This eve, I visited the regular fruit shop. Unlike other days, I was not in hurry and thought of spending easy time there. The staff I usually deal with, was busy doing his stuff and was frequently putting eyes on his mobile screen at the same time.
I asked what he’s watching.
He simply replied that he’s watching the video of a police officer who offers free foods to the needy people and even gives them money.
I knowingly raised the interest and asked him, “Ye video kaha ka hai, and aap k paas kaha se aaya?”
That was the moment he left what he was doing and came closer to me holding the mobile. He played the video from the beginning to show me the story running on the screen.
A young looking police officer gets out of a bus, enters a hut near the roadside, hands over some eatables to a couple of aging people, hugs them. He even takes out his wallet from the pocket, and forwards some notes to them.
The people turn emotional towards the kind gesture of the man.
The fruit staff was giving me the narration while we watched the video. Saying he received the video in one of his WhatsApp groups, he assumed that the video must be of Nepal or somewhere. He said this bcoz the faces in the video looked Mongolian with slanted eyes. I guessed it can be of somewhere in Tibet or Manipur/Assam.
“Duniya mein aise log bhi hai, kuch…” He said.
“Haan bhaiya, duniya itni bhi buri nahi hai…” I added.
While we spent a couple of minutes together, I sensed we already made a bond. I could see that I-am-heard joys in his face and we further talked about each other. I showed some curiosity about the fruit store’s security and he narrated some tales to me.
I believed, I became ‘the customer’ not ‘a customer’ for this particular day bcoz he made me feel like that.
While all this happened, a young guy (who I guessed, was son or something like this, of the owner/manager of the shop) asked about me. They both helped me pack the stuff I had, they offered me a bigger carry bag so that I can keep everything in one to make my walk easier. That was the day I purchased a little more fruits than I usually do bcoz I wanted some additional joys in his face.
One good thing leads to another. It was not the story of the policeman (in this era of social media journalism, chances are there that the video is hoax or whatever the reality is…). It was the moment an ordinary fruit shop staff got to feel the importance of being heard.
I received some smiles at the end of one gloomy day.
(The write up was originally published on Facebook in July 2018)