Happy Republic Day

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A day before January 26, late in the evening, I received a phone call from the Secretary of our old housing Society, where I lived for 25 years. I felt deeply grateful when he invited me to attend the Society’s Republic Day celebration.

I am getting ready to attend my old society’s flag hosting ceremony. This is a perfect occasion to wear an elegant white kurta, but not having a white kurta, thought to wear at least a white shirt. I could find one but that was our company gifted, bearing a company brand logo.

The Nagar Sevak of that locality graced the Society’s Republic Day event. After hoisting of the national flag and a heartfelt rendition of the national anthem, I had the chance to catch up with the Nagar Sevak, secretary, and our old neighbors, remembering about the good old days. In cosmopolitan urban life, we barely talk to our neighbors and members of society, or to the local people. The doors of city houses are always in a shutting position. As a result, when our neighbor opens, we are closed and when we open; they are closed. Though, in crisis, our neighbors, local community, and society people are our instant help.

On my way back to home, I suddenly realized that I had yet to meet the Nagar Sevak from my present locality, so thought today is the right occasion to meet him and introduce myself. In the meantime, my mobile rang, a call from wife, she asked me to bring a packet of curd while coming. I said yes and disconnected. Once again, she called, to reconfirm that I bring Rs 50 Wala packet, not Rs 25 Wala.

With a great passion, I parked my bike and walked into the nearby venue in the garden. However, when entered inside, found that the flag hoisting and national anthem singing is already over, people are all over the garden, and a group of people have gathered around the Nagar Sevak in the corner, engaged in conversation. Though, I am ready but somehow feeling awkward and uneasy about how to approach someone who does not know me at all. I feel sudden drop in my excitement level and uncertain of what to do next. I am trying hard to regain my self-confidence and look forward to engaging in conversation with Nagar Sevak, but timid emotions are overflowing. Thought I could at least find someone in the crowd who knows me. But to my surprise, everyone here is a stranger to me. My Search is on. Luckily, found a known person standing with Nagar sevak. He owns a Kirana store, and sometimes I visit his store. Thought, I could meet Nagar Sevak through him.

Though Fifteen minutes have passed; I am still standing alone while others are chitchatting and enjoying a companion and served snacks. Being trapped in my own mind, realized that trying to socialize in an unfamiliar setting is extremely difficult, easier said than done. The fact is, I am not getting the strength in the hours of greatest need. Again, the mobile rang, saw wife’s call, sent an auto message “I will call you back.”. My constant look at the owner of the Kirana store is still on and just an eye-to-eye contact is “a wow moment for me.” Received a notification alert, message from wife, her message, “I need curd not you call back.” It looks like the curd woe is emerging as a potential threat to spoil my pursuit. I think too much, analyzing lots of options, but really do nothing. My intelligence says I must break from thinking and go for action, but my shyness has already overpowered and obstructing me to move forward. Even gaining a little courage at that moment for me is tough. My feelings of isolation, frustration and nervousness are at their peak, causing a depletion of my psychological level and self-esteem. I am nearly forsaken.

Sensing my failure, my mind asks, “why did you come here without knowing your competence of social skills?” Remember, when passion drives, mind takes the backseat. And when failure becomes imminent, the mind gets an opportunity to raise question first. *

Amid disappointment and despair, I slowly started walking towards the exit gate. Though, my eye on Kirana Store Owner is still on. Fortunately, now could make an eye contact with him. We smiled at each other. It looks like they are now about to end the conversation. As expected, their gathering started to disperse. Everyone started walking towards the exit gate. The Nagar Sevak is in the lead, while others follow him. As Nagar Sevak gets closer, I realize he is going to pass me soon. This is my chance and cannot let it slip away. “How does it matter whether Nagar Sevak ignores me or handshakes me? I have already announced defeat to myself, anyway.”

Surprisingly, at three or four feet away, Nagar Sevak asked me, “So you work for Emerson”. I was perplexed but said yes. He praised my company and engaged in conversation with me; it looks like he knows my company well. Other people around us are watching our conversation as if I am related to him. Finally, I asked him how he knew I was working for Emerson. He simply pointed his hand to my white shirt bearing company’s brand logo. [Think and insert a creative sentence here. If you wish you can send your sentence to Author]

Amid disappointment and despair, I slowly started walking towards the exit gate. Though, my eye on Kirana Store Owner is still on. Fortunately, now could make an eye contact with him. We smiled at each other. It looks like they are now about to end the conversation.

Social skills are critically important for all ages and plays significant role for success in life. These skills help us in interacting appropriately and effectively with others in social situations. We know communication, social interaction, friendliness, respect, empathy, charisma, networking, listening, self-awareness, speech, patience, are the important social skills, foundations for us to progress and excel in our life.

Do you think that we give priority for developing and improving social skills? Do you think that we sufficiently teach these skills to our children? Do you think that we participate in social events with enthusiasm and interest? Do you think, in a time- strapped world, the recent micturition incident on the Air India flight deserves everyone’s time and debate in TV Channels, News Papers, and social media? Do not you think this incident is a glaring example of how a lack of social skill can cause severe damage to the society. We really need to reflect on these questions to build a fantastic future for us. Thank you.

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