In every tiresome journey, we need a place to rest and regain our energy.  This is necessary if we want to continue our journey successfully.  Everyone is carrying heavy burdens of problems and worries.  They need a place to unburden themselves.

   Sudha Murty in her anecdote “Horegallu” talks about a stone bench under the village banyan tree.  People used to sit there and refresh themselves during their long walks.  They blessed the horegallu for being there.  Like the physical horegallus people need emotional horegallus as well.  The author’s grandfather was such a one. 

   The grandfather used to sit on the stone bench and listen to the worries of the villagers.  This gave them strength to carry on with their journey.  In the modern times the author found Ratna, a clerk in her office doing the same service.  She used to listen to the problems shared by her colleagues.

People sometimes need to share their worries and problems with someone else.  In the present times everyone is busy and no one has time to listen to others. Talking itself can release a lot of pressure.   It is not necessary to suggest solutions to their problems.  Actually solutions should come from the people themselves.  It is enough to be a good listener.

   A good listener should be patient and sympathetic.  Also he should not be judgmental.  It is not necessary to be immensely intelligent or professionally trained.  No one can solve another person’s problems.  The process of sharing itself can give the person some clarity about the problem.  Most of all, a good listener should be trustworthy.  They should not betray the other person’s trust.

   Our present times require more and more horegallus.  In a world where people have become increasingly selfish, this has great relevance.  Sudha Murty concludes her anecdote with the hope that there were many more living horegallus like the grandfather and Ratna in this world.

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