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The Inscrutable Human Behavior
|by G Swaminathan|
A very difficult task in this world according to me is gauging the human psyche and how one will react in a given situation. I know about this because a substantial part of my career I had been a teacher interacting with the students of varying character and behavior. But, in general, I have been cordial and nice to most of them as I consider them as aspirant children who are yet to grow and see the world for better life. As a guide I always tried to give positive suggestions to them and also never failed to pull them up when they behave unruly or whimsical.
This happened nearly 25 years before and what made me ruminate the past now because of a happening yesterday. I received a phone call from one of my earlier students who completed his graduation nearly 29 years before and settled in Pune. He was in a way my favorite boy because of his nice manners and interest to learn. He moved away from the field he studied now and in a different profession. I had the opportunity to meet him only during his marriage soon after his graduation and conversed with him on just two occasions over the phone I the last two decades.
So when I received the call from him yesterday I was very surprised and above all when he volunteered to come and see me at my home I was all the more pleased. He came and spent about half an hour with me exchanging pleasantries and moved. Similarly, once one another guy who bumped on me in hotel near my house sat and spoke with me for quite some time recalling his friends and college days.
But one of my students who saw me in the same hotel approximately a year or so before but expressed a sense of shock on seeing me. I could feel that he felt a little embarrassed to say. But, since I smiled at him he had no other option except to greet and sit in front of me on the empty chair. After exchanging just a few words, he excused himself telling that his car driver with him will be sitting alone and moved. I did not say anything because I know he was totally uncomfortable to be there. He just moved away in a huff.
After he left, I felt a bit surprised not because he moved away so fast but there was a great difference between the guys with whom I explained my meeting earlier and this person. He too studied 25 years back and hailed from a lower middle class family and was a very diligent student in his studies. I have been a moral and financial support to him on many instances during those 3 years of his study and he was so close to me during his college days that the others refer him as ‘my adopted son’. He had visited my house which is near to this hotel and knew my family too. After completing the course, he worked in India for some time and moved to Germany and then to Norway. He married a Norwegian lady and settled there now. He used to send letter once a year but never mentioned anything about his marriage. But, later he visited me with his wife and his first child. A card will come on New Year and in the course of time that too stopped. I never took it amiss because as time passes, certain relationships are bound to drift away.
So what pained me actually was those who were not that close or attached to me during their college days had the courtesy or willingness to spare time for me now. But, one who had spent most of his time with me when he was a student prefers to provide company for his car driver than speaking to his former friend, philosopher and guide for a while. He never even asked for my phone number too.
What could be the reason? I have never done anything from my side to displease him, though he had not even mentioned about his marriage or building a palatial house near his home at Chennai.
There can be only one reason. Probably I must be the ‘reminder of his dark hard days’ in life which he never wants to open up and review. I might have been a closed chapter in his life. It is also my personal analysis and its conclusion.
Can there be any other reason?
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