Saturday, September 7, 2013


Pic.: Neerja Panchal

At 11, today, I was about to walk into my class and my mobile phone started ringing. I, instinctively, picked the call. A telemarketing girl greeted me in a clearly borrowed accent. 

“Good morning sir… This is so and so calling from so and so firm.  Is it a right time to talk to you sir?” she asked me. 

It was not…

I had picked that call expecting it to be from a student or a parent or from my home. So, I wanted to tell the lady on the other end, that I was busy. But, I have a problem here, always: I just can’t bring myself to tell such people bluntly, “Sorry, I am not interested,”… “Please don’t call me, ever… You understand?”… “Who the hell gave you my number?” … or, even this - “I am in a meeting!”

What I do, and I did today, is: “What is this regarding, ma’am?”

Today it was regarding bulk sms’s. 

Did I have a requirement? 

Not at all.

So, I let the lady know, in my clear, honest and gentle voice, “Ma’am, I am a simple teacher and, I really do not have a requirement for it. Thanks for calling; I appreciate.”

Luckily, the lady on the other end, chose to end the call saying, “Okay sir; thanks a lot and sorry for bothering.”

Did I feel good about how I dealt with the ‘intruder’?

Oh yes… I felt nice that I did not blast at her…

Poor girl, she must be getting blasted a hundred times a day! All that was needed from my end was to tell her, as assertively and as gently as possible, what I wanted to tell… and, let her go about doing her job… Let her be.

Even if she had continued and said, “Sir, can you give me some references,” I still had the key for my peace of mind in my own hands. I could express my inability without ruining her day…

Today, at seven in the morning, while pouring tea in my cup, our maid servant came to prepare roti’s.

“Nanda, shall I pour tea for you, too?” I spontaneously asked her. 

“No sir, I will take it later,” Nanda said in Hindi.

Obviously, our maid servant must’ve felt good when I had offered to pour tea for her. It was an early morning not only for me but for her, too… I was in a hurry to leave for my work… and, she had already landed at her… If peace and happiness was important for me, it was so for her, too… If I feel good when someone says nice to me… so does a maid servant, too...

At the Society gate, there were three Security guards who had done their night-long duty. As a Hon. Chairman, I have the privilege of receiving a nice salute from our guards as I come out. I feel very awkward when other members watch that… and, so, I dissuade the guards from doing that… “Sab teek, taak hai? I ask them warmly, “Under control?”

Haan sir,” they feel counted when they say that.

Their duty will be over only after 8.30… More than twelve hours of duty, that too, standing or sitting at the gate when we all had slept nicely at our homes. I find it extremely difficult to throw my weight as the Society Chairman on these souls… 

“Have a nice day ahead.” 

These are such warm wishes… 

Why should we not offer them to our security guards who keep a vigil when we peacefully sleep through the nights?

And, when I land near my classes, Buzzo and Sony (the dogs, the husband and wife,  who live in the same complex where my classes are situated) come jumping, wagging their tails in happiness, to greet me… and, they keep following me till I reach my classes… and, they want me to serve them biscuits… They know I would. 

Do they feel happy when I serve?

Do I feel happy when I do?

We all need something simple and nice - straight from others’ hearts - to cause our tails to wag with joy!

Don't' we?



Sheela Nair said...

Yes, small gestures can cause our hearts to wag with joy. Nicely written.
- Sheela

Pranav Gupta said...

Without exception all of us need something simple and nice.... Pranav