Tag Archives: Inspirational

Life: Trick Or Treat

I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport in Dubai. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

He handed me a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Abdul, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’

Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Abdul’s Mission Statement: “To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.”

This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Abdul said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’

I said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’

Abdul smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water and orange juice.’

Almost stuttering, I said, ‘I’ll take a Lassi.’

Handing me my drink, Abdul said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The NST , Star and Sun Today.’

As they were pulling away, Abdul handed me another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’

And as if that weren’t enough, Abdul told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for me.

Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he’d be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.

‘Tell me, Abdul ,’ I was amazed and asked him, ‘have you always served customers like this?’

Abdul smiled into the rear view mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about POWER OF CHOICE one day.”

Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle.

‘If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining!’

‘Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’

‘That hit me. really hard’ said Abdul.

‘It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes, slowly … a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’

‘I take it that it has paid off for you,’ I said.

‘It sure has,’ Abdul replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.’

Abdul made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like a duck and start soaring like an eagle.

End

Source: miscw vide Usha Narayanan.

Some Are More Equal Than Others

It was a working day. Even so the crowd at the camp was not thin.

Right then, a swanking new car sailed in. From it emerged a couple whose prosperity was so apparent despite their best efforts to appear ordinary and appropriate for the occasion.

The man in spotlessly white clothes and the lady carrying in her hand a small bagful of fruits and flowers, were readily ushered in to the Aacharya’s presence by a sishya.

For a moment, they were awestruck by the Aacharya’s radiance. As they bowed down, the sishya introduced him as a prominent merchant in the town operating a chain of stores selling saree’s. Now he was planning to set up hand and automatic looms to make his own branded products.

Thereupon the lady without a fuss quickly laid the fruits and flowers on a plate and the man, a thick envelope, offering it to the Aacharya. And the couple stepped back and did saashtanga namaskaram’s (prostrated in obeisance).

The sishya opened the envelope. Announcing ‘a check for Rs 50,000/ he dropped it into a sealed box kept for the purpose – the practice of making the contribution public was followed to avoid any unsavory imputation by anyone.

The Aachaarya, advanced in age, sat erect ignoring his mild indisposition and blessed them with akshathai’s (rice grains mingled in turmeric paste sprinkled on devotees). He called the man near and made solicitous inquiries at length about the family, his poorvaja’s (who were his forefathers, where did they hail from…) and his business, and wished them both well. Along with a few words of wisdom and advice, he said he would pray for their continued happiness, health and success of their business.

Finally the couple took leave much pleased with the special attention and grace bestowed on them by the Aacharya.

Thereafter there was a steady stream of devotees with humble offerings – they too received the kind Aacharya’s blessings and were offered fruits as prasadam’s. But none was spoken to like it was with the merchant couple.

At a point, the sishya could see the Aacharya had tired out. He brought the session to a close and helped the Aacharya retire to his place – a small room with a cot.

On the way, the Aacharya making an effort said to the sishya: ‘You don’t look your usual self – something on your mind?’

The sishya shook his head in polite negation.

‘I can read it – you’re bothered by my attention to the rich merchant couple? I’ve been observing you since morning.’

The sishya looked on silently averting the eyes of his Aacharya.

Lying down slowly on his rope cot, the Aacharya continued: ‘Yes, Rs 50,000 is a generous contribution. While neither you nor I, sanyasi’s (renounced normal worldly life), are interested personally, it’s certainly a happy situation to be in – you probably saw me perking up on hearing it – gives us, as instruments of the almighty, a little more elbow-room in helping the needy. Needless to tell you money to us per se is like dew drops on a lotus leaf, ready to be rolled off any moment.’

‘Now, coming to the part of my praying for their well-being – this probably bothers you the most…’ the Aacharya paused to catch his breath: ‘He’s probably employing a hundred or more employees in his stores. And is likely to employ more in his new venture, especially the poor weavers rendered redundant by machines. His success means livelihood to so many of these people. When I pray for his success as promised, actually I pray for the well-being of a hundred and more of his employees. I’m sure you’ve no problems with that…’

Turning on his side, away from the sishya, he muffled a weak yawn: ‘Also, perhaps, you did not hear me advising him to treat his employees fairly and generally be charitable with his wealth…I could’ve done more with them, you thought…or, may be less?’

Silence…punctuated only by his labored breathing.

It was clear there wasn’t much more to be said. The sishya stepped out noiselessly closing the door behind him.

 End

Source: A snap from TheHindu.com of the venerable late 45th Azhagiyasingar of Ahobila Mutt used here as a real-life Aacharya’s and is in no other way linked to the post.