Opinions

The unfailing law of the Universe

A few days ago, I bought four mangoes from a famous mango trader in Poona. His mangoes are famous all over Maharashtra and he also exports mangoes to the Gulf and European countries. But as luck would have it, all four mangoes turned out to be damp squibs: Two mangoes had big black spots inside and the remaining two were unexpectedly sour. After a couple of days, I just went to his shop to let him know that all mangoes were inferior. I didn't expect free mangoes. Neither did I expect that he would say sorry. Hearing that, he not only said sorry but quickly packed four mangoes free of cost! Those mangoes did justice to his reputation. All were really sweet and pulpy. I again went to him to say thanks. 

That man, Inayat Tamboli, said that he was much more concerned about his goodwill and reputation in Poona. So the moment I told him that the mangoes were sour and bad, he gave me the best of the lot, that too free! This is goodwill. Now I or any other customer will never forget this magnanimous gesture. I'll not buy mangoes or fruits from any other shop other than the shop of this honest and upright man. 

'Life is all about creating and retaining goodwill that one has earned so painstakingly,' opined Booker T Washington. That man enhanced his goodwill by giving me free mangoes because he was seriously concerned about his reputation and goodwill among his customers. One fine gesture emotionally tied me to him forever. This is not just sheer business or marketing acumen. This is much more than that. This is creating an emotional bond that can last forever. 

Such lovely gestures leave indelible imprints on the minds of people and clients, in this specific context. I remember, once I ordered cream-broccoli-soup in a famous Spanish restaurant in Madrid. It was not up to the mark. I called the waiter and told him that though I was paying, I was not happy with the preparation the iconic restaurant was famous for. The waiter immediately called the manager, who was visibly embarrassed. He offered me a fresh bowl of soup which was really very good. After that, he didn't take money from me and even said that I could candidly write about the sub-standard soup that was initially offered. See the level of honesty! I didn't write that. Rather, I wrote that the 350-year-old restaurant cared for its esteemed patrons. 

One fine gesture can floor the other person and create a lifelong bond. Now whenever I visit Madrid, I invariably go to that place for cream-broccoli-soup and remember that soul-gladdening episode. That well-mannered manager stole my heart by his one gesture that stayed forever on the palimpsest of my mind.

Retaining goodwill requires small sacrifices. If one is ready for that, then the world opens up its doors for that person. Human beings are primarily emotional beings and are often full of gratitude, though there could be ungrateful individuals as well. We tend to remember other person's magnanimity and little gestures of goodness. That creates a bond and an emotional bridge we can walk to and fro on. Such gestures are always reciprocal because what goes around, comes around. This is the unfailing law of the Universe or Karma, whatever you may say. There's a Greek proverb, 'You may forget your own act of goodness but the Universe will never and it'll give that back to you with interest.' So very true.

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