“Budget meeting,” I exclaimed to myself. I had to attend this kind of meeting for the first time. It took us almost a week to gather information and inputs to prepare budget estimates and revised budget estimates. I felt very enthusiastic to attend the meeting.
Various heads of institutions were assembled in a conference room at a given venue. Some budget experts were also present, as it was more a kind of workshop on how budgets are framed than the actual allocation of funds. I seated myself in a chair trying to understand and feel the pulse of a few people around. Some seniors seated themselves very confidently but some novice in the field like me, were in dilemma and looking forward to the meeting with all curiosity.
Finally the chairperson seated himself comfortably and the meeting started. The budget experts started the discussion resolving the problems one by one receiving in between the comments from the chairperson as well. Tea was served – very refreshing and making it easier to understand what seemed otherwise very complicated in nature. It continued for almost three hours, when somebody announced lunch. The break seemed to be the most needed one and we hurriedly got busy in collecting the papers spread in front of us. Before we would disperse, final word came from the chairperson, “I know it is a tedious job to prepare budgets. However the best thing to remember is the formula of 3,6 which makes everything easier and comfortable.”
I heaved a sigh of relief. At least there was one formula, mathematical in nature, which was going to help us out. But what was the formula 3,6 all about? I had to know and understand. Whom to ask? I turned to one sitting to my right, then to my left seeking the explanation but to my bad luck they also did not know.
I proceeded for lunch making sure that I meet some seniors who definitely might be having some understanding of it. With a plate in my hand in which I had placed some eatables, I tried to explore the secret of the formula 3, 6. “Take it easy, madam,” was the answer from a few. But how could one take it easy? I had simply to swallow the food as I could not cherish the delicacies without knowing the answer to it. It made me restless. However I had one solace that people like me will sure be asking the explanation of the formula from the budget experts in the meeting.
Again, we were all seated in the conference room and the discussions followed. The experts would answer one by one to the problems of every individual. But none discussed the formula. What was it? I could feel a lump in my throat all the time. Finally it was my turn. The budget expert guided me and almost concluded to turn to the other side when I suddenly heard myself asking, “Sir, kindly explain the 3,6 formula.” To my surprise he too showed his ignorance. A pin drop silence prevailed and we all turned our heads to the chairperson. In reply he narrated an incident which I would like to share with you.
He and his boss went to mosque to offer prayers on one Friday. They reached slightly late because of their busy schedule. The mollvi sahab had started the sermons. Since both of them happened to be known personalities, he recognized them. They became the focus of every eye. While both of them were feeling a little uncomfortable for being late, the mollvi sahab came to their rescue by saying, “Both of them as we all know, are very busy. It does not matter if they are a little late but what matters ultimately that they remember 3,6 – that’s what finally one requires at the time of ultimate rest. Your achievements, struggles, name, fame and everything which is materialistic in nature do not help while one breathes one’s last. All that is required is a grave, 3 feet by 6 feet piece of land, to get buried into.”
Our chairman took a pause after narrating this event, closed his eyes, smiled, making every one present to smile and finally wanted the proceedings of the meeting to be continued.
I took a deep breath. My restlessness had been taken over by tranquility. Very true! The formula of remembering 3,6 could do wonders -- it could bring peace of mind and contentment in our lives. It could work in all walks of life even in the formation of budgets – but only if we would remember this ultimate truth every time and everywhere!
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