Words have power. Words have impact. Words can echo through time.
Here are some words that I can never forget because they left an indelible impact on me, changing me forever.
“Let her read whatever she wants. It’s better we know what she is reading. Stop her and she will continue to read in hiding” – my father.
“In life, it is easier to swim with the tide than against it” – my father to me.
“To be or not to be. That’s the question” – William Shakespeare.
“Once bitten, twice shy. Third time, never try” – my friend, J. J. Trada when packing in a lousy deck of cards in a game. LOL but how true of life per se.
“Sweetheart, it’s not money that is the root of all evil. It’s the absence of money” – said in jest by Saurabh Joshi, a college friend who spent many an hour yakking with me. But nevertheless, words I remember because the absence of money has caused me a lot of pain in my life.
“Jyot se jyot jalate chalo/ prem ki ganga bahate chalo/ raah mein aaye jo deen dukhi/ sab ko gale se lagate chalo/ jiska na koi sangi saathi/ ishwar hai rakhwala…” – a song from the old Hindi film, Sant Gyaneshwar*. The words mean keep lighting the lamps of life and let the river of love flow like the Ganga/ embrace the sad and the poor in your path/remember that God is there to protect those without the support of anyone. I drew a lot of comfort from the words of this song in my darkest hours. Here’s the video clip from You Tube.
“This is the result of over-confidence. You are getting too big for your boots” – Front Office Manager, Oberoi Towers during a post-mortem of a mistake I made. It shook me to the core and taught me to be careful thereafter – for ever.
“What’s the strategy? Why are you jumping to the creative idea” – Ravi Gupta, founder of the advertising agency, Trikaya (now Grey). Ravi moulded me into always looking at the big picture first and getting the central message right before thinking of advertising ideas.
“Lata, I want you to go and sit there on the parapet overlooking the sea and think carefully about what I am about to say. I have made you a General Manager. That means you have to handle your clients and not come running to me. Further, I don’t care whether your client is being unfair in his opinion. If you have a perception problem, work at changing it” – Prem Mehta, ex-CEO Lintas (now Lowe).
“Lata, it’s your life. You have to accept it” – a close friend when I was crying on his shoulder.
“I am not questioning this client’s ability to pay. I am questioning his willingness to pay” – Shahrukh Munsiff, ex-CFO Lintas (now Lowe).
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” – Randall Terry.
“Child” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.” Powerful words by C. S. Lewis in The Horse and His Boy (Book 5 of The Chronicles of Narnia). Page impression? Universal justice is not about relative performance or the satisfaction of seeing someone else get their comeuppance. Rather, it’s about self-development through a deeply personal, one-on-one relationship between the Universe (God) and an individual entity.
The words that echo through time in your mind tell a story about you and your life. Which are the words that echo repeatedly in your mind? If you would like to share, do drop them into the comment box:)
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Featured Image Credit: Stone inscribed with Ode, Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth. Image taken in December 2012 in Ooty’s Rose Garden by Lata Subramanian.
* Jyot se jyot jalate chalo – The lyrics of this song are by Bharat Vyas and the melody is by the composer duo Laxmikant Pyarelal. There are two versions of the song by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar.