I am fascinated by human relationships. The way people react to situations or the way people change or the way people say something and practice something else keeps my grey cells humming. So it’s no wonder that I like reality shows like Big Brother or its equivalent Big Boss, in India. Some say the shows are scripted to garner TRPs. But I like to live in a fantasy world where everything is rose-tinted so I will just assume that they are not. Maybe the voting is fixed and that is why I never vote for contestants in such shows but the situations that the contestants are put to, is nothing short of being in a mental institution. They are forced to remain hungry; they are provoked by tasks that encourage fights. The more the drama the more the TRPs. Hopefully it’s all real, because I love the experiments that happen to them and the reactions the contestants generate. I feel I have my own mouse lab and am watching the mouse run around the wheel.
Recently I went to the park in my colony garden to play with my son. There was a bunch of old ladies who were discussing death. One of their neighbors had died and they were contemplating whether he had reached heaven or not, since he was the religious types. While discussing, they all agreed that prayer without correct intention had no value. That if we do good deeds then that will take us further than any monetary charity we do. They gave various stories of how a priest went to hell because he saw the wrong in people who came to pray and how the person who even prayed for five minutes but with a true heart went to heaven. There was more but you get the gist. Mind you, I was eve dropping on their conversations so I did not offer my views.
Now the very next day, while playing in the park I saw an elderly gentleman walking towards a seat. Since all seats were occupied, the only seat available for him was of the gatekeeper. One of the ladies from the day before gets up, tells the gatekeeper not to get up i.e. don’t let the old man sit. I sensed that there was some past enmity that provoked the lady into saying this. So the gentleman comes and he waits, doesn’t ask the gatekeeper to get up. Keeps on waiting about thirty minutes and finally rests next to a cabinet next to the gatekeeper. Now you tell me, didn’t you find it strange that the same ladies who were talking of good deeds and karma were actually doing the opposite? Whatever the old man did, it could not have justified the feeling of hatred that the woman had, compelling him to stand in a park where one is meant to relax. If we talk of humans, this is a basic gesture that anyone is taught from their childhood – to give a seat to the elderly or the less able. As I look back at this incident, I think perhaps maybe the old man may have, in his past, had some altercation with those ladies. But were they right in meting out justice to him? When did they become the Almighty? The old man didn’t know of the conversation between the lady and the gatekeeper but someone above was watching. I feel I was able to observe all this and learn my lessons from this. That no matter if you don’t pray, you don’t wear appropriate religious clothing, finally it’s what you DO that matters. This one act reinforced my faith that our deeds are what matter and what gets counted. So let us just try to get by doing the best you can; we will make mistakes but let them be mistakes which we can change or rectify here. I feel now in retrospective I should have stood up for that old man and asked the gate keeper to vacate his seat., Maybe this was my test on what I had to do and how I should have reacted, in which I think I failed miserably.
There is a further twist in this tale that I experienced on the third day. This time around, the lady who had warned the gatekeeper not to vacate this seat, got up, apparently felt guilty on seeing the old man standing and this time offered a seat next to her. One thing is for sure – both the gate keeper and I had the most perplexed of looks on our faces. Maybe she was redeeming herself when she saw him patiently waiting and felt guilty or maybe she wanted to show her caring side to the world. Whatever may be the reason, I learnt my lesson…
October 30, 2013.