Companion of 18 years
Eighteen years ago, which does not seem to be longer than eighteen months, I got married to a girl selected by my parents. After a few months of marriage I realized that my wife is not inclined towards various prayers, fasting days, donations to priests, temples and other religious rituals.
She was not disrespecting to any of these things/acts/places but she was not in to it. Her disinterest did not raise any eyebrows in my house, as the family members were liberal and democratic by nature.
Later on, eyebrows did were raised but for different and pleasant reasons. The reason was my wife’s nature of extending impromptu help to any person. Sensing anybody in trouble her mind starts working frantically to arrive at a solution or help. And it does not matter an iota that the person in trouble is not known to us.
I first experienced about her helping nature after a few months of the marriage. We went to see off my parents at Delhi railway station. They settled in their compartment and we were standing on the platform, doing the usual see off talk. An old lady, sitting in the same compartment, near window was cleaning her specs with her sari. A sudden movement of train resulted in loss of balance for the old lady and her specs fell down out of the window and below the train. The train had started and the specs could be retrieved only after the departure of train. No relative of that old lady was there at that moment, so retrieving the specs after the departure was not making sense. Train was catching up the speed. Suddenly my wife started running along the train asking that lady to give her phone number. The old lady could not understand but my father understood what my wife was saying. He immediately took the name and Delhi phone number of the old lady, scribbled it on the back page of a newly bought magazine, tore it and threw it out of the window. My wife took that paper and we waited for the train to depart completely. After the departure I got down on the rail treks and took possession of the specs, which fortunately were not broken. Later on we called the relatives of old lady over phone and soon her son came to our house and collected his mother’s specs.
I was bowled over by her immense desire to help and the great presence of mind.
In later years I witnessed many such acts like taking out a tiny stray pup from the gutter, least bothering about, spoiling the hands. Once she decided to remove all the plastic litter from Aarey Milk Colony in Mumbai. Yes, it is true, with the help of two hired hands and myself, she set on a mission to make the Aarey Milk Colony litter free and we 4 people in 6 hours cleaned 250 KG of plastic litter from that paradise in Mumbai.
A recent act amazed me once again, even after being witness to so many acts of hers. She found one of the watchmen of our housing society very weak and pale. She inquired and the watchman told her about his fever and medicines he is taking. She asked him about his diet and soon realized that the diet which the watchman was taking was at all not nutritious. She asked some more questions and was sad to note that his financial position did not allow him a better diet.
She made a plan, discussed with me and implemented. She decided to provide one glass of milk and two glucose biscuits to all the 16 watchman everyday at 8.00 AM. 16 steel glasses were bought the same day and from next day the process started. She gets up early in the morning, fetches 5 liters of milk and at 8.00 AM 16 people are served some nutritious diet. She confessed to me that a bigger satisfaction for her from this program is generating faith among the under privileged about the helping nature of mankind.
With her by my side, every day, a saying crosses my mind which says ‘Hands that help are far greater than lips that pray’.
Once I asked her about her disinterest in worshipping in temples and she replied, ‘Human beings are created by god and god is created by human beings, it is better to worship the creation of god rather than creation of human beings’.
This is how my companion of 18 years is.