. He was well-aware of the fact and spoke proudly of her to his colleagues. He once told a group of ladies that Jyotsna could be compared to a rock-climber because she literally had to climb rocks every day just to get through the day.
Under his careful tutelage, she bloomed as a person and as a professional. He assigned tasks which were tailor-made for her skills and brought out some hidden talents as well. As time passed, their bond deepened. She constantly worried about his health as he had a tendency to over-work himself. One day, he found her looking as if she was about to cry. When he asked what was wrong, she told him she wanted to go home to her family. He smiled at her and said it was fine by him. A few months later, her family came down to visit her. While she was out with them having fun, she received a phone call from him. With a teasing note in his voice, he informed her that she can work from her home now as the office would be shifted to her parents’ house. She couldn’t make head or tail of it at first, then it dawned on her. Her transfer had come through and she would be going back to be with her family. And all thanks to him. She rushed back to office and raced into his cabin like a whirlwind. She wanted to fling herself into his arms, but noticed someone else in the room and stopped herself in time. She thanked him effusively till he started to laugh.
The next few days flew by in no time and suddenly, it was time for her to leave. She couldn’t believe that she wouldn’t be able to see him every day anymore. She had grown so used to his soothing presence. Sometimes, all she needed to lift her spirits was to sit with him for a few minutes. He was her rock and she couldn’t imagine not being able to simply waltz in and have a chat with him. She was worried that he might forget her after she left. However, her fears were unfounded.
Jyotsna and her mentor, friend and philosopher are just as close as they have always been through phone and e-mail. We salute you sir, for being a good person, a wonderful HUMAN BEING and an amazing friend. Jyotsna joins me in this salute.
I know each one of you too would be having this kind of a mentor in your lives, fellow Athenas do let me know who they are and what they mean to you.