Almost all of us have this small group of people around us who more often than not, tend to lighten up our day by their presence. Regardless of how long we spend with/around them, it makes us feel better and if I may say so, happier! The trick I believe is not in the fact that there is something magical about the person, but more a reason of what the Behaviourists call ‘conditioning’. There have been so many such instances of positive reinforcements, that after a point, we only need to speak to or meet the person for that good feeling to be sparked off immediately again! I had such an experience yet again today! I met this one person who has come to play multiple roles in my life; she has been my teacher, my employer, a friend and a guide for a lifetime!

This particular piece is entirely dedicated to this one person who has impacted me in a major way, through her teachings as well as by what she is. The authenticity and the effect one’s teachings and words has on those around, increases manifold when you see the person also live and act by those very words.

In the few years that I have been associated with her, I have imbibed few very important ideas that I hold for life:

1. The trick to not being disturbed is to keep working on your disturbance persistently. The change is neither overnight nor permanent.
2. The intensity, amount or duration of the hurt or grief over someone or something that you have lost is not an indication of how much you valued it or them.
3. You make a choice every moment of your life, even when you say ‘I just had no choice but to…’, you’re still making a choice to ignore the options.
4. Life and relationships neither have rulebooks to live by nor does anyone else decide for you. You as an individual make a choice of what ticks for you and what doesn’t.
5. Holding onto the past and using that as an excuse or explanation to justify your angst, pain or anxiety is only self defeating. You and your choices exist in the now!

These in no way define or limit what I have learnt in all these years from her, but they are essentially the most important ideas that I have come to adapt into my belief system.

This is for you Swati (ma’m) Khanolkar!