Bow down your head in humility and work hard..

Posted: March 18, 2014 in Love and Relationships, Personal

Before I start with something, I would like to share a quick narrative of two friends whom I have seen very closely. Let’s give them imaginary names ‘X’ and ‘Y’ as I don’t want to step into any derogatory domain. Both the girls first met in class 10th standard and gradually their like-mindedness and breath-taking sense of humour propelled them to become the best of friends in the coming months. For the next two years, both of them were inseparable. Fast forward a couple of years, ‘X’ moved to a better city and started working in banking sector. Her initial career stint proved to be very successful. With her go-getter attitude and hard work, she positioned herself as the epitome of accomplishment at a very young age. On the other hand, we had very little say for Y. She graduated from a mediocre college in the same city and sat at home for two years preparing for government jobs. Every alternate month she gave some sort of exams and waited eagerly for the results. However, luck does not favour anyone so easily.


Although the terms like late-night parties, booze, boyfriends, business meetings, and apple-flavoured cigarettes were totally alien for Y, she lived this kind of imaginary life with the Facebook pictures of X. She thought that even if she is unable to a carefree life, at least her best friend is doing what she wants. The only respite and source of entertainment in her life was talking to X after every 2-3 days. In the meantime, X saw new heights of success and financial independence. She was what everyone wanted to be. Every friend of her school and college envied her except Y. But, over a period of time, X started getting irritated with frequent calls of Y. She felt there was nothing common and intellectual to talk with her now. However, Y did not feel any kind of bitterness; instead she was jubilant that her friend is climbing new hierarchy of achievement every day.

Now the stage had come when X started ignoring her supposed best friend’s call. The daily/weekly phone calls got modified to monthly conversation, and an occasional SMS or Facebook pings became normal. Y was adamant to not let her soul sister go so easily from her life. So, she used to email her what she used to find ‘cool’ at that moment. A girl working in a banking sector and living in a modish city would certainly not find ‘cute baby pictures’ or ‘forward lord shiva’s 50 names’ stimulating. One fine day, she shot back with a reply to Y as- r u normal, girl? Please stop forwarding me these kinda stuff. Okay. Bye tc.

Y still took the reply sportingly and replied back with an understanding ‘LOL’. Getting no reply from X became a norm with every passing day. One fine day, Y called up X. At first she didn’t pick up, but after getting 8 missed calls from her end, she picked up with a bad taste in her mouth.

“Hi, how are you dear? I saw your last week’s Friendship day pics. Amazing yaar.” Y started the conversation like this.

“You have called me just to say this. What’s wrong? At 11 in the morning all you can think of you is party pictures. Grow up yaar. We are working people and we have many more things to do. For god’s sake, I am not sitting idle like you.” X did not realize what she was saying in a fit of rage, but she continued her aggressive remarks for few more minutes.

Finally she was interrupted by Y. “Hey, why are you shouting like this dear? I did not call for a chit-chat because even I understand how much you are serious for your work. I just called to ask for your dad’s new number. Today is 3rd Aug. His birthday. Don’t know if you remember or not but I wish him every year. Since his number was not reachable from a long time, I thought of calling you. Anyway, won’t disturb you ever again. Sorry.” With this X was left dumbfounded. What made her more restless was the fact that Y disconnected the phone before her. This was something unusual in their almost decade long friendship. But, X did not really bother to call her back again for many months. Even Y did not see any reason to tag along and feel unwanted in this friendship on a regular basis. Many months passed and both got to know about each other only through Facebook updates.


Today, X was very frustrated as she was denied a much expected promotion at the last moment due to some internal politics. She wanted to howl but controlled herself till the time she returned home. She took out the keys and made her way into a swanky apartment. Unlike other days, the first thing she did was calling up her mom. But, at 1 in the morning every mom is expected to sleep. Next, she opened her Facebook account and started going through tsunami of fresh updates. Her eyes stuck upon something that read “Having a gala time at Clovelly Beach Sydney”. The update was none other than from Y. For a moment, she thought that may be her account got hacked because expecting something like this from her was out of question.

She immediately took out her phone and dialed her number, but alas she did not even have her new number. How come I went so far from her that I don’t even have her phone number, let alone any info about her personal life? She kept repeating this in her mind in a loop. Finally sent her a message- ‘Hey, how are you? Long time…I need to talk please share your phone number if possible.”

In 15 minutes, she got a call from an unknown number. She picked up.

“Ya, who is this?”

“You wanted to talk to me. Tell me what happened?” It was none other than Y.

“Oh my god. Is this really you? I mean…I know it’s been too long and you are too far away, but at least I deserved to know something about you. What are you doing and how the hell you landed up in Sydney? I never ever imagined seeing you even out of your locality”

“Well, I applied for PHD in bioinformatics here and luckily got this opportunity. In couple of months, hopefully I would start earning. My parents are really happy with this development, but the real reason of their happiness is something else.”


“In the first few months I had no place to stay so I stayed at our family friend’s house. Something clicked during that time and guess what I am getting engaged to their son Amit next month. Life is good and -as you put it- life is ‘rocking’.”

X burst out laughing“ Oh yes. I always used to say that. You still remember that. Great. But, hey I still don’t understand what went wrong between us. Perhaps I was too occupied with my official life. But you were always special and will be special. “

With a cordial yet stern voice Y said, “I know what went wrong with us. Actually work never came between us. Everything would have remained the same if you had accepted your new happening life and success with humility. Being humble is not about weakness, it’s about showing your strength of holding back your first memories even when you are enveloped in a new world of triumph. I wish I could tell you this directly at that time.

“Ahhh..No, I was not really pompous, but maybe I was rude. “ X was trying to be defensive, but she was truly embarrassed at that point.

Y continued, “I was always the ordinary friend for you who had no aspiration in life. And it is no surprise that you thought of pinging me when you saw something extraordinary in my life. It’s okay. Let bygones be bygones. But, I will tell you one thing that if I had been in your place I would not have turned back on you in the blink of an eye. I am still in touch with all my school and college friends except you. How many old friends have you treasured all these years? May be one or two. Or maybe not even that. I don’t want to lecture you, but always remember that success is temporary but your deeds are permanent. Chal I need to leave now. I have some work. Take care and I won’t compel you to be in touch. But, as you said, you were special and always will be special. “

This time X had really learned her lesson. “I don’t know what to say, but I will think about it. Bye and please be in touch.”


What happened to the friendship of X and Y can be a familiar story for many of you.

On many occasions, it is important to keep in mind that no matter how talented you are, there are many people who pushed you to this level. Though you have indisputably worked hard for achieving what you have today, it would be foolish to think that you have “earned” it all on your own. Sometimes it is important to reply some messages, sometimes it is important to pick few calls, and sometimes it is important to show gratitude to people who have been part of your journey or want to be part of your journey. There is no harm in stepping into the subsequent stairway of success with a humble bowed head.  Whenever you are praised by someone, never forget to add “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without….” or call up a significant person and say how they helped you to reach this stage. Share the love.

I understood this point quite early in my life, and so when I got promoted, the first thing I did -after calling up my parents- was dropping a message to a senior from my previous company with whom I parted ways on a bitter note and had no contact for more than a year. I showed my gratitude to her for whatever effort she put in to sharpen my skills. I was convinced that I did something rightful when I received a reply from her in few seconds that read

“Woow that’s great. But, your efforts count too. I am really happy to hear this. Congrats and God bless! 🙂

We never spoke before and after that day, but I laud myself because I think I made at least one person smile who was in some way accountable for my betterment. 🙂


Disclaimer: All pictures used are a result of Google search.

  1. Akshit Choudhary says:

    Great article!
    Success tastes sweet when it arrives late but one really relishes it when its shared with people close to you.

  2. Mancy says:

    Two words – Loved it! Loved the story, loved being reminded of what being humble means after so long. Your thoughts are always like silent reminders of what I have always been thinking on the back of my mind, yet all the worldly things and daily duties have kept me from doing something about them. “Thank You.” 🙂

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