Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

When helping others doesn't help me

Quite a few days back I was driving down the NH7 to my office. It was late and I was accelerating as much as the busy traffic would allow. Just as I was going to cross the red signal of Kudlu gate, the orange light flashed bright screeching my tires to a sudden hault. Turned off the engine and pulled down the back of seat to relax to the tune of a beautiful bollywood song in radio one 94.3 FM. Don't ask me the song... as I don't remember it and that is not important to this narration ;-)

It was then a shabbily dressed man with many soap bubble-guns loaded on his shoulder caught my eyes. He appeared sad, drenched in his own sweat and approached every car and bike to sell those guns desperately. He came near my windshield and pleaded in the same way, demonstrating a few shots into the air that spread soap bubbles all over. I took pity in him and thought, "Atleast he is not begging... and working hard to make a living under the hot sun on dirty roads." I bought one. Rs. 70 with a mild bargain... good enough! After that I had forgotten about this, until...

I sat with a cup of tea the next day morning with my eyes still heavy from the night's sleep and struggling to find out any meaningful news from the ad-filled newspaper, when I suddenly remembered about that man selling those guns. I hastened up my morning ablutions and quickly opened the gun-cover, only to discover, to my dismay that the seal had already been broken! Soon I found that the soap solution was missing from the container. I have been done in... one more time!!!" I sighed.

That man must have broken the seal, punctured the bubble tube and used up the soap solution to display his demonstrations on the road. I was angry. I tried to work up bubbles with ordinary soap solutions but it wouldn't come so nicely. My 15 month old son was ecstatic nonetheless, with the occasional bubbles that I sent up. He ran after the floating bubbles. His happiness provided some relief, and I thought, "it was after all not a total waste!" Being optimistic helps in bad situations.

How many times in your life, you have tried to help somebody only to have been let down in the whole process? How many times someone has spotted a young talent in the slums, funded his education and then ended up broken hearted and let down with the not so desirable final outcome? The problem arises when the outcome becomes all the more opposite, painful and repulsive. When the recipient of the kindness takes his benefactor's help for granted and demands for more of it without any guilt, feeling of gratitude and indebtedness.

It is then that the heart of kindness is shattered and one asks, "Why did I get into all this mess?"

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