Work And Pain

Work And Pain

“What makes you smile?” Lulu, my parrot asked me. Lulu is a keen observer and my smile did not escape his attention.

“I attended a send-off event for the school’s headmaster. He was a popular and respected teacher. The students had organized the event for their teacher. The old headmaster said ‘I am grateful to you for this well-organized event on my last day in the school; I will give 9 out of 10 marks for this, my students.’”

“Ha ha! The old habit of giving marks!!”

(Lulu, My Parrot)

“Yes Lulu. The old habit of giving marks! And habits die hard.”

“Those are the habits acquired on the job. Your work changes your language, it changes the way you carry out work even in your daily life – personal life, I mean.”


“I once overheard a manager giving some instructions to his wife and then he asked her to repeat his instructions; I was so shocked. He must have learnt how to give instructions in his office.”

“You are right Lulu, Job affects us in many ways”

“Did you watch Namak Haram, the Rajesh Khanna – Amitabh Bachchan starrer? Amitabh, who is Khanna’s friend, enters his factory as a worker but becomes a trade union leader on seeing the plight of workers, in a complete change of role.”

“So true. Our job affects us in ways more than one.”

“I read the interview of Shobha Gupta who pleaded Bilkis Bano’s case. Shobha Gupta is a well-known lawyer who represented Bilkis in litigation. It is interesting to know what she says in her interview ….”

“Tell me”

“She says, and I quote A few years after I had taken up the case, I realised that (…) It has made me more sensitive. Maybe because from a very young age, I have read the facts. The pain might not have been directly inflicted on my body and mind, but I have lived under its shadow too.’


“Let me read further, ‘So that might have changed me as a person. It might have made me more sensitive towards all these issues (crimes and ill-treatment of women) …. the Bilkis Bano case has played a big role in strengthening my voice and engagement with such issues.’

“Hmmmm …. I remember …. A twenty-one-year-old Bilkis was gang raped and many family members were murdered in the horrible violence.”

“She represented her as a lawyer so she must have felt the pain.”


“Tell me, when you remove people from their jobs do you feel their pain?”

“There are HR guys who feel it and there are others who are oblivious to it”

“Feeling the pain is natural to sensitive or empathetic persons like Shobha Gupta, but the trick lies in overcoming it”

“What’s that, Lulu? How can you not get affected by the pain of people around you?”

(Pic Courtesy Pixabay)

“I don’t mean that … see what Shobha Gupta said ‘When the Bilkis Bano case came to me, I did what a lawyer has to do. Rationalise things and put them in the right perspective. Read the facts carefully and put them next to the law. Apply the law and put it to the court.’

“Tell me what you mean”

“I mean we must understand the emotions but make moves in a rational way – rely on reason and rationality for making decisions and not on emotions; we must not get swayed by emotions”

“I understand, that is how doctors and surgeons work, right? It is a kind of paradox. You must understand the sentiments, yet not get swayed by it when you perform your role.”

“You got it”

“Yet the impact of such instances on one’s life is unmistakable. What Shobha Gupta said is right – it impacts people, it changes them in some inexplicable ways, it made Shobha Gupta more sensitive.”


“When people are in the evening of their lives, they feel that such situations are part of coincidences that shaped their lives. They realize that there are ‘unseen messages from the universe, residing in daily life, incognito’ as someone has said.”

“This is a bit deep!”

As we work, we create our destiny. Synchronicity works as a catalyst toward the working out of that destiny as David Richo said insightfully. Do you get me?”

Lulu fluttered his wings and sat on my hand and looked at me.