The Shell Story

Chhai chhap chhai chhapak chhai
Paaniyo pe chhinte udaati hui ladaki,
Dekhi hai hamne, aati hui
Laharon pe jaati hui ladaki

*song from a Hindi movie

I was humming and frolicking on the beach, enjoying the romantic setting that nature had created. With the smooth sand slipping past beneath my soles, cool breeze rustling my hair and the sun preparing to take a dive at the horizon, I was in love with every passing moment. The cool water and sand were both tingling and tickling my tired feet, a sensation I find comforting only at the shores. (The feeling of the ground shifting from underneath my feet is not pleasant in deep waters).

An evening date with the sea shells at Benaulim Beach, Goa

It was high tide and each wave brought with itself a collection of sea shells to the shore. Since my childhood days, I was always fond of collecting them and today was no different. The shapes, designs, textures and the fact that they held a living form within, made them thoroughly fascinating.

Although all this were a natural phenomenon but I would like to believe that they were coming together to pay a visit and say hello to me on this romantic evening. They came, caressed my feet, invited me for a conversation with no expectation of reciprocity and then bid goodbye . Suddenly as they left, I realized my mistake. I waited for the same magic to return but the ones that came back weren’t the ones I so wished for. I sighed on the missed opportunity to collect those beautiful shells and decided to return next morning, though in the heart of hearts I knew the ones which I did let go would never come back.

Shells on soft sands of Benaulim Beach Goa

It was my favorite place Goa, a destination I never get bored of but this time I was there on work. I was invited for a seminar along with 60 other people. An interesting conclave where we would get an opportunity to learn as well as network with people across various domains. For a entrepreneur like me, it was a wonderful platform where I could meet, discuss and crystallize business propositions (guess that was the agenda of the meet). Amongst the 60, I was acquainted only with 2 , whom I had known professionally. They had always been my well-wishers, but the lesson they imparted that day was gratifying.

Mona calls me aside fuming, at the end of the two day conference and says “why don’t you grasp the opportunities that come by you? Why are you not aggressive in marketing your idea?” Rahul seconds her and says “you will never get a second chance to meet these people and collaborate with them”. For the next 10 mins, they cited instances and rebuked me for my foolishness.

Their words were harsh but true. Two days were served to me on a platter and I didn’t use them wisely. I am not sure whether I will meet these people again and revive what I lost. I repented and sighed, exactly the same way I had done at the beach two days back, the evening when I had a date with the sea shells and missed the opportunity of treasuring them.

Read about opportunities and priorities and the tussle between them in “Trust your Instincts”

A lovely creation on the beach of Goa

∗My sincere apologies to the shells whom I let go hoping they will reach out to me again the next time.

Opportunity knocks once! Nature has its own way to explain simple things but we tend to overlook most of the times. Thank God we have friends for that, who do the balance 

Thank you Monalisa Sagar and Rahul Narvekar for the strong and powerful dose, it was an important lesson at the right time.


“We have an infinite amount to learn both from nature and from each other” –John Glenn