Jai Sri Hari, everyone. A warm and joyful hug to all the members of my fast-growing os.me family. It’s wonderful and slightly alarming to see the increasing list of posts these days because it seems impossible to catch up and read every one of them. Swamiji’s happiest corner on the internet is growing very fast.

The Satsang on Sunday was so beautiful. It really seemed that guruji had entered my living room and was having a personal 1-1 session with me and every single person who attended the Satsang. In one of his books, Swamiji wrote about “Hygge”, which is a Danish word. Hygge is when you are at your home, under a blanket sipping your favourite beverage, talking to your best friends and family members as a storm rages outside. Hygge is about the coziness of your soul.

Sunday’s Satsang was Hygge. Thank you, everyone, for being a part of my os.me family and my Hygee.

Swamiji’s goal around mindful speech is a challenge in certain situations for me and a piece of cake in other situations. I am generally careful of how my words would impact other people. When I went through depression in 2010 and came out of it, I realised that words could be used to hurt and heal, so I have generally been mindful of how I talk to strangers.

However, I have sometimes erred in presenting the best picture of myself vs. the real picture of myself. This is especially true at work, where I like to play the stereotype funny, helpful, brilliant guy, without whom the organisation would struggle to meet its goals. This week, I plan not to exaggerate my own importance and blow my trumpet subtly in every conversation. 

I am generally good at being polite to guards, house helps, strangers, tele-callers, and people who are as “privileged” as me in life. This post focuses on the tele-caller section, because almost all of us are bombarded by these calls every day. Truecaller has been a blessing, but unfortunately, it does not work very well with on iPhone.

I always focus on the fact that the person calling me is doing their own job, and if they could do anything better, they probably would do it. They have team leads screaming down upon them, they are paid for every sale they make, and more importantly, just like us, they have feelings and emotions that would get hurt if people are rude to them. Finally, they also have the same spark of the divine in them that resides within us. If we humanise the people calling us versus treating them like answering machines, we will get a lot of good karma.

Here are three calls that I received today and my reactions to them:

  1. Amazon seller for back massage product ordered by brother-in-law: I don’t know how these guys got my number instead of my brother-in-law, but they called me and said they would like me to review their product. Before I could respond, the person added they need to me rate it five stars, write a nice review, and send them a screenshot of the review so that they know it’s done. I was smiling at their audaciousness when he asked when he could expect the review. I mentally rolled through all responses in my head and favoured sarcasm over rudeness. I did not want to be polite because it would just encourage such unethical practices. I decided to play the sarcastic role consciously. “Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?” I asked politely and, on hearing an affirmative response, said, “Can you send me your address? I will send you a cheque for a crore, my property papers, and anything else you desire since your list of demands is too small.” There was some embarrassed silence, and the person said, have a good day, and hung up. While the sarcasm felt good, I reflected it might have been better to explain politely that asking such feedback is unethical and disconnect the call. After all, this was also some guy doing his job.
  2. A lady called me, offering a loan from Axis bank. I politely declined, wished her a good evening, and disconnected the call.
  3. An Aditya Birla guy called me up to explain the benefits of a health insurance policy I did not have. I waited for him to pause for a breath, and told him I don’t have this policy, so why bother explaining benefits. I wished him a lovely day and disconnected.

I frequently get calls for vacant plots, real estate investments, loans, medical supplies, credit cards, and other random things. I have generally been polite because that’s the least you can do for another human being. I wanted to share this with you because that’s something I have seen many people ignore and prank the tele-caller as I did in the first scenario. They are human beings too and deserve the same love and respect we expect for doing our jobs.

Best of luck, everyone, for mindful speech. I know I will have to play some roles in my house and at work because the world we live in demands it. However, I will play those roles mindfully and drop them as soon as the necessity has passed.

PS: This is a special shout-out to two members of our family who are missing for some time due to different reasons. Sri Devi Om Didi, I miss your embracing and loving presence. Your razor-sharp intellect and the resultant posts are an absolute pleasure. Siddhika Ma, I will pray your health recovers very soon and we can keep reading about some wonderful experiences you share with us.

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Akshay Iyer

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