Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lesson 3

As narrated by my friend. 
As you all know India is a very 'cleanliness' conscious country i.e., we are always conscious to stay away from it. All said, you have to accept that the Delhi metro rail is one of the cleanest places in Delhi, perhaps much cleaner than most temples or hospitals in the city. An incident that took place in one of the metro coaches ensues. My friend was travelling with his friend in the Delhi metro's yellow line. My friend and his friend merit a little introduction. There are self-proclaimed social activists and a very calm group at that, unlike the blow horns you read in newspapers every day. They were standing next to a mother son duo who were comfortably seated. The boy was about 5 years old and the mother was in her mid thirties. Suddenly the boy started crying, and the mother naturally started to console him. When her son's pitch went past the critical, she hesitatingly took out a piece of candy, unwrapped it and gave it to him. The cry stopped. But what she didn't have to do, she did next. She threw the wrapper casually on the coach's floor. She had committed the most 'Indian' defining act in the most elegant manner. My friend's friend who was passively noticing the entire drama, at once wore his 'activist cap'. He did something which none would have expected. He, in the most unassuming manner without a whisper, bent down, took the wrapper and kept it in his coat pocket. The mother felt so bad that she pleaded with him to give it back so that she can dispose it off in a proper place. She must have felt slapped with sarcasm. But he stated 'ab rehne do aunty ji' (now leave it aunty). He probably felt that it was his duty now to dispose it in the dustbin. The expected station arrived and all got off. The mother may or may not have changed her future behavior, but that's beside the point. The metro coach's integrity was however saved that day by the 'activist'.

The lesson: Action indeed speaks louder than words, but it doesn't have to be extravagant. It can be as simple as you want it to be.

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