I am 20 years old, about to turn 21 in a few months. My life till now has been Preschool, School and College, of which I am currently in the last year. I have always thought about my student life in terms of my parents, my teachers and my friends. This is all that came to my mind when I started thinking about progressing to the next stage of my life i.e. getting a JOB. Placements are going on in college right now and I have been preparing for them since the last two months.
On the day before my first interview I was preparing a checklist of all the things required and I realised that I needed a display folder for my CV and rushed to Pyramid Stationery with Mumma. Everybody, who has ever lived in Vasant Kunj, has been to Pyramid because it’s the oldest stationery shop here. So I walked in at 7 in the evening and said hello to Uncle and told him what I needed, he just smiled and asked Chotu (his helper) to get the folder. While he was looking for the folder, I was perusing the various colourful shelves around me and that’s when my gaze fell on the counter. I noticed that Mumma was talking to Uncle and they were both looking at me and smiling gently so I asked them why and the reply threw me off completely.
Uncle said, “Beta, I remember when you first came to my shop to buy things for your 1st Grade and I’m so grateful to God that you have grown up so beautifully. It still amazes me to see all my kids graduating from school, moving to college and then getting jobs. It just makes me very happy and sad at the same time…”
This got me thinking of all the people who have helped me immensely during various stages of my student life and have always been there no matter what. These people are usually the ones we fail to appreciate and forget their value as soon as we move on into the real world. The Uncle at the stationery shop, the Tailor Uncle who stitched our very first uniforms, the Dhobi Uncle who visited every Sunday and Wednesday so that we always had a fresh and crisp uniform to wear, the Maid Aunty who kept our rooms clean for us, the Guard Uncle who wished us ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Welcome Back’ everyday. Have we really thought about them and been grateful for their existence in our lives?
I was sitting and doing an assignment for college on my laptop one day and Hazra Aunty, the maid at my house, was doing her daily chores. She was dusting the house and when she came to the spot where I was sitting, she gently asked me to lift the laptop and I got really annoyed because I was trying to concentrate but did it anyway. She proceeded with her work and I noticed that she was trying to be very quiet for my sake. This made me smile and I got up and asked her if she wanted a glass of water as I was going to get some for myself as well, she said she’d love some but she’ll get it for me and herself so I can continue working and then went to the kitchen without a moment of hesitation to get it.
A lot of people don’t have the privileges that we have and that should make us even more grateful for all that we have but we’re mostly ignorant. I really respect people who take out time from their busy lives everyday just to give back to these people for all that they provide for us. The people who tutor their maid’s kids, the people who make tea and meals for their guards or take them to the doctor whenever they feel even a little ill, the people who help out the daughters and sons of their dhobi with their college applications, and so many other wonderful ways in which they help out those who help us. I wish that one day I’m one of these amazing human beings, able to give back whatever I have got.
In this fast paced world, we sometimes need to slow down and appreciate the people around us however small their role.
Thank you for reading!