Grateful “Yes”, Slave “No”

This is a topic that requires introspection. Debate as well. But worth a consideration.

What triggered this blog post is our watching yesterday the video of Sonu Nigam’s interview on Times Now TV. Sonu made a very interesting and pertinent point. While many people (Gulshan Kumar of T Series for example) have contributed to his professional growth, none of them can claim to have created him. None of them own him and he is not a slave of them either. While Sonu owes them a gratitude for their help, he can’t be treated like their slave.

Gratitude “Yes”, Slave “No”.

I would like to recall two incidents from my life. Both related to the above subject.

The first incident happened in the late nineties. Bindu and I were going through the worst phase of our life. We were bankrupt financially. We reached Delhi on the 17th August 1997. A friend (then, but not any more) helped us to settle down in Delhi. Gave us a place to stay for sometime, gave Bindu a job, and introduced me to a number of his contacts that got me couple of consulting assignments. I also kept myself busy by doing some work for him. In short this then friend gave us a new lease of life. When we needed it most.

This man is a businessman. Big one indeed. He also gave me an opportunity work with him and helped us financially during the most critical time of our life. Thanks to his timely ideas and suggestions, we bought this apartment from DLF in Gurgaon in 2002. I did work with him in his group companies in three different stints, making a difference every time.

To both these people, we not only repaid the money that we owed to them but also contributed in more ways than anyone could have done for them at that time. But when we parted ways with both of them, it was not a very pleasant one.

The reason for our parting ways with them was not a pleasant one was because both of them felt that they owned us. Because they helped us at the most critical phase of our life. And that we should be blind to whatever they were doing wrong at that time. Not just in business terms but in many other ways. So when we told them so, they did not appreciate this. We had to part ways.

There are many people who help us in our life. Some of them financially. Many help and support us through motivation, give us references, lend a shoulder when we need and in many other ways. We haven’t forgotten a single soul who helped us. Not just during our bankruptcy phase but in our entire life. We will always have that sense of gratitude for everyone of them for their help.

But does it mean that we are a slave to them? We don’t believe so and by being a slave to them we are not helping them either. If you believe you are a friend, you need to be 100% genuine. Be true to yourself and your friendship. Have to show the mirror when they need it the most. What they would like to do with your advice is their choice.

I am sure that some of you might have faced these kind of situations. Bankruptcy or otherwise. I sincerely believe that you should have that sense of gratitude to everyone who helped us but cannot be a slave. It is injustice to both.

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