You want it. You fight for it.

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“If you want something, you have to fight for it!” my FIL stated emphatically. No. It was not in the context of something inspirational yet it turned out to be one for me. He was speaking of the red-tapism and the attendant struggles in getting anything done in Bangalore. Am sure it is true of most of our home towns. In this case he was particularly frustrated by the constant rise in his cell bill and charges tacked on for things he did not use. I had to fight to get it taken off the bill he said. He concluded grandly saying “K and L, if you want something, you have to fight for it.”

With something as profound as this on my mind, I went to sleep and woke up with a sense of realization. My father in law is in many ways similar to my father in his ability to get me thinking and inspiring respect for what he does. Both of them were polar opposites. That’s what I thought. My father hated confrontation. He would go out of his way to settle things by negotiation. Never a raised voice if he could help it. Compromise and negotiation were his hall marks. On the other hand, my FIL is a vocal person. He lets the person on the other side of the argument really have it. He does this with so much conviction that sometimes the other person gives up even if they are right! If you want someone on your side for support and strength, my FIL is the person to go to. He was too, in his extended neighborhood and very proud of his role as guardian. Behind his ferocious nature however is a heart of gold. He cares, really cares for people and issues around him. He is the kind of person who would stop by if there is an accident in front of him and remove his shirt to staunch the flow of blood. The kind of person who would carry peanuts and biscuits on temple trips and such just in case we ran into birds or monkeys we could feed.

Well! the point I was trying to get at is that even though my father and FIL were polar opposites they shared this trait of going after something with  tenacity. Their approaches were different but the end result same. As I lay thinking about my FIL’s comment, I was reminded of my father. Of his quiet pursuit of his dreams. Never discussed, yet his eyes shining with happiness at the odd success here and there. There is so much I take after my father and yet I lack something fundamental. I hate confrontation. Absolutely. I would rather pay the extra amount of the bill if I had to fight to have it taken off. I aim big and in most cases lack the tenacity to hang on and see something to completion.

My FIL with his innocent comment has really made me think. Of how much I want to succeed at what I set my mind to. The solution is right there staring at my face. If I want it. I have to fight for it.

Simple no?

13 comments

  1. Very well written….
    Reminds me of my dad!! No surprises of course…having the same blood!!
    I’ll tell you about one incident that i remember right now. There’s this big store known as ‘Safal’ from where we get all the fruits and vegetables. But it had been 2 weeks since they were keeping the fresh vegetables inside and selling out the stale ones. Dad complained to the store guy that if we are paying the full amount, we deserve fresh fruits and vegetables…why should we bear if the old ones are not being sold?? Here in Delhi, people have a knack of showing arrogance for no reason at all. The store guy told dad to buy that or go somewhere else. Look at the audacity!! Personally, i would have given him two tight slaps for not knowing how to talk to elders! But dad came home and called up the marketing manager and other authorities of Safal and complained about the store and the kind of people who were employed. Mom was very scared because you never know what can happen, with the obvious rising crime rates! And with a girl at home…it was too dangerous. But dad went on..fearless..and fought for justice. I obviously supported dad and i was very proud of him!…And i will be always!

    You sure have to fight for whatever you want..silently or verbally or physically…thats your call!

  2. Absolutely True. But then again as you said, I equally dislike confrontation. And you have no other go. Right from an Autowala, to big service providers in telecom/Bank/Financial/Insurance/retail to what and with whom not…It is tiresome always to fight to get what-ever we want. Yet you have no choice, you have to…On the other hand if we have to fight for everything we want the opponents will find us always complaining and unsatisfied.Life is….Ok in a way beautiful.

  3. Nice post Lakshmi! Have you noticed we fight with needy people,There is a sense of pride in us when we bargain over a rupee with the vegetable vendor for coriander,the same us go pay 1000’s extra for a silk saree.Do we really fight for things that matter? Sadly most of the times NO!

  4. Laksh-

    A good post again, yes, life’s battles are always won if you fight for the causes you believe in. Your father-in-law seems to fit that perfectly, plus what is nice here is that you mentioned that he has a heart of pure gold and is a very helpful person beneath the go-getter personality he has. Hope you don’t give up and fight towards getting the thinsg you want out of life.

  5. Nice post. My dad was like ur dad too. But over time, he now fights for things you should fight for. I too,by nature, hate confrontation and argument.I am not the best person to fight for one’s rights.

  6. I agree with the viewpoint. We definitely have to fight for what we believe in and for what is important to us. After living in US for many years you understand the importance of this more, because whether it is proving yourself at work or in any other situation requires the ability to communicate boldly and fight for what you believe in. I see that you are more respected and well regarded if you do it. However we all have our personalities that might limit us and I think it is better not to fight it too much. At the end of the day, you are what you are!!

  7. So true, you get it only when you fight, not just bigger things, things small too. But I hate to fight for smaller things. Probably the comfort we enjoy doesn’t let us fight for such things!

  8. Interesting blog and responses..but the ground reality (in my view) demands just tact and be quiiet..to be blunt…accept and pray for things to change….

  9. I have kinda always spoken my mind wherever whenever. Got meself into trouble sometimes but there are times I have got across what I was saying too. So, I stand by yeah,I will fight for what I believe in. Times when I do want to give up a losing battle even if I am right are many…still bounce back on Nah! I won’t give up!
    Each to her own about how to deal with anything at all, right?

  10. Nice post Laksh. I have many a times fallen in trouble for speaking my mind but of late I have changed so much just realized that after reading your blog, thanks.

  11. @Shalu: Well put! I can totally imagine all that you have written.
    @Deepa: Like the way you ended your comment. It is true. Life goes on. With or without confrontations.
    @Abinaya: Totally agree. I consciously try and avoid doing that of late.
    @Mitr: Its not about giving up. What struck me was how easily I lose track of what I am in search for. My energies are rather scattered 🙂
    @anamika: haha. I can understand why you say that.
    @Roop: Gotta meet you. I thought my FIL was one of a kind.
    @Spillay: Glad you enjoyed it.
    @Naan: Absolutely. I am what I am. yet, sometimes there is this neradal. Wondering if I should be more 🙂
    @Satish: That is true in my case. I hate confrontation for fear I will lose what I already have.
    @ekr: Mama, you hit the nail on the head. It is all about tact. At least that is the word I would associate with my appa.
    @Apar: True. The post was more a rambling collection of thoughts.
    @Mads: Most welcome. Looks like many of us are on the change bandwagon.

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