"When a movie amuses you, its an entertainer; when a movie makes you think, its an experience"
A few months back, I don't remember the date, I don't remember the day; the only thing I remembered was I "paid" an amount equivalent to hardly one-tenth of my monthly salary to a charitable organization (Till yesterday, it was a payment for me, not a donation). Don't count me for a messaih because I had not done it out of charity, not out of a clear conviction that indeed I am doing an extremely small part towards a better life for someone; It was an accident( a pleasant one I would call it now).
That sunday fine morning when I was busy having some fun time with friends, I heard a knock at the door. One of my friends had gone out to fetch breakfast, expecting him I opened the door only to find a strange but smiling face. He was a student working as a part time volunteer for an organisation called CARE INDIA which worked for the upliftment of the downtrodden. He was explaining their various programmes and we were bored to hell. We just wanted to get rid of him somehow, a weekend never seemed to be a good time for charity. Initially we thought we would dispose him with some hundred bucks, but it seemed the programme was to provide health care for some HIV infected kids in Andhra Pradesh and so the initial amount was really high. I was not moved at all since these stories were always on the air and people run all melodrama for snatching money in the name of some or the other cause. We put forth some probing questions and when he started promptly answering them, we told him we were short of money now and if he comes after two-three days, may be we would consider paying for the cause. We had performed more than enough so that he realizes we were disgusted with his very presence, forget what his purpose was.
Against all my expectations, he came three days later in the evening, he had to wait for an hour or so since I was late from the office. Now there was no running away, my ego was pestering me a bit too. Being a Class-A gazetted officer, I felt I had to put a Gentleman's attire and with a set of mixed feelings, a little of embarrassment, ego, maybe a tint of sadness, a botheration of failure and somewhere a tiny feeling of doing something good(That was really tiny), I paid the money. He gave me a receipt and informed me the organisation would be mailing me some letter for tax benefit and also the details about the child who would be benefited by the amount I had given. I was not even listening to him, I was of the mood "you got the money, now get lost". As he moved off, I thought, there goes my hard earned money (Slightly disputable point may be ). Later I received some letters from them, some thankyou notes; I didn't bother to read, those letters just decorated my dustbin.
Months later, I got a call from the same guy mentioning about the
well being of the child they had managed to bring back to life with
the meager amount I had paid. He asked me if I was interested in
helping them out one more time, I asked him to email me the details and I
will go through. My apathy should have been so visible that I got no email. Unfortunately, I was happy, this time I was not going to
leak out money.
Yesterday, I went for a movie with my friends,
A Malayalam feature film named "Ustad Hotel". An
entertainer with a mix of emotions, melodrama, humour and whatever
that makes a movie a pleasing one. The movie caught my senses spellbound
when the plot lead the protagonist to a south Indian city Madurai
where he met a philanthropist who serves food to the destitutes of
the city and how the protagonist was moved by all these. The way it
was portrayed was fantastic
and I was moved by those beautiful frames. Not that I carry a history
of wet eyes watching emotional melodramas, but this one had its
impact on me. Even while I was travelling back to my residence, some
thoughts kept haunting me.
Once I reached back my room, I
logged into web and found that there was indeed a real person by the
name Narayanan Krishnan who left a meritorious job and a hefty pay
check and came out to serve the poor. Uneasiness began to wrap me up. I have
a good job and a healthy environment to live, but I never thought
about others. Its not that somebody forced me to quit my job and dash
into social service, but I could do something even though that might
be small. I felt it was quite unbecoming a human being from my part
to have thought about my payment for CAREINDIA as some wasteful
expense. Immediately, I logged into their website and did what I
rightly should. This time it was more of a satisfaction, may be I was
in a mood of remorse. I went to bed then and could sleep peacefully.
The next day I had posted the
same in my facebook account. Some people liked it which I didn't want
people to do because having a facebook like never changes anything.
But people did so maybe they just wanted to let me know they liked my
gesture. There was a friend who had a valid point. He said if you do
a good deed, why publicise. I would like to tell him, I posted
thousand photographs of Mother Theresa with children in her arms,
brave stories of kids saving lives and everyone “like”d them. I
enjoyed all likes. I forgot them, we forgot them. It was after all,
a post with a picture. When my friend posted a status saying he
didn't pay a bribe and instead paid a fine for a traffic violation, I
didn't go for the like button, it was beyond a button. But I felt I should do what he has done in such a scenario. I
don't intend a showoff nor a boast of what I have done, But it did
require a mention because I wanted myself to realise, Life is not
all about Spain winning Euro cup, Its not about some funny wallpapers
and messages we post, its much more BIGGER and BETTER than that. Its
not that we are insensitive, not we are all self centered and money
centric, But what we always need to be on the right track is a little
push. Atleast, I needed one :).