Male Energy & On Fire

Sunday 16 December, 2001

Felt tired as we all met up at the house and I instructed the other men to keep an eye on me for the first couple of hours because I was tired and also with particular regard to Priya’s imminent presence. They didn’t. They, like me, assumed that I knew what I was doing. But that is the whole point. They can see my script far better than I can so I need them, even if I protest, to look out for me. Especially when I ask them too.

Karaj asked me to work with Priya. I took the instruction to ‘involve her’ too literally and spent the next hour chatting to her. In doing this I distanced myself unknowingly from the men and the work they were doing. In the next break Karaj told me that I had lost my male energy. I hadn’t even realised.

What had also happened was that the balance which has been my constant companion for the last three weeks was gone. I had been knocked off balance by the presence of a woman. More to the point I had allowed myself to be knocked of balance. This was nothing to do with Priya; it was all about me. For most of the rest of the day my mind was preoccupied with my imbalance and with what had happened to me. Later, during one of the breaks, I dropped Dev’s glass of water. I simply wasn’t with it.

In the afternoon I was very quiet – especially around Priya – and I realised that this is how I need to be around women when in their presence. The alternative is to avoid them, which is what Karaj told me to do. This contradicted my idea of using the few opportunities I have around women to improve myself and my relations with them, but Karaj is right. Just leave them.

The project to dig the two-foot trench, drill the post holes and erect six 10’ x 8’ panels was behind schedule. Time was running out and the thought occurred to me once or twice that we should pack up for the day. Everybody was tired after such a full weekend and mistakes could be made. However, Karaj drove us on, saying that we can achieve the impossible and work miracles… if we wanted to.

During a break, Karaj told us that the reason we had hit problems was due to our propensity to make assumptions. We had assumed all sorts of things: that we had enough petrol for the auger, that our hole measurements were accurate, that people knew what they were doing instead of checking with them fully and so on.

The job progressed quicker in the final hour and we succeeded in erecting four panels by 10.30pm. However, as Sunil was grinding the legs off the final panel I noticed that the sparks from the grinder were going straight between his legs. As I looked closer I saw that he was on fire. I rushed in, shouted his name and tried to put the flames out with my hand. I thought I had just about managed it when I saw more flames and for an instant I thought I would not be able to put him out. Then I saw that underneath his tracksuit trousers he was wearing jeans and I knew that he would be okay. I burned my hand a little but that was a small price to pay for averting a disaster.

In the supervision session Karaj praised my action. I had acted immediately and alerted people with my voice. He told me he could trust me. My only comment was that I had got my male energy back. Earlier on I had repeatedly said how beneficial it had been for me to experience the effect of a woman’s presence. This was me trying to impress Priya. So, this is what I do when I am not quiet. I try to impress. No need.


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