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Everybody Has a Dream

New TipsIt was way back in the year 1982. I remember as a young marketing person in this Multi national company in Mumbai, I had a very senior colleague named Paul, who taught me not only to handle marketing effectively but also to deal with life cheerfully.

It was one of those hectic days… management meeting, sales calls, planning my travel schedule, booking hotels, arranging appointments and the list was endless. By the end of the day, I was not only exhausted but was getting irritated with myself and everyone around me. It was at this time that Paul invited me to his house for a quiet “chill out”.

We made our way to Paul’s house, although tired, I was all excited to chat up with Paul and share and learn through his rich experiences in Marketing. As we entered through the main door to his house, Paul started singing that ABBA’s all time favorite: I have a dream, a song to sing, to help me thru’ in everything… and so on. I was in no mood to listen to his song; I wanted to hear about how he handled tricky sales calls!

As I leaned over Paul’s shoulder to tell him just that, I was totally awe stricken at what I saw next. Two young girls, aged between 17 & 20, walked over to Paul and hugged him. They couldn’t walk steadily, neither could they talk properly; their faces were full of smiles but they too sang a song: No mummy’s kisses only Daddy’s smiles, nobody wants us, Daddy hug us tonight.

I was still standing and watching all that was going on, totally lost in the beautiful singing, when Paul tapped me on my shoulder and asked me to sit down. Curious to know, I asked Paul who these girls were. I knew that Paul lived in that house but I had never seen these girls.

Over a much refreshing cup of tea and sandwiches, Paul went on to explain:

“I too have a dream, a dream to make these girls happy. They are my daughters and they were born as “Special children” (mentally challenged). And he further added, “They don’t have a Mother. My wife died when they were very young”, and that he is both Mother & Father to these beautiful daughters.

I could barely control my emotions and was moved to tears. In the office, no one knew what Paul was going through in his personal life. He never, ever, looked for “special privileges” from his higher ups or any sympathy from his friends and colleagues. In fact, he always helped us at the office and being the Head of the Department, always motivated us to move forward in life.

Paul’s life has been an inspiration to me. If a man can smile through these so called troubles in life and yet excel in Corporate world, was there something that was keeping Paul happy and smiling inspite of his hectic schedule?

Probing a little further, I found that every night after the daughters were put to sleep, he would spend “silent time” with God, who not only strengthened him and gave him the courage but also helped him to move forward in life with a smile on his face.

I finished my tea and made my way out, when Paul said to me, “All of us have dreams, and sometimes shattered ones. If you take it to God in prayer, He will make your dreams whole.”

How true, I said to myself. I had seen that today!

As he bid me good bye and I turned to walk away from him, I heard in that distant night Paul’s voice once again singing that song to his daughters: I have a dream, a song to sing, to help me through in everything…

… and then the daughters singing to Paul: No mummy’s kisses only Daddy’s smiles, nobody wants us, Daddy can you hug us tonight?

The song faded as my cab moved away into the dark and lonely streets of Mumbai.

— Copyright © 2010 Savio Fernandes 


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