A False Smile
“Bro, I have had enough!” Ramesh declared emphatically to his buddy Ronnie, “It is just impossible for us to stay together.” Ronnie put down his drink at the bar table and looked up quizzically at Ramesh, aka Ramsy for all his friends.
“Ronnie, to be honest, actually it is the other way round,” Ramesh explained, “Reena has contacted a lawyer and is filing for divorce next week.” “Don’t tell me!” exclaimed Ronnie in total surprise. After all Ramesh and Reena were his dear friends and known to be the most lovey-dovey couple going around.
“How come Ramsy? It can’t be this serious after all. Hey, it happens in all marriages, a bit of ups and downs. Adds spice you know… it will blow over,” Ronnie shared out all kinds of relationship advice.
“No Ronnie, it appears to be the end of the story. It has been simmering since last year. We just can’t talk and behave like a normal couple. Or maybe, I just don’t understand women at all. We start off fine but everyday land up with an argument. And then no logic applies, boom! We have repeatedly been to the counsellor also. Now with this legal case coming up, I am literally at my wit’s end,” said Ramesh.
“Look Ramsy, I have limited experience in such matters. But I can suggest something very different. You see, there is a Guruji in the big Shiv temple outside the campus. He is quite well known in sorting out such stuff and may prove to be of help. Why don’t you go and meet him? Moreover he does not charge anything,” agony-aunt Ronnie suggested.
“No way Ronnie, I don’t believe in this Baba and Guruji nonsense. They are making bloody fools out of gullible people.” Ramesh protested. However, much against his wishes but with no options on the table, Ramsy finally relented to go see the Guruji.
And that is how Ramesh found himself seated in front of Guruji late evening, spilling out all his woes and misery. He added, “Guruji, I think by now you get the drift. I don’t want to lose her. She is a very good girl. I know, a lot of it has been my fault. I have a lot of introspection to do.”
“I am willing to learn and change. I will go to any extent to mend things. However, all I want is that somehow, this one time she should withdraw the case. Otherwise, all will be lost and it will be very difficult to reconcile. Please do something,” he pleaded.
“Look son, there are no quick fix solutions to such problems. However, looking at your desperate state, I will suggest something which will possibly help you tide over this current crisis. Thereafter, it is up to you to work at your relationship,” Guruji offered.
A desperate Ramesh eagerly said, “ Guruji, I am willing to try anything, you just say it. I don’t mind the cost and effort.” “It is free of cost advice son,” Guruji said, “ You just have to do three simple things.”
“First of all, for the next full week, please take some nice flowers home and put them in a vase where she happens to see them throughout the day,” Guruji continued, “Second is that for the next one week, shut your mobile and try not to speak unless it is absolutely necessary or an emergency.” “And lastly, every time she speaks harshly or gets angry with you, you will not answer back but give her a false smile.”
“But Guruji, a false smile….?,” Ramesh couldn’t quite understand. “Yes, a false smile. But please don’t question too much. Just do as I have advised,” Guruji cut him off and bade him farewell with a, “God bless you, all the best. Come back to me a after a week.”
Loaded with his new found pearls of wisdom, Ramesh returned home and set about implementing Guruji’s recommendations very religiously. And Lo behold! Ramesh could not believe the changes progressively unfolding day by day. The first day was normal by their standards with Reena giving him a piece of her mind. By the second and third day, she had quietened down.
Fifth day, she even cooked a fine course of dinner and by the seventh day the ice finally broke and she smilingly said, “One last chance Ramesh. Seeing how you have changed over the last week, I am calling off the divorce proceedings. But make sure you don’t repeat the earlier nonsense. Otherwise, next time I am not coming back.”
A massively relieved Ramesh just could not believe his ears as he hugged Reena. His life was finally back on track. While they put together their broken marital pieces, Ramesh was eagerly looking forward to share his report card with Guruji and also learn more about his magical formula in the evening.
“Guruji, your advice worked beautifully. Thank you so very much. I really wished I had met you earlier,” Ramesh expressed his heartfelt gratitude. “ I blindly did what you told me to do, but Guruji, now I want to understand the logic behind your sage advice.”
With a ‘I told you so’ smile on his face, Guruji explained, “Look Ramesh, it is not rocket science at all. First the flowers. Over the ages, women and flowers speak the same language because both of them are delicate, sensitive and often vulnerable. The flowers expressed your love silently and conveyed your apology far better than you could have ever done in your own words. Repeating the same everyday showed that you really meant it.”
Guruji continued, “The second part of keeping quiet is quite elementary. By shutting off your mobile, you gave her undivided attention. Also, like your radar, when you speak less, you listen more. Not only you get to know to what she says but also to what she is conveying through non-verbal cues. In case of women, much more messaging about their hopes, fears and desires comes through the latter and you were probably missing out this huge part of communication from her side.” Ramesh nodded in agreement.
“And lastly, the smile. We all know, women are a bundle of emotions. A smile from the husband creates loving thoughts in a wife’s heart and removes her insecurities. It conveys to the woman that all is well and that her world is intact. Subconsciously, she mirrors your smile and what you get is a happy wife and a blissful house-hold.”
“Sounds logical, Guruji,” Ramesh admitted, “ But why the false smile?” he asked, the issue still troubling him.
“Oh that. You see, when the relationship is so strained as was in your case, I know that it is impossible to be cheerful and smiling with each other. The false smile forced you to send a message of love, peace and reconciliation. As you can see, it worked.”
As a ‘learned’ Ramesh prepared to leave, Guruji asked with a twinkle in his eyes, “Ramesh, have you ever wondered that if false smiles could yield so much of reward for you, what would genuine smiles do for your marital happiness?”
Realisation sinking in, Ramesh knew his journey had just begun.
Learning with a smile,
First Published at seekmediation.com on 25/07/21
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