I do not know from where the blessings come. But they do keep coming. I do not push my way into anything, whether it is life in general or getting into a bus in particular. I am always inside the life so I need not rush or push myself into it. Those people who believe they are outside of it feel the necessity to elbow others out just to get in. When I am inside a bus with full of people, with no space to even stand, the moment I open my book and start reading space comes around me. People adjust their bodies to give me enough room and light to read. Some even offer seat that I politely refuse. There was a time, when I was less confident about myself I used to fight with people for leg room inside a thickly packed bus. Today, anywhere I go space is created for me. Or is that I do not go to a place where I do not find a space for myself? I am not talking about place, but space. One needs space to feel oneself.
The other day I was in a heavily packed train compartment on my way to home from Trivandrum. When I entered the jam packed compartment there was not an inch of space. But people seemed to be cool about it and most of them were at their own mobile phones punching and sliding fingers on the illuminated screens. This could be one reason for that none of them get irritated as a new one makes an entry. Fights used to erupt in a pre-smart phone era when new people came to the jam packed compartments. To make matters worse there used to be no working fans in those rickety compartments. These days there are fans even if three fans in a coupe are not just enough for those thirty sweating bodies under them. But people do not mind if a few people push themselves into it. I too was one yesterday squeezing myself into the compartment. I moved forward, without forcing myself and lo I saw the change. People gave me way. I did not look at anybody I kept moving like a snake and I found myself not so comfortably standing between two long benches facing each other, filled with people. They moved their feet and made space for me to stand. To my surprise an old person got up from the iron berth and asked me whether I wanted to climb up and sit. I politely declined that invitation. The other person who too was occupying the other berth did the same. I declined that too. I opened my book and read till I reached the station where I was supposed to get down.
I do not carry my simplicity, piety, compassion, love for the world and anything like that on my sleeves. Sometimes, when I watch myself at the glass windows of the showrooms I see my reflection quite ordinary and at times arrogant. I could be passed off for an ordinary man and believe that I am an ordinary man. However, people make me very special at times. One day I went to buy a pair of jeans in a textile shop. On the fourth floor where the men’s wears were displayed, a salesgirl accompanied me throughout and helped me in getting the right pair. I told myself that I should not have felt something special. Salesgirls are deputed there to make each customer special. But even after I made the payment, walked out into the streets people were giving me space and I was too special to be there. I wanted to run away from that place. You may think that I am joking or feeling unnecessarily self important. I can get into a place like a breeze and get out of there just like that. None will notice me. But I believe they feel me just like they feel a breeze.
As I said before, I never tell people that I am compassionate. I listen to people when they tell me their stories. That does not mean that I am compassionate. They may be feeling that I am compassionate; that is their problem. I look happy and I want to look happy because I believe that I am a happy being and every human being should look and feel happy. And every human being has got the right to be happy as his constitution is the constitution of happiness. People make themselves unhappy because they feel that happiness is a crime. Our religions have taught us to be sad. When you are sad the God comes to help you. If god does not come directly, his middlemen come. That is the way the religious business thrives. They scare you of punishment if you really feel happy. They connect it with some kind of sin. So you should feel sad and removing the sadness comes with a price tag. You pay and get your momentary happiness. That’s how people feel happiness. The more their sorrows the more they feel their happiness. Even a little bit of happiness makes them so happy when they are nose deep in sorrow. But I am a happy being and it is infectious I feel. When I walk into the classroom, students get with an exclamatory noise and clap. It embarrasses me. They are so happy to see me there. My students curse the peon when he rings the bell. Have you seen students like that who just do not want to leave a teacher? My students are like that. I teach them and let them to learn than to be taught.
I was climbing down the stairs. I did not know when the train would leave the platform. But I saw a girl struggling with a huge suitcase. She could not even balance her feet as the weight of the box was rendering her absolutely anchorless. While climbing down, I went to her picked up the suitcase and came down and kept it at the foot of the stairs and walked off. She came running behind me and said thank you. I did not turn my head though I said, do not mention. I walked off. You may ask if it was an old man or an old woman would I have done the same thing. I would have done the same thing in the given context. I did not see an old woman or an old man climbing down with a heavy suitcase. It happened to be a young girl. I did not register her figure or face because I was seeing her legs wobbling. I picked up the suitcase while she was still hauling it. She might have been really surprised. It was an instinctual thing to do. I did not think too many things. Nor did I try to justify or critically view my act. I did that the way my reflexes allowed me to, and walked off. This was an act which demanded no reward or recognition. Even if the girl had not said a thank you, I would not have felt bad because hauling that suitcase was not an act of compassion. It was purely a reflex and an instinct. I have done it before; pushing carts, helping someone to lift a heavy load, taking somebody’s luggage and so on.
May be blessings come from nowhere exactly the way blessings are given out from nowhere. I came out of a railway station. A friend came and picked me up in his car. He took me around and showed me things. He took me to the venue where he and myself were participating in a program. He booked us into a hotel room. He took me for a drink and dinner. We slept on the same cot at the either edges. We got up on the next morning and he treated me with breakfast. He took me somewhere to a large museum where he was doing a great project. Then he took me back to the station and fed me with lunch. He saw me off and left for his home. The moment he left I realized that for the last two days he has been taking care of me. He never allowed me to pay for anything nor did he make me feel inadequate. Just before he left I sang a couplet; ‘the one who protects and the one who punishes would forgive us if something has gone wrong’. He knew what I meant. He shook hands with me and left. Did I ask for that hospitality? I had never asked for it. They say there is no free lunch. But everything cannot be based on no-free-lunch theory and barter. There could be some deeds that are meant to be that, that alone, nothing more nothing less. The moment we define it we lose the quality of that deed. Blessings shower on me from places and people whom I have not seen in my life and the ones I know as well. But they are blessings; the invisible gifts that trace their way to us for the deeds that we have done unknowingly sometime, somewhere.