Aldous Huxley stated, 'Experience is not what happens to you. Experience is what you do with whatever happens to you.'
Not one of us can determine what happens to us. At best we can take actions that improve or reduce probabilities. But when what has to happen, happens, we tend to behave in a pattern - take credit if it is positive, pass the blame if it is not so good.
Vasundhara Raghavan's son was diagnosed with a completely unexpected and serious kidney problem, out of the blue, without warning or time to prepare. She and her family responded, and this is her store: engaging, courageous, positive-spirited and demonstrating that hope is the only way to respond to human difficulty. When a kidney transplant became essential, she marvelled at God's creation she did not blame Him.
As she writes: The human mind has remarkable capacity to observe and store such special incidents in life for recall at an appropriate time. I realised that all this ado was a silent tribute to God, through whom such miracles are possible.
She also reflects on life itself: Life is a great mystery. The more we try to solve it, the more we get involved. The situation gets complicated, as we want immediate results. There is no magic formula for achieving our dreams. Everything needs time and patience till we can hit the button to success. Until that time, we must simply permit life to take its course. In that alone will there be peace.
I have been touched by two other books of this genre, Chasing Daylight by Eugene O'Kelly and Does He Know a Mother's Heart? by Arun Shourie. Vasundhara's work measures up to those books. It is moving and endearing, yet hugely inspirational. The world needs more people who can and will share answers to two questions:
What happened to me?
What did I learn from responding?
(Director, Tata Sons Ltd.)
Mumbai - 20 February 2012