Values to Cherish

“Garage ka chaabi de jara” said my brother (Give me the keys to the garage). He normally does not keep anything there, so as I gave him the key I asked him what he wanted to keep inside. “Nahin. Plastic chairs nikal na hai andar se” (No. I have to remove the plastic chairs from inside).

Apparently a family was taking shelter under the solid shade of the Honge tree in front of our home, and there was an elderly lady and gent among them, and he wanted to offer the chairs to them.

The tree and the pavement

The tree, the shade, the pavement

I have mentioned earlier about the Hospital that is virtually next door to us. These folks were visiting the hospital to be with a loved one. They had brought packed lunch with them, and in the absence of a canteen in the hospital, needed a place to sit and have their meal in peace. I noticed that they had brought their food in steel containers. They were having their meals in disposable plates.

Later in the afternoon, when I went out, I noticed that the chairs had been kept back on our verandah, and there was no food or disposable plates at the base of the tree. Yes, there was traces of water at the base of the tree where they had possibly washed their hands. My heart swelled with pride for my fellow Bangaloreans actions. In spite of their personal situation, they had made sure that there was no litter left behind. Along with it came a sense of shame that I had expected them to litter the place, if nothing else, at least with the disposable plates. They hadn’t.

My thinking was based on an incident a few days back. An early morning, when I had seen a number of disposable plates that had been littered by the roadside in front of our home. I felt that it was a Ganesha immersion party that had done the deed. I had heard several processions go past our home the previous night. And then there are the many smartly dressed youngsters who often come to the store next door, pick up ice cream or chocolates, and think nothing of dropping the sticks or the covers on the pavement in front of our home. Naturally, I wished Bangalore had more people like that family, and less of the latter.

Also, is there not a common thread between my brother’s and the family’s actions? A mind (or is it heart?) that cares for entire strangers. One which thinks about not inconveniencing others. This to me , is a value that is to be cherished. A value that anyone has to be thankful to one’s parents and teachers for inculcating in us. A common refrain is “It is not easy to practice this value in this age. Everyone cares only about themselves first.”. Do try. The more you do, the better you will get at it. And the world will be a better place for it. Agree?


5 responses to “Values to Cherish

  1. I’m glad you shared this post, Ravi. I cannot agree more. First of all, it was really nice of your brother to offer them the chairs. And I appreciate the civic sense of the beneficiaries.

    And to come to your last-but-one paragraph: appearances can be so deceptive. I too regularly see young/ well-heeled/ rich people (often in my own neighbourhood) park at street intersections, drive the wrong way on a one-way street, throw litter in the park, and let their dog poop in the middle of the road, with not even a pretence of embarrassment. On the other hand, my maid is conscious of washing her hands with soap, throwing the trash (fruit peel vs. paper) in the correct bin, and saying ‘thanks’ at the drop of a hat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Crippled Consumer, Paralyzed Citizen and commented:
    An excellent post by a friend of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More like my mom’s influence, I guess! Yes, I do remember an occasion when the maid was new. Without thinking, by force of habit, she tossed an empty plastic bag into the vacant plot next door. My mom told her to bring it back and throw it in the dustbin. The maid grumbled, “Aiyyo, halla Amma” [the area is in a pit]. My mom said, “If you didn’t think about that *before* throwing it there, that’s *your* problem. You will jolly well pick it up and put it in the dustbin, if you want your salary this month.”
    NEVER did the maid repeat it!
    I think this is true of many things in our country — we should have a penalty (not necessarily monetary) that is *such* a nuisance that the offender will not repeat it.


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