BEYOND OUR 'DUTY'
The first ones to greet me ‘Good Morning’ - I mean, in person – are our security guards and a couple of car-wash persons. The security guards do their twelve-hour night-duty – 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. I have no idea what they do once they end their duty in the morning… Obviously, they need a good sleep. So, do they all go home and sleep or do they also do some other duty - maybe a few hours – to earn some extra income. Whenever we saw a guard doing in our colony back-to-back duty (day and night both), we had sternly told the security chief not to make any guard do such day-and-night duty. So, now, they all are found doing only 12-hour duty in our colony. But, I am sure, in order to earn some extra income, they must be doing, now and then, another 12-hour duty somewhere else. Or, at least some other duty involving a couple of hours.
This morning, when one of the car-wash persons (a lovable old hand) wished me ‘Good Morning, sir,” I asked him gently, “So, at what time do you start this duty?”
“At 4:30, sir,” the man replied.
“How many cars do you wash?” I asked.
“Fifteen, sir,” he replied.
“After that?” I wanted to know.
“I go to work in Bharat Petroleum,” he explained.
“You have a permanent job there?’ I was curious.
“No sir,” he clarified, “I work under a contractor.”
“What about your family… How many children do you have?” I further asked.
“Two sir, “he said, “my daughter is in twelfth standard, and my son is in tenth.”
“How many years you have been doing this car-washing work, here?” I asked my last question.
“Eighteen years, sir,” I got my last answer.
Eighteen years ago, this car-wash person must have just got married! What impressed me the most is his sense of ‘duty’… a commitment to his family… the dedication with which he has worked for so many years continuously.
I get my inspiration from guys like these car-wash persons and our security guards. Often, we shout at them for our slightest discomfort… We take them for granted, leave alone learning something from them… The security guards and car-wash persons are there right around me… But, outside, there are lakhs and lakhs of such men and women who quietly go about doing this extra-income work, every day, either before the sunrise or after the sunset… Imagine the inspiration outside our doorsteps!
Pic.: Anil Bedi