It’s said that in India every time is tea-time and every place is urinal. Well, I want to add one more assertion to these two assertions about my ‘great’ country and it is -‘every man is a consultant’. So now the trilogy of facts about India turns to – ‘1. Every Man is a Consultant, 2. Every Time is Tea Time, 3. Every Place is Urinal.’ I am penning this blog by focusing on the first assertion which I have found true during my life spanning more than four decades and the experiences occurring to me at different places I lived and involving people from different ages, professions and cultures.
Why do I say that in India every man is a consultant? Well, you approach anybody with any issue or problem and soon you will find that instead of helping you (for which you might have approached him), he starts giving you his free advice. A number of times, you don’t want any advice but you get them because the advisers are having treasures of them and they are generous enough to distribute their wealth of GYAAN (wisdom) to all and sundry. Such (one man) free consultancies are found everywhere – in every office, every department, every street, every road, every home: of India of course.
I am sick of such free advisers but perhaps they can’t help giving advice (because either they cannot give or they are not willing to give anything else). Right from medical advice to job-linked advice to relationships related advice; they are always having an advice for anything in the world. And they are kind enough to throw it at the face of that poor individual who (by mistake) approaches them.
I am having an inborn trait of empathy in me and had I been in the profession of training or education or clinical psychology or counselling or social service or like wise, it would have been much better for me because then I would have been doing something that gives me pleasure. I always try to see the viewpoint of the other person and that’s why I seldom misunderstand anyone. Whenever I come to know of somebody’s grief, I not only sympathize but also empathize with him / her by putting myself in his / her place. I am a very good listener and I believe that the first positive thing that you can (and you must) give to an aggrieved person is a patient, non-judgmental hearing. But …
But the free advisers roaming about Mera Bhaarat Mahaan are not the listeners of this kind. They are always judgmental. Just tell them some issue or some problem or some grief of yours and then the first thing that they will do is to pass remarks at yourself only adding their insult to your injury. Without giving a damn to whatever they themselves do in their own lives, they become judgmental for you. And the end result of that meeting is always this that you regret approaching them and talking to them regarding that matter.
Plus as I have seen during my career passing through both the public sector and the private sector of India during 1992-2016, the senior people (occupying high and powerful chairs) always consider it their right to issue advice to those who are junior to them in rank and they make maximum utilization of this deemed right of theirs (whether any advice is required at any point of time or not). This is perhaps because they always feel that their superiority remains established over the juniors and passing advice is a tool for achieving that objective.
Besides, there are such consultants too who when visited for advice, consider it a license to unduly interfere with the life of the visitor and start poking their nose in several affairs of himself / herself (whether or not they are linked to the issue for which he / she has approached them). This is another highly irritating and irksome trait of several of such free consultants. And the poor visitor finds it hard to stop them from doing so because firstly he / she only had approached them for help.
Giving warm, friendly and required advice to those who trust you and regarding those matters in which you are knowledgeable is a virtue. However performing this Consultancy Dharma without any requirement on the part of the other one and without any qualification on the part of self generates disgust and disgust only. And if the listener is a polite, well-mannered (and practical) person, he / she will have to bear that irksome experience (may avoid that self-professed consultant in future but that’s a different thing).
The thing that I have learned and anybody thinking like me can learn from such irritating experiences is to avoid doing such things oneself. Since I myself get irritated by the free advice, unwanted consultation and painful and judgmental remarks made at me; the least I can do and have learned to do is to avoid practicing any such thing myself.
So friends, in India every time is tea time (from noon to midnight to wee hours), every place is urinal (self-explanatory) and every man is a consultant. You will find unwanted consultants on every nook and corner of India. And you need not search them. They themselves will come across you and impose their consultation on you. Have it or leave it. The choice is yours.
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