Blog :a postcard from vimal
Date: 5/3/2012 10:50:00 AM
In the past few years the Almighty has been kind enough to grant us the opportunity and resources to visit quite a few countries. Needless to say, that the travel bug in me, though happy and proud, craves for ever more. Apart from the regular joys and experience that one might hope and expect to get from such travels and vacations, I’ve learnt to be less critical and more accepting and sensitive to other cultures, societies and their beliefs. Above all it has, to a huge extent made me appreciate the many insignificant trivialities which we take for granted in our lives. It has made me realize how fortunate and blessed we are to have a life where we have the luxury to take such trips. Clichéd as it may sound these travels have made me grow as a person, as a human being………..at least that is what I believed, until recently. On the last day, of one such trip as we were leaving the hotel, we saw a small crowd just outside the hotel we were staying in. We went to check and saw a man selling trinkets and little oddities to the tourists. When he saw us he tried to persuade us to buy something. The crowd dispersed and he followed us to our taxi while we were loading our luggage still insisting that we buy something from him. We tried shooing him away and what he said next will forever remain etched in my living memory. He said “I’m trying to earn a living, not begging”. At the time it didn’t affect me much. Despite our disinterest in his merchandise he wasn’t discouraged. He stuck around for a couple of minutes till we were ready to leave. As I got into the taxi, he was still standing on my side of the door. The taxi driver tried to shoo him away once again and the man said that he was just trying to close the door after me. Then he smiled and closed the door and wished us well. In our rush to be in time for our departure, I did not give much thought to the incident. When we returned home, it all came back to me and I felt so ashamed of myself. We could have bought something from him. It wasn’t like it would have cost us a fortune. But it would have helped him feed his family. How could I have been so insensitive?? I keep asking myself, every time I think about him. I do not know about others, but I wonder, now, why is it that when we see suffering in front of us it fails to move us but we cry our eyes out watching a tragic movie. Embarrassing as it might be, I admit crying even while watching tragedy in TV serials or while reading a tragic novel. Then why is it that I wasn’t moved by that poor man??? What was it that I was so wrapped up in that I did not notice his plight?? Now every time I think of him, which is more often than not, it brings back an overwhelming sense of guilt & reminds me of my pettiness. I send up a silent prayer for him and his family and hope I never disappoint myself ever again with a repetition of another such episode. Maybe this is one of those experiences which will make me actually grow as a human being.