Several years ago, I used do rounds to Sanjay’s house. He and his five friends were learning from me when they were in T.Y. B’Com. What I still remember about this house is: they would never ever keep their two hall-room doors (Ground floor flat) closed. It was the classic ‘Open House’… Anybody could come, and any body could go… and, at any time. All were welcome... and, all the time. Needless to say, there was a real buzz, round the clock.
My challenge was: “How can I teach these big fellows in this ‘market place’?” So, we had to settle in one of their rooms inside. Even there, it was difficult for me to concentrate!
Sanjay and his two brothers, now, live in different localities with their own respective families. Whenever I happen to meet Sanjay, I ask him: “Do you still keep your doors open like that?”
“Yes, sir, we still do,” Sanjay tells me with pride, “All my brothers, too.”
Then, I ask him, “No thief has ever entered your house?”
“Never,” Sanjay tells me with emphasis, “They only enter the closed homes.”
Well, that is scary for my ears! For, my house is exactly the opposite. If the hall-room door is open, I am too shy to eat on our dining table. Shorts and sleeveless make me self-conscious. I speak in whispers. The TV goes mute and the radio goes off the air. Our curtains fall much before the darkness does… and, I keep reminding every one around, it is night time! Yes, there are thieves around!
Well, though Sanjay tells so, no thieves have entered, so far, my ‘Closed home’. Even then, I prefer the door of my hall room closed. “It is my personal space… I like it this way,” I find telling myself.
I have a very dear friend who loves to drink coffee with me every time he is in my office. “You make excellent coffee,” he says, “I love it here.”
But, what baffles me is: he likes it ice cold and I like it coal hot! I have tried desperately to be courteous and keep pace with him. But, it is frustrating to do so. I finish my coffee even before he is hardly two sips down! “I am so sorry, my friend,” I express my regret genuinely. “It’s fine; you don’t have to be,” he reassures me.
We ARE great friends… and, that’s so beautiful!
I don’t think, Sanjay and his brothers will feel suffocated in my house, if they appreciate the fact that I am a beautiful soul even though I prefer to remain private behind my closed hall-room door. Likewise, I will not be suffocated in Sanjay’s house, if I truly appreciate the fact that they love it that way.
Maybe, because we are able to appreciate this difference – this SPACE – God has protected both our homes. Nobody has dared to rob us off that beauty… of being different, yet good.