Saturday, 3 August 2013

Trimming the Balance Sheet or கண்டக்டர் தர வேண்டிய சில்லறை பாக்கி


I, like many of you, am an ardent lover of old Tamil film songs. 1960s & 70s can be said to be the golden period with Kannadasan ruling the roost. No, this is not to list his hit songs. That deserves a seperate post. It's about our attitude towards those ever green melodies. But look at their picturisation. Heroes above 50 or 60 years of age attired in flashy coats and suits sometimes acting as college students trying, in their vain attempt, to cover their pot bellies in those flashy coats running around heroines their daughters' age, unable to hide their difficulty in breathing while sitting down or getting up. Still we love the songs even after 40 years or more. Why? The poetic beauty of the lyrics rendered in melodious voice with simple background music that doesn't attempt to tear our ear drums help us forget all the negative points mentioned first. Isn't it so?

In our official life we meet with so many kinds of people, not all to our liking. An inconsiderate boss, a rude colleague, a disobedient subordinate and numerous unrelenting clients. We learn to deal with these and many more. Most of them occupy a space in our official life that we can't totally avoid them. Nor can we change them to our liking. What do we do? We try to ignore the negative side of their characters and try to build rapport on the positive aspects, at least to the extent it is necessary to maintain a workable relationship when thrown together due to unavoidble situations.

When we see umpteen posts in Face Book, asking us to accept people as they are, or asking us to forget those who have hurt you , if not because they deserve it, for the sake of your own peace, our immediate response is to like the posts and share them. Don't sit in judgement of other people, you don't know what they have gone through; You might have fared worse if you were in their situation. Posts containing such words get many likes and shares. Even in case of friends, we have to be open minded in order to continue the friendship. Oruvar porai iruvar natpu, as the saying goes. One being understanding saves the friendship between the two.

But when it comes to the so called mistakes committed by our near and dear ones, we employ very strict norms. How many times we see whenever a fight erupts between couples or siblings we immediatley resort to using incidents that took place years before as weapons to hurt the one at the other end? We are not prepared to forgive or forget even after long years. May be whatever was said or done was said or done when the other person had much lesser maturity at that time. May be we too contributed at that time with our own immaturity level we then had causing the drift to precipitate. We carry the unnecesary baggage for years together all the time at the cost of our own peace. Why don't we apply the rule forgive and forget for our own sake in such cases?

I am reminded of a pudukkavaidai I read in Aananda vikatan more than ten years back.
Nowadays most of the Tamil magazines have started publishing pudukkavidaigal. But I always find those in aananda vikatan more crispy. It goes something like this:
(It is written as if from the mind of a bus traveller, travelling through ghat roads full of beautiful scenary all the way.)
விரைந்தோடும் பச்சை மரங்கள்                                               
அதில் சிரிக்கும் பூக்கள்
சலசலக்கும் சிற்றோடைகள்
கை எட்டும் தூரத்தில் வெண் பஞ்சு மேகக் கூட்டம்
பக்கத்து ஸீட்டில் தாயின் மடியில் குழ்ந்தையின் புன்சிரிப்பு
இது எதையுமே ரஸிக்க விடவில்லை கன்டக்டர் தர வேன்டிய சில்லறை பாக்கி

Viraindodum pachai marangal
Athil chirikkum pookkal
Salasalakkum chitrodaigal
Kai ettum dhoorathil ven panchu megak koottam
Pakkathu seattil thayin madiyil kuzhandiyin punchirippu
Idu edhaiyume rasikka vidavillai conductor thara vendiya chillarai baakki.

Roughly translated it says:

Lush green trees full of smiling flowers pass by
Numerous riverlets run making musical sounds
Clouds scattered like flowering cotton pass by
The lovely smile of an infant in the next seat in its mother's laps
I was not able to enjoy any of these
Because of the balance of change the conductor owed me.


The words may not be the same as written by the author or the translation may be imperfect. But the meaning got stuck into me and lingers even after about ten years.

Some small change, be it in money or anything else, that someone owes us puts an invisible curtain over our eyes and we refuse to see beyond that curtain, letting that small change cataract our vision.

In banking parlance we call it 'Trimming tne Balance sheet'; when many loan accounts with small balances are outstanding and recovery is difficult or impossible, the loans are written off and the Balance sheet is devoid of those non performing assets. The recovry efforts may continue, though.

Likewise why don't we learn to write off unnecessary memories from our mind and keep it fresh and trim to be able to enjoy the innumerable pleasures every minute offers us?

What the conductor owes may be significant at times, but the world outside has much more to offer. Let us not lose it for the sake of the balance of change he owes us.

Statutory Disclaimer: This does not refer to any one person or any one incident in particular. I have named the file where I keep my writings as 'My Musings.' It is just that. My musings.

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