beyond the mist

Yet another cold morning with a slight drizzle and heavy clouds gathering around, hinting of an upcoming downpour. There was a general sense of urgency in every stride on the road trying to scurry along to reach the destinations (it was office time anyway!). Still a couple of streets away from office, and not carrying an umbrella, the environment was not very encouraging, and I tried to accelerate my pace as well.

In order to get to office even by a few minutes early, I decided to take a short cut that goes from the front of a small factory. As I took the turn to the street where this factory was situated, 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!).

If I was in a hurry earlier, this didn’t help in anyway and only gave a boost to hurry along even faster. While doing so, I also considered quickly making a call to the emergency services and bring help. But hang on a bit! There were others moving along without the least concern on their face, although it didn’t slow their pace (but of course all of us were in a hurry anyway). 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 no empathy to the surroundings”. With these thoughts of (anxious) concern, I marched on and went 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.

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 (if you are in anyway connected to it!). And, especially in direct communication (face to face or on a phone call), a reassuring body language and confident articulation helps to clear some of this dense mist out! And then there are those who carry dense mists along all the time anyway and it will make ones job that much more difficult to clear it out. Even here, early signs (being proactive) help.

In any case it helps 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 🙂


10 Comments on “beyond the mist

  1. 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!

  2. “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.

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

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

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


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

  7. 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.

  8. 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’ 🙂

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