Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I have been working (or atleast getting away by looking busy) for around 8 months now, and have come to know many people, primarily the superiors in my firm, who are successful, who have so-to-speak, made it in life. Almost all of them of them belong to the usual meritocratic class - strong academic performances - IIT/IIM, fighter spirit and the ambition to go ahead. I work hard to learn from them, emulate them, and when I see signs within myself that I am slowly becoming like them, I feel great. All such signs, except one.

During my stay here, there have been several instances where I have seen them being rude, abusive and (at the least) condescending to people who are in a lower economic strata than they are. This includes taxi chauffeurs, waiters, liftmen, peons and the like. I find it terribly disgusting when I see them shouting at them, knowing the other can't get back at you. Seeing them thus, I have told myself several times that I would never stoop to such a level, would always try to look at things from the other point of view, and would maintain my dignity, and believed that I would be able to do this. Until yesterday.

I happened to be at the Old Delhi railway station yesterday afternoon, and it was raining heavily. I had left the car on the main road, and when my business at the station was done and I had to leave, I asked the car to come in and get me. Either my instructions were not clear enough, or the traffic was very heavy; in any case neither my driver or me were able to locate each other. So being the impatient man that I am, I came out into the rain and started looking for it outside the station. As I was getting drenched (I haven't seen it rain so heavily in Delhi in recent memory), I started shouting at the driver on the phone. The mental image of him safely ensconced in the car, while it poured, was flashing through my head and I launched into a long tirade, all the while getting more worked up (and wet!). After about 10 minutes of this, he finally located me and I got in.

Then it occurred to me; I was behaving exactly like I had seen one of my superiors behave with his driver. And I had hated him for it. I felt really bad. I apologised to the driver and completed the rest of the journey in quiet introspection.

As I have grown, I have always prided myself upon the fact that I could relate to most people, had my feet firmly on the ground and didn't discriminate on artificial ground. But this incident shook me. Was I acquiring the good with the bad, would I really become arrogant and vain? And that scared me. The fact that I was conscious of this made me hope that this was a one-off, a momentary lapse in the heat of the moment and nothing concrete. However, the verdict is still out on this.

As I got out of the car, I apologised again. I went upstairs to my room, put on "Snow" by RHCP, and tried to forget about it.


The Eternal Misfit said...

"Without realizing, you often become the kind of man you hate the most..."

~The Eternal Misfit~

Atish said...

at least u apologised.. u have still some way to go before u become one of them .. so rejoice :)

Wanderer said...

[misfit] realizing then, is the key

[atish] yeah, guess so!