beyond the mist

It was a seemingly dull morning in the month of June with dark clouds dominating the sky. There was an unusual chill in the air and a slight but stubborn drizzle that threatened to turn into rain anytime. There was a general sense of urgency in every stride on the road as people tried to scurry along to reach their destinations (it was office time anyway!). Still a couple of streets away from office, fighting with thoughts of the umbrella-lazily-left-behind – ‘I should’ve taken that short blue one at least’ – I tried to accelerate my pace as well.

Just to make it a bit more quicker than usual, I decided to take a short cut, a path that goes from the front of a small factory leading up to the back door of the office entrance. As I took the turn to the street where this factory was located, I could see dense white fumes engulfing the front side of the factory and completely blocking out the road. And the fumes were coming out in quick bursts as if (something was seriously wrong!) they were not going to stop anytime soon (sign of an ongoing situation!).

‘Why hasn’t anyone made the call to emergency services…’, I thought as I paced up faster towards the main gate, ‘…or may be they did…in any case shouldn’t you be walking in the opposite direction, why are you getting close!’, protested my mind still unable to believe the shocking sight and the counter intuitive reaction. But hang on a bit! there were others moving along the street without the slightest concern on their face, although it didn’t slow their pace (but of course all of us were in a hurry anyway to escape the impending downpour). This definitely didn’t feel right. I could not be the only person on the road concerned about the situation, ‘oh! where is this emotionless world headed, with such apathy!’. I marched on anxiously nevertheless, closer to the gate to check if I could find a soul within the factory premises and see if I should really press the panic button (and oh by the way the fumes didn’t suffocate and didn’t discourage me from going forward!).

As I inched closer, the board hanging on the gate caught my attention (as shown in the picture below).


Phew! What a relief it was and what intense moments before the fact hidden behind the mist came to the fore. I was really glad that nothing was wrong and I did a little bit to get closer to the situation to figure out, instead of hitting the panic button. Never before have I dialed the emergency services and this would have made me look utterly stupid.

My mind instantly threw out a silliness alert – ‘your clouded eminence! the mist is not around, but within thy head aided by a heavy dose of prejudice’. But ‘hey!’, I retaliated, ‘it was thick, it was misty, it was dense and it was fuming, all signs of a hazard eh?…”. Nope, ‘…apparently not!’

It does help to carry these “not hazardous, all ok, don’t worry!” signs in our day to day communication too and state an insight/context before someone hits the panic button based on a cold not-so-obvious fact. In direct communication a reassuring body language and confident articulation helps to clear the panic off the dense mist!

If you are on the receiving end of the not-so-good-looking-fact/update, it might not be unwise to get closer, ask more questions, and understand the reality before hitting the panic button and escalating it further.

Although a trifling experience (or so it seems post facto!), it is a fun reminder to be on the look out for mist-approaching (within ones head or from outside for good or bad reasons) and start clearing it away by being patient, proactive, contextual and sensible. Most times it may be by design and not hazardous 🙂

Categories: Experiential, True Events Inspired

Tags: , , , ,

12 replies

  1. Good one to start ur working week going

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow Phani ! I marvel at your appetite for life and you have won my respect for your sterling qualities as a blogger and as a person. The warmth of your heart comes across so vividly in the exuberance of all your posts. So much to learn from you and your ‘experiences’ 🙂


  3. Good one Phani.


  4. You know, this is so true. And if there are no signs posted, only the very experienced folks can recognize what’s happening. Everyone else, well they react… to the customer escalations, to the nitpicky emails and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good one, it shows how each small incident in our day to day life, helps us to learn something

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very true!.. Something absolutely necessary in the day to day life scenarios. Be it work and sometime even personal relationships! Thanks for sharing 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  7. After reading this am pretty sure that I will clear the “mist” in my mind before hitting any panic button 🙂 – Arun Sagar

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You continue to amaze amuse the readers through simple yet effective analogies..just splendid!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “your clouded eminence! the mist is not around, but within thy head aided by a heavy dose of prejudice”. You captured it so beautifully. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Perhaps someone else (who was just as worried and empathetic), may have had dialed the emergency number in the past, and therefore prompted the factory folks to install the sign! Reminds me of all the times the smoke detector went off in my apartment (abroad) a few years ago while my room-mates courageously tried their hand at cooking Indian food – which prompted one of us to be stationed near the detector with a newspaper or cloth to fan away the (expected) fumes before they reached the detector!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Awesome story! It’s necessary to let go of all the prejudice before reacting to any situation.
    But in few situations the mist is generated (knowingly) to avoid being directly answerable to people. In such situations hitting panic button could be the last resort.



  1. Genuineness of the Goat… – Reflectikon

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