Thursday, 28 July 2016
Yes, I am !!! I’d rather have fair-weather friends than friends who sympathize only because you are in a deeper rut than them.
We i.e. my brother and I lost our father when we were 12 and 5 years old respectively. My mother, a homemaker and a woman who was loved and protected by her family and later, her husband, was ill-equipped to handle the situation that had suddenly befallen her. Other than the really close family, some of whom lent us 100% support and some of who completely disappeared, some who appeared to sympathize with us were the sympathizers whom I have come to fear. Many of these were people who had been variously helped by my father to rise in their careers or otherwise and this was their chance to show that they were there for us. We took them at face value only to realize that they would sympathize only if we listened to them at every step of the way and if we were always at a lower social rung than them. And by help here I am not, never, not for once talking about financial help.
Sadly for them, my brother and I were good students and since my father’s company paid for our education, we studied what we wanted to and fared reasonably well. Then came the time of getting jobs. We were living in West Bengal where jobs were difficult to get and my engineering college didn’t have many campus opportunities. So, I was struggling to land my first job and out came the helping hand of one Mr. B who had been helped to further his career by my father. We readily accepted his helping hand for we believed that he had our best interests in mind. He took me to meet a gentleman who owned a company in Delhi and was ready to pay me a paltry sum to join his company there. Given that I had to manage my food and accommodation in a strange city in that money, I decided to refuse his offer after discussing it with my mother. I also truly believed that I was capable of landing a better job. When we told Mr. B that I wouldn’t be joining there, instead of understanding the reason behind my refusal, he barked at my mother, “What does she expect? She’s not going to get a better offer than this!!!” Thankfully I could prove him wrong soon enough by acquiring a job which paid me more than double of what Mr. B’s acquaintance had offered me, along with accommodation in a foreign city. We haven’t heard much from Mr. B since then though he was invited to my wedding which happened some years later.
Then there’s the case of Mrs. A. Maybe she thought that we would always be her poor cousins. When my brother and later, I started doing reasonably well in our professional lives, she started behaving more and more rudely with us, especially my mother who, despite all that she had seen in life, still remained a simpleton at heart. Finally we decided that it was better for us to ignore her and stay away from her negative energy.
My mother, a young widow, has been variously propositioned by some sympathizers. Many of our fair-weather friends came back once we started to fare better. However, we were lucky to have some empathizers in our lives, who always stayed by our sides in our times of difficulty and in happy times. They rejoiced with us when we did well and still do. I am thankful for the empathizers in my life and wish them the best, always, just as they do us.