Friday, May 07, 2021

3303 : Am I better than him?

My car has been cleaned by the same person for over 9 years now. I have helped him in some small ways in the past - like bought him a phone, booked him a train ticket, paid for some medicine.....very tiny things.

Yesterday he calls me and tells me, "Sir, I am sending my child back home." (home is Orissa). I ask him why, and he says Corona worries him.

Fair enough. Then he says, this "sending back" happening next week or so - so he wants me to see his son, tomo (as in today). 

I am intrigued, I am like "why?". He says, "He needs to see you."

"Okay, how old is your son?"

"2 years, 6 months".

I am like, "Ok, fair enough".

Today he calls me at 11 from the lobby. My wife picks up the phone, and he explains the situation to her too. Now she tells me "Sanjiv wants you to go down and meet him. Wants you to bless his son." (What?)

As I am ready to go down, she says - he might need some money - carry a few hundred - to give him for his son. 

I carry some money and go down. He says "Sir, bless my son."

I am aghast. I tell him - look I want his son to be always happy, but I am no one to bless him. He tells me, he wants his son to be like me. I say, of course, he will be much better than all of us.

He continues, he tells me, please bless him - touch his crown.

I relent. I then give him the money - he refuses to take it. He says it's about blessing, not money. I tell him, it's ok, buy some sweets or clothes.

He finally takes the money. I found the gesture sweet.

But I also know in my heart - that I am no better than him. I am just another human being with a little more luck (and privilege) than he has. I shudder to think that he actually thinks of me as some sort of role model.

Money or luck should not define a better human being.

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