“And how are you going to achieve power?” the mentor asked the budding politician.
“Love. I will spread the message of love.” said the young leader.
The mentor laughed heartily.
“Why do you laugh?” the young man asked his mentor feeling slighted.
The mentor patted him on the back, “Love does nothing. If you want to lead, bind the people with hate. Nothing brings people together more than hatred that they can feel for something or someone in common.”
The young leader wondered if that was too high a price to pay for power.
“That was the 50th call cancelling a newspaper subscription.” the vendor complained to his father.
“The lockdown has got people used to living without newspapers. So much loss.”
The father nodded, “If i were you, i would incur more losses.” he said.
“What kind of business is that?” the son asked really upset.
The father took his glasses off and said, “Through time a good businessman has used man’s habit of habit. The lockdown has given him the habit of no newspaper. You give them newspapers free till they form the habit again.”
It took a minute for the son to start smiling.
“Why do you think strong leadership is important in any field?” the interviewer asked the young MBA graduate.
Who thought a moment and said, “for anxiety…..”
The interviewer was boggled, “For anxiety? How do you mean?”
The graduate looked the interviewer in the eye, ” The biggest problem we face today is anxiety. Fears of an uncertain future. It keeps us up at nights and does not allow us to be us. A strong leader steps in and tells us it’s going to be okay. Everyone needs to hear it’s going to be okay.”
The interviewer looked at the girl and knew she was going to be a great leader someday.
“He took one bite and burnt his tongue so bad, i doubt he will ever touch my food again mom!” the little boy said with glee.
“Good, that takes care of that food stealing bully.” the mother grinned.
“How did you know how to set him right?” the boy asked his mother as they eased their car to a stop at a traffic light.
The mother took her hands of the wheel and said, “Remember son, you will meet bullies of different kinds all your life. A bully uses intimidation because he is clever enough to know that you are cleverer than him. Just don’t allow him to make you forget that!”
“You have had a very controversial life. So many relationships with different women. Do you not regret it?” the journalist asked him.
“No.” he responded with a smile.
“No?” this was not the answer the journo expected.
He took a moment, wondering whether he should explain, then he said, “Through everything i have been through, i have only learnt about love. Every relationship taught me something about love. Some taught me the pain of love, some the joy. Why should i regret knowing love?”
“If i turn on my office mates i won’t have a friend in my office and if i don’t it won’t be fair on that girl who was victimized. What do i do?” he asked her.
“What is the truth” she countered.
“The truth is that the girl was good and they sidelined her.” he admitted.
She handed him a plateful of pasta and said, “Remember my love, honesty is always a lonely road.”
He chewed on his food and thanked God for her.
Honesty is always a lonely road, he said to himself and nodded.
“I just can’t get over Rob dying. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. How did you get over Joe’s death?” she asked her friend through her tears.
“I didn’t.” her friend replied with a smile.
“What do you mean?” the response confused her.
The friend took a deep breath, “The term fighting grief is misleading. You can’t fight it. Trying to make it go away is a mistake. It will stick to you more. You have to just allow it. Make it a part of you. When you learn to live with grief, grief finds it hard to live with you.”
The friend knew she would not get it so fast.
That was another problem with grief.
“They say you stopped acting?” the old director was worried about his prodigy.
“Yes, i can’t. I am tired of the spotlight. I am just tired of criticism. I am tired of people writing crap about me.” the young actor was in pain.
The director put a loving hand on him, “There is a rule about criticism in the spotlight. Listen carefully to what they say about your work. Don’t give a fuck what they say about you. You are not what you do. That’s just a part of you.”
The young actor hugged his mentor and sobbed hard.
“You have been doing my makeup since i was a struggling actor. Today i am a star and important people have invited me for a party. But you don’t seem happy?”
The aging makeup man smiled, “Of course i am happy.”
The star wasn’t convinced, “Don’t lie!”
The makeup man smiled a sad smile, “The ones who call you after success won’t after failure. If you give them the power to respect you today, you are giving them the power to disrespect you some day.”
The star stared into the mirror a long time. He knew his makeup man had been a father to him again.”
“My advice, don’t marry her.” he told his son.
“I know depression. I have been there. All this talk of asking them to talk you, being compassionate, being present is bullshit. It’s a illness. A complex illness.”
The son sighed, “But i love her dad, deeply.”
The father shook his head, “She will make it very hard for you to love her, believe me.”
The son looked at the rain falling outside.
What kind of illness was this that made a person feel they did not deserve love?
At that moment he decided to beat her illness with his love.
“I can’t deal with this anxiety anymore. This lockdown has destroyed my mind.” he cried to her.
She held him close, “What is making you anxious baby?”
He took a deep breath, “This uncertainty, will my business be the same? The contracts? Money?”
She smiled, “Remember when we were in college? We were so certain of our future? There was nothing certain even then really. It was just that our hearts were certain. Certainty is a present mindset. Not a future event my love.”
He nodded and then put his head on her shoulder.
“We need money for rent, school admission for the kids, the car needs to be serviced!” she yelled at her husband.
“Yeah, i know.” he mumbled.
“You know? That’s no solution.” she couldn’t believe this guy!
“Baby, you married a companion. Not a solution. We shall deal with things together.” he said with a loving smile.
At that moment she felt so much love for him and she knew once again why she married him.