Misunderstanding, it’s just not a word, it’s a negative phenomenon that we all face not once but several times in our lives. What is Misunderstanding if I may ask? It is the absence of understanding.
It is the presence of confusion, error in expression and misconception that leads to misinterpretation. Misunderstandings are not unavoidable, they are bound to happen, but what can be avoided are the consequences if we only decide not to be impulsive and egoistic and make sure that what we made out of the given situation was correct. But more often than not we do just the very opposite and get hurt, and that hurt leads to our self-respect pushing our ego never to clear our doubts, and we tend to lose some of the most beautiful moment and relations in life.
I will tell you a small story here about Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Prize winner for Literature and the writer of Gitanjali. He was sitting on a wicker chair on his porch under the shade of a Neem tree in the blistering summer heat one day when a newspaper reporter came to interview him. He met the reporter with a smile and offered him a seat under the tree. The reporter began the interview while he felt soothed by the cool shade and aromatic breeze.
The reporter’s eyes fell on a crystal glass kept by Gurudev side from which he was sipping every few minutes. The reporter’s insides stirred and his mouth watered to see the emerald liquid with ice droplets around the glass. Gurudev noticed this and called a domestic help and asked for a small glass of the same drink for the reporter with an amused smile. The reporter was taken aback and hurt by Gurudev’s words, the thoughts in his mind read “Such a noble personality and such small heart. He is drinking from a large glass while he ordered a small one for me?” The interview went on as a maid brought a small chilled glass of the emerald liquid and placed it next to the reporter. He thanked her and took the first sip.
To his horror, the juice was bitter as hell, and he had to spit it. He looked up at Gurudev who was smiling and said: “I relish one cold glass of Bitter Gourd juice every day and I ordered the same for you but in smaller quantities, as I knew it would be tough for you to finish it.”
This story made me smile. I wonder what impression the reporter would have carried with him had he not tasted the juice. I think the lesson I got from this story is that to know the whole truth and all aspects and facets of anything said or done to you that seems unjust or wrong or partial shall first be analysed and assessed correctly and for that, you have to sip that swallow that bitter sip of your ego and pride and know the whole facts.
Many times I have been subjected to misunderstandings. Many times I have misunderstood others. I will share one such incident with you all. My brother and I were sitting in a posh, high-end restaurant and having dinner on the day he got his first salary as it was his treat. It was a candlelit dinner, and a singer was singing romantic songs on the stage and me, as per my habit were sending request after request for more gazals. Bro and I laughed and shared lots of stuff, jokes, memories as we ate through the excellent dinner when a small girl came up to us and gave me a rose and told: “You both are an awesome couple.” I held the rose as I gaped open-mouthed at her, so did my brother. We both looked around carefully and noticed that most of the people there were giving us admiring looks thinking we were a couple in love. It embarrassed me to the core, and I could not look in my brother’s eyes when he stood up and said in a loud voice with a kind smile “An applause everybody for the beautiful gazals handpicked by my even prettier sister here.” In a moment all the faces lost their smiles, and it came back to their lips a bit differently as they all applauded and I my and bro exchanged a fond smile.
That’s the thing about misunderstandings. They need to be cleared then and there before they snowball into something disastrous. My brother’s gesture saved me from having to think twice before going out with him ever again.
Remember, discuss more, judge less!