Once, during a rainy day, I was sitting on the window sill holding my coffee mug mulling over life in general.
Nothing was going right. Finances were down. I am an interior designer working with my husband. We have a small firm which does interiors, landscaping etc.Business was good. We got a lot of contracts, advances were paid upfront but though we finished work on time, the balance payments took months together. In some cases years.
My father in law needed regular dialysis. Son’s fees and other activities needed money. EMIs were due and I was depressed.
We are both straight forward people. We do not understand how shrewd people can be. Clients come and show as if they need their home/office interiors to be done. They show so much interest in our work, they pay advance so hurriedly but then once the job is done, they disappear. Don’t they understand that we have a home to run that we have families too. Our team too suffers because of delay in payments.
It’s at that moment that my mobile rings. It is Hitesh, my friend from college. We exchanged pleasantries….talked for some time and then..’Avanti, whats the matter? Why do you sound so low?’
Me in a choked voice,’Nothing.’
He; ‘Don’t lie, I can understand from your tone’
And then it all came out, the tension, the frustration, the pain
‘Hmmm’, Hitesh said, ‘I will tell you a story.’
I was astonished. Here I was on crossroads almost on the verge of bankruptcy and here was he telling me a story.
‘I will just tell the story. You draw conclusions and the inferences’, he said, ‘There was a cobra who lived in a pit. That pit was near a road. Whoever came near the pit, he bit them. Narad muni was once passing through the path. He saw the snake and felt sad. So he gave a sermon about karma and how each one has to pay back. He advised him not to bite people unnecessarily. So saying Narad muni left. The muni’s words affected the cobra a lot.
After some months Narad muni was going through the path again. So he stopped to meet the cobra. What he sees is a battered snake.What has happened is though the snake has become non violent, people do not know that. So when they see the cobra they beat him with sticks. Then Narad says “I asked you to be nonviolent but I didn’t ask you not to be defensive. When people come near you, you can raise your hood and scare them.”‘
That was the talk that I had with Hitesh two years back.
Today again its a rainy day. I sit with my mug of coffee but today I am happy. Our home is now our home. My father in law had a successful transplant. All is well at least financially.
How you wonder?
We just raised our hoods
We start work only when we receive an advance-substantial advance. Often we tell the client only to buy the ‘raw materials’. We don’t finish the work until the payment is paid even though the client is well-known, a relative or tells us sob stories. Some of the old balances are still pending but for now we are doing alright.
Some advises are just brilliant.
This weekend the prompt was, Once during a rainy day.