Last evening, I left for home quite early. I had a bad giddiness and really wanted to go home and rest. The moment I landed at my complex, I saw one of our senior-citizen members taking his walk alone. I was seeing him after almost two months; so, I instinctively greeted him, “Good evening sir. How are you…? A very long time.” My next line would have been this: “How is your health, sir? How is everybody at home?” But, before I could ask all that, the elderly man started grumbling, “You have spent so much money on making this beautiful garden. But, just go and see… So many plastic bottles and filth are thrown into it!”
My heart sank! The instant reaction of my mind was, “I should have left the ‘old man’ alone. Yes, I am the Hon. Chairman of this Society. But, hello, I am not keeping fine... I just want to go home and rest.” Yes, this was the first thought. Self-pity. Then, came the second thought. “Come on sir, you are taking this evening walk because you are old and sick; you are a widower… Why do you think of this ‘filth’, this ‘non sense’ while you are supposed to be calm and light?” The third thought was of anger: “Hey, old man. This is neither the time nor the place for complaining, okay? Don’t forget, I am doing an honorary service for this Society… So that you can take a peaceful walk in the evening. Be thankful, okay?”
All these thoughts crossed my mind within seconds after the elderly man complained. And, within seconds, they passed too. “I know sir; it is really bad,” I found myself telling the senior citizen, “Our members should have civic sense.”
“You should issue Circulars… You should keep a fine,” the elderly man told me, “They don’t change otherwise.”
“You are right sir; we should.” I agreed and moved towards home. The walk continued…
I am sure, the grumbling, too!
In the lift, I was empathizing with the senior citizen. “He is so old and sick. For the last ten years, he has been a widower… It is but natural for him to complain… Just give him a patient hearing, that’s all.”
Luckily, I did exactly the same. Had I shouted at him – and I had all the right to do that – it would have left a heaviness in my heart. Perhaps, my giddiness might have worsened. I felt good the way I went about my own behavior, last evening.
The old man must be just over 70.
As I told you, I had decided to be at home and take good rest. I generally do not watch much TV. But, last night, I did. The last episode of KBC. An almost 70-year-old senior citizen was hosting the show, and I have been a die-hard fan of this old man. Last evening, he was hosting the last episode, and he was so graceful, so eloquent… so larger-than-life, yet, so earthly… I can never have enough of this soul. Never would I stop adoring … Never would I stop praying for him… and praying for me - : "Lord, even if you give me a life one percent productive and contributing as this man… I shall consider myself a blessed soul.”
I was in my ninth standard when I first saw the picture and a small write-up about this rising star in my village school library. I had begun to love him since then. Yes, over forty years to survive in an industry where even the brightest stars fade as seasons change… To survive such nasty blows in life… almost go bankrupt and almost go to grave… No, this man’s story defies the normal logic. There must be something special about him… something not for the ordinary reach.
Last night, I was thinking: “I am 53. At, seventy, where will I be? Will I be able to do what I am doing now? Leave alone what this man is doing!”
I was so happy for my idol. I cried, as I saw the show… I tore my heart and prayed: “O Lord, may this man live another thirty years and perform another thirty miracles. May he live to give us hope... May he be there - just to help us from turning bitter in life… complain, grumble… and give up.”
I went to bed meeting two senior citizens, last evening.
A dear student of mine knew I had gone home early because my Blood Pressure had shot up and I had a nasty giddiness. Just before I retired, this lovely soul sent me a very caring message, “Sir, it is time you took some real good rest…”
I smiled as I slept and sent my reply. Just a smiley!
Just when I had caught sleep, my Girish sent his mid-night message.
One rainy day, a mother went to pick up her six-year-old son
From the school thinking that he might fear the lightening.
On the way, she found him smiling at the sky for every lightening.
She asked, “Son, why are you smiling?”
The little one said, “Mom, God is taking my pictures
And I need to look good.”
Life is so simple… It is we who make it complicated.
I had a real good rest, last night.