My neighbor Neel is somebody who is great at everything. From as long as I have stayed in my current house, I have admired his attitude. He is a perfectionist without being overwhelming, he is helpful without being intrusive, he is talented without being unbelievable, he is principled without being prudish and he is witty without being a show off.
For a person who is almost perfect, constant scrutiny becomes a way of life. A lot of people are watching for him to make a mistake or show his true colors. But for a person like Neel, this is not an act. He seems to live his life based on the principle of giving everything his best shot. He expects nothing out of things he is involved in, his friends or relationships. And that is a philosophy that keeps him going in all situations.
Recently I had the opportunity to observe another example of Neel’s great life philosophy. There was a pothole on our road that was troubling all residents for many days. We all waited for the authorities to take notice till we could wait no longer. Then two people went to the municipality office and told them the matter. No action. One person somehow found a contact point in a local newspaper and got a small article out. Nothing. Finally one day we heard that the local corporator, Mr. Rao, will be visiting to seek votes.
We decided that this would be the only time we could get something done. Some people said we should shout at him and create a scene about his lack of efficiency. Others said we should declare we won’t vote for him. Trough all these arguments, suddenly I noticed Neel. He was sitting quietly. I asked him what he thought. He said that fighting would not help us in this matter. So I asked how we could ignore this guy’s carelessness.
Neel said its not about ignoring, but about deciding which battles to fight. Right now the most important matter at hand was to get the potholes fixed and shouting at the guy would only delay matters. Given the fact that everybody was suffering so much, we should rather make him aware of our plight in the most cordial manner. Some other people heard Neel, and perhaps because he enjoys a great reputation among everyone, they agreed.
As discussed, on the d day, Neel came out of his house looking perfectly bathed, cleaned, dressed and groomed. He had notes and pictures to support our case. On a sheet of paper, he had a list of talking points. When Mr. Rao came, it did not take Neel more than ten minutes to explain the matter and win his support. We all noticed how Mr. Rao kept looking at Neel with a degree of respect. He seemed to notice his impeccable clothes, his perfectly well-groomed look and his pleasant manner. Within a week the road was re-built. It was almost like magic.
This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette. This post is written in response to kitchenmummy's tag!