My daughter went to a movie along with her friends, paying a bomb for the multiplex ticket. When asked about the movie, she said that it was so boring. Probed further, she said that there was no plot, everybody was goody- goody and the characters were unrealistic. There were visible signs of fatigue in her body language which said it all. On the other hand there is a Tamil serial ‘Nadaswaram’ (for those interested]which has clocked 1060 episodes over 3 years. The serial is kept simmering thanks to the machinations of and harsh words exchanged between four women and two men. Just as you feel the serial is losing track, some villainous activity takes place and your interest is skilfully rekindled. This serial would have died a natural death but for the villainous characters-not hard core villains but basically good men and women who change their approach to a situation out of impulse or indiscretion. Do we not come across such characters in our day to day life? While we enjoy movies with such characters, why do we grumble when we face them in our daily life and bemoan that such things happen to us only. Life becomes dull without challenges. When we emerge successfully out of ordeals thrust on us by known and unknown enemies, our joy knows no bounds. My friend’s daughter in her forties faced a peculiar problem. Her husband started suspecting her fidelity. The husband moved out of the house to a guest house and used abusive and vulgar language while talking to his wife. The wife was upset but did not lose her composure. She went to the bank, post office etc. and made sure that the husband could not wipe out the savings in their joint account. Incidentally she was also working and earning well. When my intervention was sought, I caught the bull by the horns and met the husband. He complained that his wife was at the window when a youngster in the opposite house had his window open. Did he see this and did he see her talking to the youngster-I asked. No –he said but his colleague who passes through their house had seen it on a number of occasions. He vouchsafed that his colleague was dependable and was regularly repaying the instalments for the loan he had taken. I then confronted the wife with this accusation. Unperturbed, she replied that she perspired a lot and always kept her window open. She also said that she had objected to her husband loaning money to his friend and on one such occasion his friend had overheard her. She suspected this to be the motive for spreading canards about her. I confronted the friend and told him that we would file for divorce citing mental cruelty and name him as the main witness. I casually dropped the name of a big lawyer known for brow beating the witnesses. In the next two days the husband returned to the house and apologised to his wife. Not surprisingly they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary last year. The unsavoury episode has only strengthened their affection for each other. I have to share an interesting article that I recently received by email. It reads somewhat like this. “Are you a carrot, egg or coffee bean-the question is asked. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? You decide. Am I the carrot that seems strong but with pain and adversity in boiling water do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but after losing a loved one, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial: have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and dynamically change the situation around you.’” This article has important lessons for all of us. When adversity knocks at our door, we should ask ourselves the coffee bean question This will help us to handle the situation with imagination and composure.