Eddy D’Mello’s magical hug — jaadoo ki jhappi


In the rough-and-tumble of the rat race today, I see that 'most everyone's in a bit of a wild-eyed dash — whether physically or in his or her mind — taking things, people… the entire system for granted, assuming total subservience to one's own needs and requirements. And then there's my friend Eddy, a crack PR professional in Dubai, who rekindles my faith in human goodness.

We'd first met when both of us joined Times of India-owners Bennett & Coleman's India franchise of the UK's respected newspaper, The Independent, as trainee journalists. That was way back in November of 1990. From Day One, Eddy's simple, open, helpful nature endeared him to everyone, and was what drew me close to him. It's what's kept me in touch with him over the years.

Some months back, sensing something was probably, well, 'amiss' in my life, Eddy wrote me a simple mail. And in that email, he sent me a simple, profound and very relevant lesson about dealing with Life.

For the benefit of all my friends, here it is, that mail, from my friend Edward, who's a crack media professional in Dubai, and has traversed the route of professional journalism in the best publications of India and the Middle East before blazing a trail in PR of the highest integrity and effectiveness before setting up his own agency today.

No. This isn't a plug for Eddy. It's a gift from me to you. Read on, and you may feel you owe me one 🙂

Here's Eddy's mail. Be well, be happy.

"Dear Pavan,

I was reading a great book the other day
– "Tough Times Don't Last, Tough People Do" (Robert H. Schuller). It's
something that I picked up from an Indian bookshop this time for only
Rs 100. Instantly, I thought about you and I hoped that it would help
you as much as it helped me.

I have a confession to make. Sometime last year,
when I first thought of setting up my own agency, I did it with a firm
conviction. I was faced with various dilemmas – would the (Pavan's addition: 'Gulf') region accept
my agency, would I have enough clients to handle, would I face
recessionary times, etc. This is natural and I was extremely cautious –
I didn't want to give up a high-paying job to do something involving
starting from scratch. At the same time, the pickings from the new PR
jobs were extremely attractive.

I decided on the latter: to be my own boss. Many
people, including my wife, were skeptical about my plans, but I
was adamant to succeed. Somehow, my heart told me that I was taking the
right step.

There was another set of people who told me that
they would stick with me when I set up my own agency. Many friends promised an X amount of retainer fees. When I forecast these, it came
to around Dhs XXXX per month. This sounded too good to miss. So I took the plunge and started my agency with a great deal of
enthusiasm – trade licenses, email and website development, etc.

When it was up and running, my so-called
friends disappeared or began to negotiate the fees. They
wanted everything at half the market rate,  or even free. Obvoiusly, I couldn't afford to do
everything for charity. I had also
helped people to set up their own agencies, but these people never
reciprocated. But no regrets – God bless them and their businesses.

At this time (February), when I was feeling down and
out, I turned to the only solution – God. With my head down, I prayed
to God to help me. In my own expression, I silently acknowledged that I
could not run a business without His help.

Believe it or not, my phone rang in half an hour.
It was a call from an old associate whom I hadn't been in touch with for more than
6-7 years. She called saying she had heard from someone that I
had set up my own agency, and she wanted her ad agency to align with me.
I was shocked – the business from her alone was worth over Rs X lakh.

She also invited her friends from other agencies to
work with me. That brought in another Rs X lakhs. The clients were very
happy and I now have retainers in addition to ad agency businesses. My
ambition is to touch Rs XX lakh per month and I am sure with God's help,
I will achieve that.

More than anything, I thank God for giving me
friends who let me down. I guess I took many relationships for granted
and now, I am much more careful about the kind of people I deal with.

Also, the bad experience of having no work helped because I
now value each project and client that comes my way with far greater

If ever you, my friend, are in the same
situation I was in a month ago, my advice is to work hard, plan well, and also pray
silently to God and put all your troubles in His hands. Here's what you

– Do not have feelings of revenge towards people
who have hurt you. Pray for them. Pray to God that He blesses everyone
of your friends. Ask him to destroy all your enmities by making your
enemies as your friends.

– Thank God for all the blessings you still  have –
a wonderful wife, two gems of children, a great brother and supportive
sisters, the hand of your mother behind you at all times, the people
who work with and for you. Pray to God that each one of them gets His abundant

– Put aside all feelings of negativity and replace them with positive thoughts.

– Can you live your life in the world FOR ONE DAY
without one single feeling of anger? If one is prone to sudden
anger, well, when you feel angry, take a deep breath and exhale. Is it
possible for you to control your emotions – at least for a day? Anger
causes stress and stress causes diseases like hypertension, diabetes,
etc. Think about it."

Make a new friend each day. I thank all the people who help me now –
for example, the cabbie who gets me from Point A to Point B, the
vegetable seller who gives me the best of his daily stock, the liftman
who keeps the door open for me – each and every one of God's creations is
special to me. The next time I use their service, they go out of their
way to help me. Try it- it works like magic. The reason is that
everyone has a high level of stress, but by smiling at them or thanking
them, you are changing their perspective. Sort of like, Munnabhai's 'Jaadoo ki Jhappi'."


Do you have anything similar to share? What do you feel? Do share your views.

And if you want to connect with Eddy, search for Edward Steven Demello on Linkedin and Facebook.  He's a gem of a guy, and, I'm proud to say, a dear and precious  friend. The world's NOT such a small place, and one doesn't meet too many good people.  Check him out. And thank me 🙂

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