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How Dame Fortune affected a person

May 08, 1997 09:42 AM
by M K Ramadoss

Here is an interesting anecdote of Krishnaji. Some may find it interesting.


    I had a friend. I knew him in the days before Dame
    Fortune looked in his direction. For that reason, probably,
    he was very very nice, kindhearted, and generous in spite
    of his slender means. Extraordinary how poor people are
    always generous. He used to talk to me in a kind and
    pleasant manner about himself and of the things he would
    do to help the world if ever he had plenty of money. He
    dressed very quietly and soberly. His voice had a strange
    touch of humility. It was a delight to listen to him. He was
    shy, almost timid, and there was no aggressiveness in his
    eyes. He never looked into the eyes of another unless he
    had something very serious to say, and that happened only
    when he was asked definitely for his opinion. He was
    always in the background listening with a kindly smile.
    There was a kindness in his face, and it was always a
    delight to have him in the same room. He was the quiet
    one, even though the room was thronged with a talkative
    crowd. He never sat in a comfortable chair. I only saw
    him once in a cushioned arm chair, but he looked
    uncomfortable and almost miserable. He sat on the edge of
    the chair pretending to be at ease. He never wanted to
    "boss" anybody either by his opinion or by his pleasant
    personality. When anyone liked him, he looked surprised
    and wondered why he was liked. When he walked in a
    crowded street he invariably gave way to the hustling and
    pushing people. His clothes were good, and if I remember
    right, he had a good warm overcoat, heavily lined, but
    inexpensive. He was shy in greeting people, but he was an
    excellent speaker. His gratitude was touching when
    someone gave him a lift in their car. We were intimate
    friends, he used to help me, and I followed his example.

    Then one day Dame Fortune smiled on him. A distant
    relation left him money. He came to me directly, and
    blushingly said he did not know what to do with so much
    money. We had a discussion as to what he should do with
    it, and we decided that he should keep the money for
    awhile. I did not see him for about a week, the longest
    period that I had not seen him since I have known him;
    then one day he came to see me. He was extra shy that
    morning, and I wondered what was the matter. Then my
    eye caught his highly polished shoes. He had a new smart
    suit on. In fact, everything new from top to toe of the best.
    He was rather apologetic in his tone as he said: You know,
    I had to get a new suit, and so I thought I might as well get
    a new pair of shoes." We laughed and Joked about it, and
    then he went off saying that he had a luncheon
    engagement. I saw him at frequent intervals, and each time I saw him he
    was different, not only in his manner but in his general
    appearance. This puzzled me at first, but I gradually
    wakened to the fact that he had had money, plenty of it,
    left to him. Then I did not see him again for a couple of
    months, as I had to go abroad. On my return, I went to a
    party given by a mutual friend. It was the usual kind of
    party, plenty of noise, and everyone was on his best
    behaviour,trying to impress on his neighbour that he was
    somebody. We all play that game every day of our lives,
    and it seemed quite natural. My friend, who used to be so
    shy and so retiring, was holding forth, to a young lady, on
    the miserable condition of the weather. There was no
    longer any sign of timidity in his voice, but a certain
    aggressiveness had crept into it. He was sitting, with his
    head leaning back, on a soft arm-chair. A slight annoyance,
    almost imperceptible, appeared in his face as he caught
    sight of me, but it vanished as quickly as it had appeared.
    His voice was loud, as though he wanted every one to
    know that he was there. His mildness had disappeared, and
    there was that look in his face which said that he was no
    longer poor but rich, very rich. He laughed loudly, and
    looked boldly around. Humility was degrading to him now,
    and his voice sounded as though it wanted to boss. Money
    was changing him as surely as the wind changes the shape
    of a cloud, and it was very unpleasant. He passed me in his
    car; he had a fur coat on and was smoking a cigarette in
    the most elegant manner. I wonder if he still considers me
    his friend? We have not seen each other for a long
    time,but he would not know me now, if I met him, for
    he has changed. Such is life.

    "And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go
    through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter
    into the kingdom of God."

    ========================= end ==========================

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