It was a small town. Quaint. Content. It had all the qualities, which attracted a retired person to spend his comfort life there.
A telecom company, which had many loyal senior citizens in that area, had a new cluster head. As he took charge, he realized the volume of such clientele. He thought that so many old people come from a great distances to pay their bills, which could be quite troublesome for them. He worked out with his team and decided that from now on, there will be door to door payment pick up facility for the retired people. His thinking and plan was well appreciated by his team. Quite motivated, he was feeling good for doing something on humanitarian grounds.
Once the facility started, he started getting messages from those customers, requesting for a meeting. Curious enough, he asked the people who were directly involved in these dealings, if there was any flaw or complaint. They replied “Many were curious, whose idea was it. And they showed interest in meeting you”. Staying positive, he thought, maybe they are trying to be thankful for the helping hand extended to them. So instead of meeting one by one, he organized a small tea party for the customers who wanted to meet him.
The destined day, people came, but he sensed something unusual in the air. They were not pleased. So without wasting time, he asked the reason they wanted to meet him. One wise man stood up and said “We all are really grateful to you that you tried to help us by door to door payment pick up facility but we would appreciate if you stop it from immediate effect”. Stunned by the statement, he didn't know how to react so politely asked for the reason.
The old man replied “Such small things like paying bills, getting groceries, vegetables etc. are our excuses to get out of our house. It gives us a reason to talk to people. We come to your outlet, pay our bill, enjoy a cup of tea with your staff and a hearty laugh at times”.
Even we all smiled as he shared this incident with us, saying “Neki ki aur joote khaye” (was cursed for a good deed).
I am not able to get it out of my head. It reminds me of my family, the elders who are staying away from me, because career, money, better life made us move and because they don’t want to leave their hometown. Even we don’t force them, because it’s like uprooting a complete tree and forcing it to flourish somewhere else, which rarely happens. But somewhere, they might be also looking for such excuses or places to pass their time. Looking for a company which can bring some smiles to them. Some curious faces, who wants to hear the adventure they had once. Some appreciative gestures, when they proudly show their family as the trophy they won.
Life is hard. I can’t be with them, but I can be someone who needs someone, where I am.
Ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo yun kar le, kisi rote huye bachche ko hasaya jaye.