In the fall of 2010, my family had a reunion of sorts in Orlando, Florida. We had all gathered together to participate in the Fall 2010 North American Bridge Championship (NABC). My parents were visiting from India, I flew down from Maryland, and my brother flew down from Ithaca. I was planning to play all 10 days of the tournament, while my brother couldn’t take time off and he was playing only the first two days. He and my Dad played the first weekend together, and they had a successful outing, qualifying for the finals, and finishing 14th in the finals. A little more luck, and they could have finished in the top 5. After my brother left, my Dad, Mom and I stayed back in the Marriott hotel where the game was being held and my Dad and I played the rest of the tournament as partners. My Mom cheered us up, had ample fun of Her own, and cooked delicious food for us in a portable rice cooker (which I greatly appreciated, I didn’t have to search around for vegetarian food options between games. 

One day, in between sessions, I came to the room to rest. Now, I don’t routinely carry cash with me, but this time I had $300 in hand with me. When I woke up from a nap, when I checked my wallet, I found the cash missing. I froze. What had happened to the money? “Money is missing”, I exclaimed in agitation to my Mom and Dad. They could see that I was in a state of frenzy, and when one person is in a state of frenzy, it becomes contagious – the atmosphere becomes frenzy. My Mom started searching for the money as well, but couldn’t find it. “Did you go out, could the housekeeping staff have taken the money?”, I said. My Mom said that the room was not unattended. 

I don’t remember where we found it, but we eventually found the money. I breathed a sigh of relief. “We didn’t lose anything after all”, I said.

“Didn’t we?”, asked my Dad softly. “We lost our cool. We lost our composure. We lost our self-control. We hastily other people of stealing. It seems to me like we lost a lot”.

Lesson learned. Thank You Dad.

Image Credit: JP Valery from Unsplash

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Prahalad Rajkumar

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