It’s a small world

It’s a small world

7 mins

I come from a middle-class family, and I could understand my father’s financial status even though he never shared anything about it with me. Whenever I would ask him for anything, he would somehow or the other arrange it for me. He never said no to me, although he would sometimes have to cut down his own expenses and get me what I needed.

When I was in the tenth standard, my friends took tuitions for various subjects to help prepare for the board exams. I also planned to take tuition for mathematics, as I felt this would help me in getting higher marks in the subject.

I went to one of my friends and asked him about a good mathematics tutor, and he told me about the tutor to whom he was going. He told me that the rates of tuitions were high, but we could form a batch and get the fee divided. I went to my friend Vikas’s house, as he was also looking for a tutor. He was the son of a big industrialist and could therefore afford to hire a good tutor, which made me feel sure that he wouldn’t say no. I waited in Vikas’s drawing room, which was decorated with various antiques. I waited for Vikas for almost fifteen minutes, and then his servant came and guided me to his room. Vikas was talking over the phone with someone. I heard their conversation and came to know that they were talking about some tutor. After the phone conversation I told Vikas about the tutor I had found and about forming a batch of four or five people.

Vikas smiled at me and told me that he was interested in taking tuitions, but he was not interested in studying in a batch, as the tutor would not be able to give him personalised attention. I told Vikas about how the fee could be divided if we formed a batch, and he replied that money was not a criterion for him. Suddenly, his father came into the room and asked me if it was my bicycle which was parked outside the house. I replied yes, and he told me that I shouldn’t park my bicycle outside their house, as it spoiled the beauty of their house. Needless to say, I felt bad and came back home.

The very next day I went to my other friend Sushil and asked him about the tuitions. His mother heard our conversation and told me that I should not come to their house for such matters and disturb Sushil. She was very harsh with her words. She also told me that I shouldn’t look for costly tutors if I couldn’t afford them. I knew that Sushil was from a very well-off family that owned a big showroom in the centre of the city. I left their house and on my way back kept thinking about what I should do next. The only option left now was to talk to my father and take his help.

When my father came back from the office in the evening, I told him about the two instances. He comforted me and told me that I could take the tuition classes alone. I always knew that my father would never say no, but I did not want to put any extra burden on him. I approached the tuition teacher and fixed the timing for the tuition with him at our house.

Days passed, and we got the schedule for our final exams. Outside the examination hall I saw Vikas sitting in his car and doing last-minute revision. I also saw Sushil waiting outside the examination centre with his mother. I was well prepared for my exams and did well in all of them. Finally, the fact that I had passed with flying colours showed how I had performed.

Few years later, after I had completed my engineering and jointed a big multinational company, I saw Vikas parking his car in the company’s parking. I went to meet him, but he had gone away. I went back to my seat and wondered why Vikas had come there and after a while got busy with my routine. A few hours later I went to the production floor, and an operator asked me if I knew Vikas. He told me that Vikas had come the company to buy scrap, and he was told to talk to me. Vikas had left a message that he would talk to me the next day.

The next day Vikas came to the office and met me. I asked Vikas about his family business and how was he doing. Vikas told me that they had lost their business and that now he had become a scrap dealer. He also told me that they had moved to a different location. He asked me if I could help in getting him scrap from the company. I was reminded of what his father had said to me. I didn’t say anything to Vikas about what had happened, neither did I remind him of anything of the past, but I helped him get the scrap contract. I don’t know why I helped him, but the one reason for it was that it satisfied my ego, as I felt that he would realise that I too was at a good position now. He came to our office a number of times after that but never met me again. Probably he had realised that whatever his father had said in the past was absolutely inappropriate. He might have also realised that this is a small world and that we should never hurt anybody’s self-respect

Years passed by and Vikas stopped coming to our company because of some payment-related issues, and I moved to another company at a higher and much more responsible position. The new role was challenging and I was performing well. A year later I was standing at the gate of the company and I saw someone with a folder entering the office. I immediately recognised him – he was Sushil. I walked to him and asked him why he had come here. He told me that he had come for an interview and that he was supposed to meet a manager by the name of Raghav. I knew Raghav because Raghav worked under me.

Sushil didn’t ask me about my job at the company, and later I came to know that he had been appointed. After two days Raghav came with him to introduce him to me. He was surprised to know that he would be working under me. I sat with Sushil and asked him how his father was doing; he told me that they no longer had the showroom, as they had lost it in a court case.

Time passed by, and I was promoted to the next level. Sushil often approached me whenever he needed help, and I always helped him out. I could very well make out from Sushil’s behaviour that he felt guilty of what he and his mother had said to me, but he still carried the same ego, which would show up when he was alone       with me.

These two instances made me realise that our wealth, pride, status in society may not always remain with us. One has to remember that it is important to have a good head on one’s shoulders and respect the feeling of others. We may be at the top of the world one day, but it doesn’t take long for times to change. Words can make or break a person. We may forget what someone has done for us, but we will never forget what he has said to us. I realise this as I know that I shall never forget what Vikas’s and Sushil’s parents had said to me. Life doesn’t stop at one place, and it’s a small world. We never know who we may end up meeting again – and it may very well be someone whom we may have hurt or caused pain in the past.


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