It’s only words..
Do words make a difference in real life?
These tons of letters and sounds we pile up on each other ..
let out in the universe..
do they cause change?
The question arose in the midst of tears this morning.. in the line to pay the electricity bill
which i had forgotten.. and was threatened with the prospect of a fanless dark night
in front of me was a guy.. an elderly guy whom I would call Dadaji..
tall..6 feet ..fair..a white turban and a dhoti..walking with a cane
black glasses making his eyes invisible..
bent due to age.. must be about 80..
the standing in line for 2 minutes was causing him pain..
the bill guy wanted to send dadaji back..
as government employees are wont to..
because he was a couple of days early before the deadline (that was a new one for me)
Dadaji tells the bill guy that he has waited since 7.30 in the morning
and its very hard for him to make the trip..
bill guy asks him to send a kid the next time
dadaji’s quivering voice becomes sadder..
if I had someone to help, would I be here?
the bill guy takes pity and accepts his money
and then dadaji in impeccable english and giving us a hint of the man he was in the past says
‘In the future I will make sure to come on time..badi meherbani’
and he repeated the phrase .. ‘in the future’
as if he was reminding himself ..
a minute later I saw him waiting for a cab
and of course he hailed the one I was in, rushing to work …
and I couldn’t decide between letting him take the cab and being late to work..
in that moment of indecision, getting late to my A/c office to my plush job seemed the priority
and I lost the chance to make the tiny difference
and of course then I cried more.. mostly with anger..
and now am sitting in the same cooled office with coffee in hand
spewing words which wont make any difference..instead of working..
it’s a day to hate myself..