- Aditi Surana
Words are events.
Chapter 101, a quaint little book store in Gurgaon that is tastefully curated took me by surprise. I happened to discover this store by chance. They had a rare collection of some first edition copies. Not just any copies, some of them were as old as the 1860s. Holding them in my hand was a privilege in itself. How many times would they have changed hands? How would each proud owner have handed them to the next? Beyond the stories shared in the book, how many stories they would have witnessed by merely being with those who cared about them.
“Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.”
wrote Ursula K. Le Guin in her magnificent piece titled - Telling is listening Sometimes I wonder as a content creator, a podcaster as well as a writer, who is really listening to all the things I keep saying. Who is actually listening to the stories that I share. I agree that all content platforms give you access to reach out to thousands of people every single day, but you rarely get to meet or understand who you are speaking with. It is almost like talking to the wind, hoping that the wind somehow carries your message to the ears and hearts of those who are waiting for it. Like carrying a bag of seeds on your long train journey and throwing them randomly, with the intention that each seed would find the land so nurturing, that it would call it home. And there are those days when your hope dwindles and you wonder if someone is truly listening to your words. After long hours at work, creating all different pieces of content that we do, when I read messages by trollers, the thought of doing something ‘better’ with my time does pass my mind at times.
This week we organised a free webinar for people to know more about APT - India's first mental and emotional gym that we started in July 2021. As part of my presentation, I asked - ‘Do you think you have changed since March 2020?’ I was shocked to hear the stories shared by some people. One of the participants shared - how the calm sutra sssss stroke and 21 day journaling workshop was her companion while dealing with her separation and figuring out her complex relationship situation with her kids. She struggled through the phase but refused to give up. She said reading one of these monthly newsletters drastically changed how she looked at her situation at hand. I was moved. Her aching and yet optimistic voice moved me to tears. In that moment, countless stories of transformation flashed in front of my eyes. I realised that my job and my duty as coach is not to count the seeds, or the plant it grows, nor take credit for it. My job is to speak to the wind and trust the wind to do its job.
A Marathi poet Govind Vinayak Karandikar, popularly known as ‘Vinda’ once wrote -
देणा-याने देत जावे
घेणा-याने घेत जावे
घेता घेता एक दिवस
देणा-याचे हात घ्यावेत
The giver should keep giving, the receiver should keep receiving. Until one day, when the receiver symbolically takes the hands of the giver and becomes a giver himself. He receives the biggest gift from the giver, the willingness to give to others. I realised I have the blessings of my teachers who have gifted me their spirit of generosity. I wish this gift to each and every one of you.