Should One Really Befriend A Critic?

Kabir said’ “Nindak niyare rakhiye aangan kuti chhawaye; Bin sabun pani bina nirmal karat subhaye” (Be friends with your critics). Critiques do not really clean me but they certainly inspire me to write! I dedicate this write up to one of my critiques, if it would not have been her I wouldn’t have been writing this article.

This critique of mine is actually my aunt, and she is a disciple of one of the most renowned baba in India. Mom told me that she has attended many of his courses and the resultant she has completely transformed. She is more fit and looks beautiful than ever,  she has become more healthy, she remains calmer and poised than she used to be, in fact, she recently had an operation and the exercises that babaji recommended has helped her in fast recovery, etc, etc. After hearing all this, even I was kind of agog to meet her.

As they say, be careful what you wish for! After few days I came to know she was visiting us, me and my family. And guess what? My mom was right! She certainly looked healthier and younger than her age. On asking the secret behind new her, she gave credit to the course she did.

She stayed with us for few days and I used to get only positive vibes from her. Until one day-when I heard her criticizing someone, another day-when I noticed she is still an orthodox, followed by-she is the same narrow-minded person, and (ah!) her intrusive behaviour, those positive vibes seemed to take a U-turn. The old her had overthrown the new her! I discerned, she is a hideous woman disguised as ethereal beauty and she is physically healthy but mentally sick!

Unfortunately, the world is full of such people and she is just an example. I wonder that there are courses or classes for almost everything. There are the language course, fitness classes, dance class, music class, but there is no course where lessons on ‘put oneself in else’s shoes before you judge them’ are imparted. There is no class with chapter ‘live and let live’ in its syllabus. There is no school with teachers to lecture the autocrat on ‘you are not always correct’.

What is the point of being so healthy when others wish you wouldn’t be there? A calmness that makes other restless, is worthless. Someone, whose beauty brings other’s beast out, is the ugliest person.

I wish there was something, someone, or some way to promulgate these bigoted souls to stop being one because ‘free advice is worth the price you pay’ and criticism is welcomed as long as it is constructive.

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