Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Don Quixote in me!

I went to Apollo for a routine medical check up today. When I was standing in the cash counter an old lady approached me with a request that she has Rs.100 short to buy some medicines for herself and will appreciate help. I looked at her face and recognized it was the same lady who approached me in May end when my mother was operated in Apollo. I asked her " Didn't you approach me with the same request 2 months ago?" She said " Maybe". I was very annoyed that I was cheated. So I caught hold of her and asked the security to bring to the Administration Manager who was my friend. In the room we started the enquiry. She was very stoic. On persistent questioning she said "Why are we making a fuss for nothing?" Then she came with a story that 2 years before when she fell ill her son took her here and gave some money for buying medicine. When she found she had some shortage of money she asked someone casually and got it immediately. She found it better as it was easy money from richer people. So she comes once a week to get some money and she really buys medicines for this. We still did not believe the story. So we asked her the phone no of her son. She was very reluctant to give it. We persisted. Finally she gave the number and we called. The other side was surprised at this and said he runs a old age home where his mother is assisting him. He said he did not know about this habit of her mother. He wanted to come immediately to meet her as he said she is not of the type who will beg money. My friend said " Let us stop here" but the Don Quixote in me refused to budge. I said let us find what is the truth. So I again mentioned the opinion her son has about her and why she is doing this. She gave me a stern look and asked " Boy, are you from Government Intelligence trying to crack a terrorist link. Why do you want to know why I want this money? My son also need not know about this." I made a snide remark at this reply" Ok..let that be. Anyway I never knew an old lady can have secrets that cannot be shared with even son". She broke down at these words which should have struck her ego. " If you really want to know here it is-just near our old age home lives an old man who suffers from Diabetes, Arthiritis and BP. His kids are not living with him and he does not want to leave his home to stay in the Old age home as the society will blame his children. So he projects an image that he lives on his own with his own pension money. He lost some money when the chit funds/finance companies cheated investors. After that his money has shrunk. One day I heard him telling the pharmacy guy about his inability to buy tablets as the prices were rising. The pharmacy guy showed a box where tablets are dropped by donors and he asked to pickup if his tablets were there. He opened the box and found some tablets though not all. He started to come to open the box every 3rd day with a hope he can find his tablets. I decided to help him. So I checked with the pharmacy on the names of tablets. I started to get the tablets and put in the box. I do this every week. I don't want to tell my son as he is a process person-he will tell ask the old man to join our Home and we will take care. Only an old person will know the emotions of old people. So my boy it is not a lie I say I want to buy tablets. But it is not for me...if you want to punish me for this please do". The old lady towered me like a Windmill roaring and fell down like a real Don Quixote. I fell at her feet and apologized. As his son came I visited their old age home and pledged to donate every month as a simple remedy for my sins of the day.
The belief in India is when a snake gets old it spits the precious stone for giving light as its eyes become weaker. Other young snakes make fun of the old snake as it is handicapped. But the old snake smiles to itself as it knows when the venom bag is full we have the arrogance to even fight the Mongoose. Today Mongoose respects the age and decides not to attack but our own young ones make fun of the age. This is evolution of generations. I hope I can drop my venom bag quicker than several others as the power of human will is melting me faster!

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Gothenburg, Sweden
Still finding introspecting to find who am I? Waiting for a Guru!