This post is not against any particular category or race of people, just a mere conclusion from a recent experience. Rather, experiences. I had two of them, both of them contrary to each other.
I had taken a day off from college and was lying clumsily on my couch watching T.V and munching potato chips. Mom had gone to work and there was no one home except for my housemaid who was doing the dishes in the gallery. I don’t know her exact age, but she’s very old, she must be in her 70’s, has a happily married daughter and a proper home. She has been working for us for more than 10 years and has become an integral part of our family. It’s hard for me to picture her any other way. It’s like she has been that way forever. Spectacles drooping on her wrinkly nose, a small, humped and fragile figure neatly wrapped in a saree.
The best thing about her; her indestructible ambition. You see, she’s poor, old and weak and she could beg on the streets if she wants to and often we had asked her to maybe quit as she’s old now and take rest but she always, ALWAYS refuses. She says she likes her work and it keeps her busy and gives her income.
But that’s not the only thing great about that lady. Keep reading.
When she finished her work she made her way to the door and asked me to close it after her. I followed and as she was leaving, she picked up a bag she had kept aside, stopped midway and rummaged it’s insides. I watched the scenario thinking she might have forgotten something, when she took out two ripe guavas and offering them to me asked, “Would you like a guava?” and gave me a toothless smile.
I was speechless. No that I hadn’t seen a guava before or I hadn’t been offered a gift before, but this made me struggle for words. At first I thought I should refuse as she already was struggling with poverty and it would be mean to take whatever little she has. But then I thought I’d hurt her even more as she might think that I rejected thinking she was below me or something.
“Sure!” I said as I let out my hands. She gave two of the most ripe and best ones in the 4 she had in the bag, looked at my face with pride and went away.
And I’m not exaggerating or saying it out of empathy but those two were the most amazing guavas I ever had. Sweet, tangy and and full of flavor.
I was making my back from a stationary store. The weather was soothing and I was on foot. As I approached near my place I saw a lady on her balcony negotiating with someone on the ground.
“30! That’s the final offer!”
“Please make it 50 and I’ll mow the entire lawn!”
“30-I said it’s final”
“Okay make it 40?”
“You can go away, I’ll find someone else to do it.”
“”Sahab please, I need the money”
“I said-You can leave!”
I slowed my pace a little to see what was going on. On the balcony of the most sumptuous and one of the biggest houses in my locality stood a woman in her early 40’s. Stern and obstinate with a few loose strands of hair from the neatly tied bun; chiding the person below.
Below on her ramp, I saw an old man in ragged clothes and a pleading face. His hands were black from filth and he looked up with expectations and maybe some income. He looked tired and had drooping shoulders covered in a worn out white cloth.
After the lady asked him to leave, she went inside with a scowl. The man lowered his gaze in disappointment, got on his rusted bicycle and rode away.
I don’t even know how to put it. These two incidents happened on the same day. It’s like God was trying to teach me something. An invaluable lesson;something we don’t realize in everyday lives. I’m guessing you must have got an idea of what I’m about to say.
I know that lady from the magnificent house and I also know she’s perhaps one of the richest people in our locality. Now I don’t know what goes on inside her house or how the situations are, but I didn’t see any harm in giving that man a 50 Rupee note considering the line of cars she had parked in her driveway. And it’s not like the man was begging, he was rendering a service in return.
I’m pretty sure giving away a mere 50 rupee note wouldn’t have changed anything in her life; but it sure as hell would have made the poor man’s day. The thing that bugged me was, if you ask all these people, all these artificial, successful snobs what all they have achieved in life, I assure you they will all quote their achievements one by one with inevitable pride and a high nose. But when it comes to helping the needy and the poor, no one has a dime.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you were returning from the Supermarket with a bag of oranges and gave two of them to a beggar or someone needy? Have you? If yes, then you’re a wonderful person and have a very big and a kind heart. If not, then you need to reevaluate your actions.
My maid didn’t think twice even though I have everything and could buy guavas any day. Now I don’t find any reason for having second thoughts.
Picture Courtesy: Cartoonmovement.com