A Lesson In Humility

A major chunk of my time, five days a week, is spent at my workplace.  I am not a very social person at the workplace  and generally considered to be a tad arrogant. Alright, I have been labelled a snob. While this in no way bothers me, I would like to explain that my colleagues do not share my interests. Majority of them are nosy about my personal life which is annoying.So my  friends are all  outside the organization I work for. They are people who I can talk to about the three major passions in my life: my books, my music and my beloved animals.

I impatiently wait for Fridays and dread Mondays. Most of us do, I guess. But, its not because I hate my job. My dream job would have been to be a male rock star or a veterinary doctor. Since I am neither, my current job,  which pays me well enough, plies me with creature comforts and is considered to be a very respectable one in society, is quite okay by me. No, if I have any complaints, its about the people I work with.

Till today.

It is a Monday. I am pleasantly surprised by the gesture of a junior colleague of mine. He and his family have returned from a trip to Mussorie some time back. Hesitantly, he told me that his wife had got something for me.

‘What is it ?”, I asked. ”

 “Ma’am, its a book. I told my wife that madam loves to read”.

” How do you know that I like to read ?”

‘Ma’am, every week Flipkart, Amazon deliver books to our office for you !You carry a jute bag with books everyday.And sometimes when I walk in  to disturb you during your lunch hour with some urgent matter, you are invariably reading a book!”

I smiled and was humbled. Here was a person to whom I talk to daily, rely on, for he is very efficient, but I don’t really ‘see’ him. I hope you understand ?  To me, he was just a part of my office. I am pleasant to him always, but possibly at a superficial level. I would not have expected him to possess him any traits that  I find impressive. And I am ashamed to confess that  I was mildly dismissive of him.Yet, he took pains to find out what my likes are and tried to reach out to me.

He taught me an important life lesson today. It is part of ‘Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess” by Margot Benary -Isbert ” Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so”.

” So what book have you got  for me ?”

 ”Ma’am, not me! My wife loves reading too. But she reads Hindi books. She likes Ruskin Bond and  has read his translated books. She chose this book and requested the author ( who stays there and visits the books shop frequently) to sign a personal message for you “.

“And do you like to read to ?”

‘No Ma’am! I like to listen to music. Kishore Kumar is my favorite singer”

”Mine too! Thank you and your wife  so very much  for this gift. I will always treasure it”.

We smiled at each other.

Here is the book:

Ruskin Bond 1         Ruskin Bond

( ‘Delhi Is Not Far’ by Ruskin Bond)

The cynicism in me is currently at a very low ebb. I am in a mellow mood. So let me play you a very beautiful Steve Vai creation…”Tender Surrender”

Au revoir, guys. But can surrender be tender ? 🙂


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