My Window to Happiness
Someone once said, most men take more out of life than they give to it. A few give more to life than they take out of it. The world runs because of such men.
I had booked the tickets to go to Bangalore long back and was eagerly waiting for the day to arrive…Getting ready for yet another trip, worth a thousand miles, and was packing very seriously when all of a sudden the day and the time to go; did arrive much faster than expected. Time was so fast.
I was having a meeting in Bangalore with my client company and they felt I was the right guy for the job, so the V.P of Planning wanted to meet me in person. I felt special when I saw the mail from him; well not often do you see someone calling you because they feel you’re just right for it…. In today’s world it’s not even easy to hear the word thank you from most people, some think, the word Thank You by itself might cost a lot…!!! Well ya it sure does, but not in pennies, but in gratitude.
When I booked, I specially asked for a window seat, coz I loved sitting by the window and watching outside, while the train whistles through the terrain…When I got to the station I looked out for my coach and walked quite a distance before I got there, and when I did, I looked for my seat 64W and I saw an old man happily sleeping on the very same seat, I looked with awe at the way he was sleeping in my seat…. My basic instinct wanted to wake him up and shoo him off to his seat, Well but sometimes you need to wait and listen to your heart rather than what your mind wants to say… I did…!!!
I just sat next to him for the rest of the journey and for all the 6hrs I was next to him I enjoyed seeing the window from far, but felt happy that the poor man was having a good deep sleep of his lifetime…. Bangalore finally arrived; the lovely climate and the chill breeze gave me a great welcome relief from the heat and sweat of bustling Chennai… I was so amazed that a 6hr journey has made so much difference in the weather, no wonder they call it Incredible India…!!
When I was getting ready to get down, the old man, woke up and asked me if Bangalore had arrived, I said yes and asked him if he had a good sleep, he smiled and said yes and told me that this was the first time in his life nobody has woken him up from his seat for an entire journey. Well after hearing this, I felt glad I didn’t wake him up for the window I badly needed..!! I just thought, may be while I return back, I am sure going to get a good window…. :)
My dad always used to keep me filled with lovely quotes and thoughts, and one was this “When you do something really good for someone, don’t expect them to return it right away, because they can’t or sometimes wont, but the goodness you have done today, will someday come back to you in some form, may be not in your lifetime, but it will come back to your children or your children's children…” When I fall in an accident or when I wait in the hot sun, and when a total stranger lends me a hand to get up, or gives me a cup of water, I think of the quote my dad had said… It’s true… Absolutely true indeed.
I have picked up random people from the roads and given lifts to hundreds of people, and there has always been a joy to hear them say thanks from the bottom of their hearts, coz they don’t know you and you don’t know them, but for a few minutes they respect your nobleness, and that cause is contagious, because I’ve learnt that just like the conservation of energy, the energy let out from love, generosity and smile can never die, it just transforms itself from one form to another, and it passes from one being to another….
One day I waited in the hot sun for a bus from Jallahalli to K.R Puram which was like two poles of the earth, and none of the buses were willing to come in empty. The breeze was killing hot. I happened to ask a man who passed by about when the next bus would arrive, and he in return asked me where I wanted to go. After a small conversation he told me that he works for Indian Oil and that his van would come in 10mins and that I could join him along for the journey to K.R Puram…. On hearing this I was so happy. They say, ask the value of shade to a man who has been waiting in the sun for hours for a seat in a bus, I knew how hard it was to take wait in the sun, stand in the bus and take the journey for 2 and half hours…. After 10mins, I saw a company bus before us, it was all air conditioned and looked like heaven in my eyes. The man asked me to get in and when I felt the chill air inside I knew how true it was, what my dad had said. All good you’ve done; it all comes back to you…
I certainly had a great trip in Bangalore, the people, the culture and everything twined to it has made it one of the most memorable cities in my life. I also had a chance to meet Rekha, (you would recognize her, if you’d have read my previous blog), She is doing great, I have asked her to give a thought about getting married, but she insists she has no draw towards it, I’ve asked the foundations sisters to take turns in telling her to decide her future before it too late. And from my side, am praying so that she get’s the courage to forget her past, and get the strength to accept what’s coming for her…
My trip was over and it was time to leave Bangalore for Chennai… I packed my bags, told farewell to my aunt, uncle and cousins, who were literally in tears coz they just can’t get a better brother than me…!!! My uncle dropped me in the station and told me “It’s been wonderful to have had you for a week, hoping to see you soon before you get married “…. I smiled and said oh ya, Bangalore is my second home, and I will come for sure. I reached the platform and waited for the train to arrive and sharp 2:30 I heard the loud honking…I stepped into the train with a mind full of desperation and I looked out for my seat and was so happy when I saw the window seat empty, I guess that feeling what I call “The Just for me” feeling… he he :)
I sat there for half an hour looking at the winding tracks and feeling happy inside that I finally made it for a window, and in the next station an old man and his son got into the train and sat beside me. The son who was around 50yrs old kept on staring at my face but looked very double minded, I understood that he wanted to ask me something and in an instant he did…. He asked “My dad here is old and has a weak neck, will it be possible for you to switch over and give him the window seat instead?” for a minute I thought he’d never ask!!! At that time my brain was so diffident, it just wasn’t ready to accept any differences and I told him straight away on his face, “Look, I want this seat and I’m sorry”
The poor guy felt my reply very harsh and told his 80yr old dad to adjust with the seat they ve got. Half an hour passed by and I was sitting by the window watching the speeding train pass by green fields and plush meadows and for a second I looked at the old man who was sitting next to me, he was trying very hard to sleep and his son was holding his neck and helping him to make things a little comfortable for the old man. I had a very heavy feeling which slowly sank into my heart, sometimes; we humans mostly think from our brains, our brains are cunning, selfish and very calculative. In life we need our brains with outmost importance, but there are times when I stop to think from my heart about what is right and what is wrong, the answer to the “have I really done something wrong?” can only come right from our hearts and not from our brains. Simply speaking, our brain is on top of us, it controls our every move, where as our heart controls what’s beyond us, it’s our inner eye. People with eyes often don’t tend to realize the beauty of love that revolves around us. The Author of the book Go Kiss the World – Subroto Bagchi once said “Our vision is not always a function of our capability to see, it is out willingness to open up our inner eye; our heart, to the limitless universe that lights up the path to our existence.”
I got up and asked the old man to have the window seat and enjoy his sleep, I moved and sat by the aisle and was reading a book about evolution of the human kind; when the train stopped by a station and a very sweet looking young lady stepped in and sat next on the seat right opposite to me, she wore a bright colored salwar and was listening to the music from her iPod. I couldn't stop looking at her just once, so I looked at her for a second time and observed her stature and she looked at me back and didn’t seem to care much about my gaze nor my presence. After sometime I found out that she wanted to really have a word with me about the book I was reading, because for every page I moved, she titled her head from left to right, trying to figure out all the lines as fast as possible, before I turned on to the next page.
I was 2hrs into the journey and there was 4 more hrs to go, the train was now crossing into the state of Andhra Pradesh and after 10mins it stopped by a station by the border and two ladies got into our coach, now it was a Muslim mother and daughter. The old mother was nearly 90yrs old and the daughter looked 50, they both stood by the door and awaited the ticket conductor's presence, and finally when the conductor came, they asked for 2 seats, but he firmly told them that the coach was full and that there was no extra seat by any cost.
For that minute, I lost interest on the pretty girl next to me and turned towards the commotion what was happening by the door. The poor lady begged him by all means for a seat but the helpless conductor denied any assistance and moved on to another coach. In the middle of this commotion I looked around myself. The old man sleeping happily, the son giving me a smiling look every time we met our eyes, the pretty girl trying to read my pages and the helpless old woman who couldn’t get a seat. I knew that there was only one last thing I could do; out of what was given to me. "My Seat" !!!
For the second time, I got up from my seat and walked towards the door and lent my hand to the old lady, she looked at me with a startle, and slowly reached out her hands to me, I slowly lead her to my seat and asked her to sit down comfortably. The smile she gifted me then from her stretched face was immense and glorifying, my heart was so filled and blessed, I was so happy deep inside, I left her to sit there and I took her place by the door and stood there quietly reading the book while the sweet breeze flushed in as the train sped across the valleys. After sometime the air became so chill and it started raining, the whole weather turned so amazing to feel. I didn't want to miss that moment, I closed the book and spread out my hands by the door and felt the rain splashing through my hands, it was such a lovely moment. I remembered the days when I and my little sister ran out to the terrace and played in the chill rain. I miss those days...!!
While it was raining I was thinking inside about the little things which had unfolded in this journey, I smiled at how I booked the tickets spending a thousand rupees and wanting a window seat and here I am standing by the door, given up of all luxury but yet getting the most special feeling of what life has devised for me and enjoying the most angelic smell in the world, the smell of the first rain falling on land... They call it the "The Best Smell of Nature"....
After 4 wondrous hours of standing by the door and 3 full chapters, Chennai was finally in sight, I went in and brought down my bags and waited for the train to halt by the station, and while I was in the queue to get down, the old man and his son passed me and said thank you and the old man said something in Hindi and blessed me, I wished I could understand, but I couldn't. And then before I can reflect on that, the old Muslim mother and her daughter passed me and the daughter looked at me and smiled and thanked me, and the old mother kept her palm on my head, blessed me and smiled once again. I can never forget the smile she gave for me. After both of them got down, I looked at the window seat one last time, turned back and I kept my feet on the ground smiling and knowing that I’m getting down from this train with my mind closed and my heart open.
It's true :
“Most men take more out of life than they give to it. A few give more to life than they take out of it. The world runs because of such men.”
- One day; I wish to be a part of such men…!