Aduthathu Ambujathai parthela ava athukarar konjaradhai kettela[On Jealousy] [look at our nejghbour Ambujam-she is swimming in the endearing words of her husband] This is an enlightening song in Ethir Neechal ,a Tamil film where the lady asks her husband to learn from how the neighbour is petting his wife Ambujam with endearing words. Jealousy is a natural emotion when you find some one has what you think you ought to have yourself.It is much better than envy which is an emotion coveting what some one else has.Jealousy arises of low self esteem,insecurity,unrealistic expectations much beyond what we deserve etc. Jealousy is also a motivator to attain greater heights in any activity. Duryodhanas jealousy against Bheem and Karnas jealousy against Arjun led to Mahabharata war. .In fact it was envy. Similarly Kaikeyis jealousy kindled by Manthara over losing her position if Ram is coronated, led to Ramayana.Othello is a masterpiece and a tragedy of sexual jealousy.Romance is a fertile ground for jealousy and wars have been fought on this account. Jealousy can exist between brothers,sisters,friends and even between boss and subordinate.Mother in law is jealous of her DIL,a rank outsider enjoying a luxurious life while she had toiled hard to bring up her son.One brother does well compared to the other and the latter complains that the former was sent to a better school and that has resulted in the disparity. Sisters fight-one tells her mother” ennai mathiram indha madhiri edathule thalli vittute[you got me married to such a family implying that her sister married to a better family.]. Show off and jealousy are in full display when co sisters meet.Classmates when they meet after a long time appraise each others progress and when one is very well off,the other terminates the contact. We got possession of our family temple 5 years back.We pooled our resources,renovated the temple and raised a corpus of 20 lakhs to take care of daily Pooja even after I am gone.Being our temple I had the right and privilege of doing abishekam with my hands..The burst of jealousy provoked by this incident has resulted in two more temples constructed/renovated by my closest relatives with entitlement of entering the sanctum sanctoram.After all, jealousy is not a bad thing. Classmates when they meet after a long time appraise each others progress and when one is very well off,the other terminates the contact.In the office scene colleagues do become jealous of the position,salary and even access to the boss.Unable to digest it, they start some gossip. I remember a doctorate,hardworking colleague making quick career progress-was called multigrain Ramesh.It was rumoured that he brought a bag of dals from his farm for the boss every year.Human brain always tries to find excuses for others’ success and when we cant make it. Some one disgusted with the gossip said” who gossip behind my back, that’s exactly where they belong. Behind my back.” There is another situation where your boss takes the credit for the job you have done.He is jealous of your intellect and is scared that he will lose control once you are exposed to his boss. Even when he has to admit,he will say that you grasp and follow his instructions well.. Some chaps are jealous of even your public speaking ability.I remember a colleague who used to come to me and say –”so, as usual you managed to grab the attention with your humour” in the sales conference.I advised him that he should also try, for which ,he replied that”if people don’t laugh with my statement I wont be able to proceed further”You agree that it was his problem.Yourcommunication skill and the resultant career progression is always a matter of jealousy. Let me now share with you my real life story. We seven joined a start up company at the same senior level, as Regional Managers.All of us were in the early thirtees.We were all equally qualified with around 12-14 years experience in Marketing.Every one was capable and hard working though individual strength varied from person to person..We worked together for 15 years and when it was time to make one of us GM I was chosen.Understandably there was heart burn among my colleagues as there was only a thin line of demarcation between us.The decision was made at the highest level.Rumours were circulated about Government support and possible reasons searched for my elevation .Fortunately no one could cast aspersions on my integrity and ability to handle tough situations. My MD congratulated me and said “you have a tough job with your collegues and what is your priority? “ I said getting their acceptance.I then asked him without hesitation what was it that swung the decision in my favour.He did not expect this question but replied “your communication skills and the courage to lead from the front”.I felt like a bird freed from the shackles of jealousy and fiction. In my case ,Jealousy led to competition ,drove people in search of excellence but finally ended up in envy as it became a case of forbidden fruit. As long as jealousy results in competition to do better and not impede the other persons progress I presume it is O.K.What is your verdict?