BATURAM NAYAK muses on love and companionship

Relate yourself to make a relationship. Be a companion yourself to build a companionship.” I remember writing these two lines in my notebook way back in 1981, after reading a beautiful article captioned, The Art of Loving, which is a synthesis of the book with the same title by the renowned psychologist Erich Fromm. The article was incorporated in an anthology of hundred-great-ideas that I chanced upon one day in my university library.

While going through the article, I was moved by a statement of Fromm on ‘mature love’ which read: “Infantile love follows the principle: ‘I love because I am loved.’ 

Mature love follows the principle: ‘I am loved because I love.’ Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says: ‘I need you because I love you.’’’ 

 I must confess, after reading these words that day, I felt like a dark chamber in my mind suddenly got illuminated. Though a shy young boy I was then, I felt the ennobling first touch of a soulful warmth in myself, by virtue of which, I could relate to a new key with everything, within, and around myself. 

My new found delight became complete when I got married; and I shared my understanding about ‘love’  with a companion, who could not only understand it, but endorse and reciprocate it, as well, with right earnest and spirit.

The author Baturam Nayak with his wife Nandita

While marriages are made in heaven,  they  are fructified not in an otherworldly utopian territory, but on the harsh but warm reality of earth, as the couple keep going together through the odds and evens of life, an integral part of the sublime relationship.

We are all born with our respectable complementary and supplementary traits to relate with the world. These traits carry an inherent tendency of gratification, which become complete when we actualise it in our companionships, be it with our spouses in particular or people in general. Being complementary and supplementary to each other in various calls of life, we feel gratified not only as individual persons, but also as responsible members of society.

Indeed, the onus lies primarily on oneself, while relating with the world, and in owning up to this responsibility is laid the first cornerstone of a dynamically rich companionship.

The very best among teachers, leaders and managers understand this very life enriching, organic principle of companionship, and, hence succeed in building a synergy among people in the sphere of their action to optimise the (corporate) companionship.

Baturam Nayak with wife Nandita

It is of course an irrefutable fact that man is incomplete in himself. But as he learns to give himself in service of the other, he becomes instantly complete, just like a brimming and bubbling river, which fills every pore and crevice that comes in its path.

Perhaps, God has designed every entity in such a way that by being mutually complementary and supplementary, we become fulfilled and complete.  

Having this very flair of insight perhaps, a poet says: हम ही हम हैं तो क्या हम हैं? तुम ही तुम हो तो क्या तुम हो??

The same insight is replete in the feeling of Chesterton, too, when he says: “We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, And we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”

A sense of companionship is surely a God induced feeling in us asking for gratification by connecting ourselves with all around us.

Verily in the same spirit, a friend, a life partner or even the next person in front of us could be a companion for us, if we could reach out and connect with him/her, to make the very best out of it, not merely for the both of us, but for all of us.

How interestingly, the onus of it lies, if we could genuinely understand it, primarily upon each of us! Isn’t it?

A Different Love Story

Leppi Khadia

EPF Pensioner Leppi Khadia drew a meagre sum of Rs 300. She would invariably come in the first week of every month and ask me to fill in the voucher to draw the sum. I would hug her first, complete all formalities and fetch her the sum. She would be joyous, profusely thank me and fondly address me as “my son.” I would hug her again and reciprocate, “you are my mother.”

To immortalise her unadulterated, ingenious smile, I had taken this photograph of hers, which also cherishes the memory of my banking service. My relationship with Maa Leppi Khadia is a testimony to our sublime soul connectivity, which consolidates the theme of my musing here.

Featured Image: The author Baturam Nayak with his wife Nandita

Baturam Nayak, a postgraduate in economics, joined the banking sector in 1983 and retired in June 2020. He is a firm believer in simplicity and minimalism. “My faith is Oneness, एकत्वम्; that’s the way I would express myself and live in harmony with everything,” he says.

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