A Stern Challenge

Sunday 24 June, 2001

Another 7am walk in the park – the first of four good walks today. I returned home, lay down for half an hour and then went to the launderette. While my clothes went round I went for my second walk, then walked to the house to get on with some work. When I arrived Kuldip was already there and my heart sank a little because I thought I would not get done what I wanted to do. As it happened nothing went according to plan because Karaj talked to Kuldip about his impact on the office since his arrival a few weeks ago.

  • I have started to make mistakes which I don’t normally make
  • Karaj’s energy has dropped again – noticed by Sunil. He is having to put too much effort into Kuldip.
  • In her feedback on Friday, Arun recalled how we had all left Earl’s the previous day standing tall and strong, except for Kuldip who was quiet and subdued.
  • Kuldip somehow manages to get everyone running around for him and then attacks them for the way he has been treated, after which he withdraws.
  • He creates dramas and conflicts out of nothing.

It was a heavy session but fully justified. I realised that Karaj was right; both the quantity and the quality of my work have been affected by Kuldip’s presence. Most of all I felt reassured that Karaj is so aware of what is going on that such situations as these, which can hinder or, at worst, destroy our progress, will not be allowed to get out of hand. Karaj said that he has received messages from me, Sunil and Arun, all of which pointed towards Kuldip – action needed to be taken and Karaj took it. He was straight, clear and direct with Kuldip

Afterwards Karaj suggested that we drive to the coast. I went along with it although I had a lot of work to do. By the time we arrived my back had stiffened up and I felt resentful because of the pain. Fortunately, much of the pain wore off very quickly once I was mobile and so too did all the resentment. We went for a walk along the hills which overlooked the sea. It was lovely weather and the fresh, sea air was very welcome. I lost the other three and after an initial search I returned to the car. They were not around so I spent the next hour or so alone watching the sun go down. I was glad of the time to myself. The session with Kuldip had left me contemplating its significance and the consequences of what it all meant, and I needed time and space to let things settle down. When we met up again Sunil was the first to approach me and it was really nice to see him. He seems to be making the most of his enforced freedom, and he is a lot lighter than he has been of late.

We returned home in almost complete silence. It wasn’t an atmospheric, disturbing silence; everybody had their own thoughts and it seemed that we were content just to leave things as they were. A lot had been said already today. When we dropped Kuldip off, Karaj told me that all I need to do is to be vigilant and not let Kuldip influence me too much. I am here for myself and I will help where I can but I must be careful and aware that Kuldip has a tendency to be arrogant about his own journey and does not listen to what he is being told. In fact when we were playing a game on the way to the coast this afternoon, not only was he clearly not listening to what others were saying, he was not even listening to himself.

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