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.
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.
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
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.
Happy to read your thoughts in those young days, Baturam Babu!
Much amused seeing you both in a unusually simple frame, of our times.
The smiles are radiant, amazingly fresh and soberly singing the song of fulfillment.
Both of you look more or less similar with bubbling hope, confidence and most important a sense of belonging.
You wrote the blog, in your own intellectual way Baturam Babu.
I would have narrated your story in a different way.
Books give us ideas. Ideas generate thought.
Beyond ideas, thoughts and peculiarity of our upbringing there dwells love.
Love is primarily unstained, dazzling and pure. Living in the core of our being love always seeks a path to flow. It influences our existence.
Simplicity, steadfastness in understanding and appreciating life as it appears nourishes our mind to offer purity in our offerings. You are an example of that simplicity.
The sparks in your eyes as well as of Nandita, describes all those secrets of giving and receiving love.
Yes marriage is companionship. A bond that builds steps to heaven or hell.
Why marriage, this very life we lead, are only stories of companionship.
Quality of our companionship with our parents, brother’s, friends, colleagues and even with God depends on our fundamental understanding of life.
We inherit much from our parents and then cultivate virtues to build relationships in life.
Your deep understanding of spirituality and humble ways to accept world helped you to build a family believing on purity and decency.
Love naturally shines in such scenario.
Nice post Baturam Babu. You revealed your understanding and thoughts emphasizing on companionship.
May Mahaprabhu bless you both to share eachother’s sorrows & happiness with love, for many more decades.
Manas bhai, thanks a lot for your beautiful rejoinder. Yes, as you have said, when love remains at the centre space of our existence, all that we do, every transaction that we carry with the world, shines with an extra glitter.
Even as love is the most used and yet most abused word of human history, it is love only that can save the fall of man and save the world from disaster.
Isn’t it the central theme of education, religion and spirituality, which man has pursued over years?
And yet, is it not an enigma that in spite of it, man has failed to actualise it dynamically in life and living…which itself is a point to ponder 🤔
Thanks again for your nice rejoinder 🙏