While toying with the idea of relocating to the U.S for a job, Anirudh was not only worried, but reluctant too. His new employer had hired him at higher salary and promised better perks, but the job required him to move out of Kolkata. Leaving his home town, parents, friends and his lifetime’s memories for a new place, made him jittery. To search for a new house or to stay in guest house, to cook on his own or hire a cook, to stay alone or with room partners, to adapt to a new lifestyle, totally different culture, to manage everything alone; these thoughts bothered him as he spent sleepless nights before accepting the new job offer.
Yes he had reasons to worry but his career was also at stake. As his elder sister I could gauge how his mind wavered between his job and family. To leave ailing parents behind for a new job was indeed difficult. I was married and had relocated to Delhi. I visited Kolkata for few days and I could sense the uneasiness on Anirudh’s face, no matter he tried to conceal this thoughts with his cheerful smile. I counselled him to accept the job opportunity. He was reluctant and did not seem convinced. Two days later, he came to me with an envelope in his hand. He seemed to be relaxed. “Ki holo?” (What happened), I asked him.
“I rejected the job offer” he said with a smile.
“Why? This was a great chance you always dreamt of! Are you crazy?” I exclaimed.
“I won’t leave my parents for a job. It’s just a job. I told that to my employer and they agreed. I can stay here in Kolkata and work for as on off-site employee. See, I rejected them, but they accommodated my needs. Didi, I knew my priorities and I was positive that my employer would agree to my terms and conditions. Why should I leave my home. I get my energy and happiness when I see my parents.”
I was stunned by his reply. What great optimism was my brother full of! I felt proud of him.
Years later, I was back to Kolkata in city hospital to attend to my father after he met with a stroke. I sobbed as Ani hugged me in the hospital during dad’s heart surgery. The doctors had reported 70% arteries blockage. In the critical situation when Mom and I were a nervous wreck, we could regain our strength and hopes with Ani standing by our side, silent but steady.
Our cousins were there in the hospital to support us. To cheer up everybody, Ani cracked jokes.
“How could you be not serious in this difficult time?” one of our elder cousins snapped at him. He was our uncle’s eldest son who was very close to our dad.
“Crying or worrying will not cure him anyway dada” Ani said calmly keeping his hand on his shoulder, transferring all his positive energy into the grim environment.
“Dad will be fine. Don’t worry. He will be healthy and hearty. Heart surgeries look complicated but trust me they are very common for doctors. Have a cup of tea”, and he extended his arm with cup of tea to calm us. The surgery was successful and dad recovered gradually. I am often amazed by the optimism that he carries and never feels low. What motivates him, even he does not know. All I know is that he is different and a very positive person who lights up everybody’s life with this cheerfulness and people look upto him for his optimism.
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