I was at the home of my friend, Jugnu Chaturvedi. Post dinner, I was gorging on ice cream, when Ketki, his daughter, thumped on the sofa next to me.


She looked past me and in a thoughtful yet urgent voice asked, “Uncle, in choosing my friends, what should I be impressed by?”


Hmmm, my mind told me, beware! ‘This cute-looking, the innocent voiced young lady is asking you a loaded question’.


In such situations, I never answer the question. I ask another question! Smart na!


I smiled at her and asked, “Why are you asking this question, my dear?”


She floored me with what she said, “Because I trust you. And, you are not conservative. And, you can understand the youth of this age. And, you are wise.”


She completely had me. With every reason that she gave, my chest swelled with self-pride. A few more reasons and I am sure my lungs would have popped out of my rib cage.


With eyes twinkling with a new, deep, pampered self-image, I replied, “When I was your age, I had made a small list. This list has always guided me in selecting my friends. Funnily, this list has also guided me in ensuring I remain on track.” This is how the list looks…




– Wealth
– Degrees
– Quantity of Followers
– Looks
– Titles
– Possessions
– Accomplishments
– …what they have
– Who helps them



– Generosity
– Integrity
– Quality of Friends
– Discipline
– Authenticity
– Assisting
– …what they share
– Implementation
– Whom they help


I searched the face of Ketki to see if she was satisfied. She looked lost in thoughts.


“Interesting”, she said, gathered her orange sling bag, stood up, and left. “Thanks, Uncle…” I heard her shout, as her frame disappeared through the exit door.


As I was helping Ketki solve the issues of her world, my friend Jugnu was blissfully lost in the taste of the fabulous masala chai his wife is world-famous for.


I think the sudden silence in the room made him aware of my presence. He smiled at me and I saw a living example of all the ten points in the column “Be Impressed By” sitting right in front of me.


I smiled back and told Ketki, “Just look at your father. He is a living example of what one needs to be impressed by”.


Laughter broke out all around and I could see Kekti nodding her head in agreement.


My darling friend, if you had to make a similar list, what would your 10 points be? Would love to know what might be there on your list. Do share even if it is just one point.


With love, prayers, and exceptional wishes,



Change your thoughts. Change your life.


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