Disclaimer – This dialogue is neither a figment of imagination nor a real one; and the same applies to the characters as well. The character MAnvi is one I see myself in, though at times different. Her thAthA is one who seems much familiar. Much of these dialogues are a trigger  from a book or a discourse by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Any error in the way I have blogged upon, on any aspect is due to an error in my understanding alone.

It was in one of those walks with her thAthA that MAnvi started this discussion.

MAnvi: thAthA, this is one discussion that I have been wanting to have with you for a while now.  This also maybe a discussion that would need your time for a few days.

thAthA (smiling): MAnvi, now that you have set the expectation, what is it about?

MAnvi: Freedom in relationships.

thAthA: Freedom in relationships or freedom from relationships?

MAnvi: The latter is running away from relationships, isn’t it thAthA? Which is a form of escapism and which may not be a practical thing to do. I am talking specifically about the former – Freedom in relationships. Within a relationship how do we have a sense of freedom?

thAthA, this freedom that we want is not just in relationships but in many other aspects as well. I may want to discuss on the other aspects later on but for now I would focus on the aspect of – Freedom in relationships. I would like to look at two words specifically in depth, to begin with. The words are – freedom and relationship.

thAthA: You think you need to understand well these two words and then dive deeper to see how they are connected. Is that right?

MAnvi: Yes, thAthA.

thAthA: Go on MAnvi. I am listening.

MAnvi: I would like to take the word ‘relationship’ first, thAthA. I find it easier to understand when I use any word in a sentence, as it may mean differently in different contexts. I am NOT looking at ‘relationship’ from the physical angle.

For example, we say –

  • It is a beautiful relationship
  • I have a great relationship with my parent / sibling / child / spouse / friend
  • His / her relationship with that person is not good
  • I find it tough to build a relationship with such people
  • What a lovely relationship they have!!

thAthA, a relationship is one which connects us with another person – in our understanding of each other’s thoughts and actions and in our wavelength with one another. A relationship is also in my view, one that is long-standing.

When we meet someone for just once or maybe a few times, but they remain only an acquaintance, we don’t call that a relationship.

thAthA: MAnvi, does it also mean that we may know a person for many years but we have not connected with them, to have a relationship with them?

MAnvi: Yes, thAthA. There are various permutations and combinations in that. We will leave that out of the discussion.

thAthA, we all need to relate to each other in this world. When we relate to a person at a superficial level it stays at being a relation or them being a person I know; and that’s it. When we relate to a person well, and in a long-term, then it becomes a relationship.

What happens thAthA is that, we connect NOT to the person but to the personality of that person.

thAthA: Wait, wait!! Explain this MAnvi. This sounds powerful.

MAnvi: thAthA, each one of us come with our own likes, dislikes and attitude; and that more often than not determines the way we approach life. This then becomes our personality.

– Two people of a similar personality may or may not be able to form and build a relationship.

– Two people of completely different personalities may strike a connect and build a relationship.

thAthA: MAnvi, while building a relationship do people always find harmony in the relationship?

MAnvi: That’s not reality, thAthA. They will have their own share of dissonance in the relationship but there will be moments of harmony and resonance that may outweigh the dissonance.

thAthA: MAnvi, so how will…? (her thAthA stops himself abruptly and smiles ruefully at himself and at MAnvi) I am rushing into the discussion, isn’t it?

MAnvi (smiles): Smart thAthA. Well, what you asked is what leads to the next word that needs to be understood well – freedom.

thAthA: You have my curiosity piqued with what you are saying and how you are saying it. But then we need to continue this discussion the next time as we have reached home. When are we meeting next?

MAnvi had a big smile on her face when she walked to her room, after escorting her thAthA to his room. She believed that her thAthA was one of the few people who could hold the attention of others, in the way he explained something. But his parting words on how his curiosity was piqued due to what and how she she said, were words of appreciation that she would always cherish. The icing on the cake was his question on the next meeting. She muttered to herself, “Soon, thAthA, soon!!”