There are acquaintances.
There are friends.
Then...there is Bharati.
It is impossible to be good to everyone; whatever you do, it is ceratin that some people will probably say unpleasant things about you.
The doctors start learning being a doctor by the famous oath "Primum non nocere"
We try to live our lives the same way.
Middle class, god fearing, upbringing coupled with a honest to a fault father in one of the most corrupt government instituitions possible, left an early mark on the value of honesty and integrity which continued as a guiding pole star in your tumultuous life.
When your father was held in greater esteem post retirement whilst his erstwhile prosperous colleagues were treated with outright scorn, it resolved the early mark into a lifelong practice.
It was rather easy, as the practice was not a performance to an audience but emanated from within.
A way of life, so to say.
Years passed. The father is no more. The chosen path did not give any material benefits.
Temptations were always abound.
But a steely determination held on.
Recently one of my recent colleagues moved places and happened to work with another colleague of mine from yesteryears.
It is impossible to be good to everyone;
Thus it came as no surprise that the earlier colleague from years gone by mentioned, in a cahnce conversation, an observation that questioned my character and integrity.
My recent colleague, ever the timid person, 11 times out of 10 demonstrating decorum, was left flabbergasted.
He was rehearsing proper statements that would convey indignation while not losing semblance of civil behaviour.
Elli Wallach famously quoted in the timeless "The Good Bad and the Ugly". shooting from underwater from a bathtub
"When you gotta shoot, shoot; Don't talk"
Bharati, wife of my recent colleague, unknown to herself, is a disciple of Elli Wallach.
She stood up, bristled (it takes little to bristle her up anyway) and said
"We do not know if you know him well. But we know him. What you say is impossible"
And walked out gracefully.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. -- Bharati.
I am not basking in this as a show of compliment. It is a vindication of what my father stood for and managed to impart to me.