“Good Evening Madam!”
The voice jerked me out of my reverie & I realised it was the Lift Man.I responded back with a nod & a Good Morning. “Aap kahan pe kaam karti hai?”, he asked again. Now I started to feel irritated. Why can’t he just do his job instead of asking unnecessary questions which are none of his business anyway? With a hint of annoyance I answered back “Vodafone” and averted my glance so that our eyes would not meet.Thank fully, the lift went down just then & I was saved from further inquisitve questions from the man.
While driving homewards, however, my annoyance started to turn into guilt as I felt I was unnecessarily curt to a person whose only fault was to try to bring in some conversation into his otherwise monotonous job. But there was more to it than that. His fault lay in the fact that he was just a lowly lift man. His fault lay in the fact that he was trying to make his presence felt. His fault was that he was a human being stuck in a job that required zombies.
How many such nameless, faceless people are continuously, soundlessly working so that our lives may be easier? Door men…Watchmen…Garbage pickers…Parking lot attendants….Cleaning ladies….House Keeping staff…and their eficiency lies in their carrying out their job without people like me registering their presence….after all, how many times have I actually looked the Doorman in the eye & acknowledged him when he says “Thank you ma’am”?
“Good Morning Madam !” . It was the same Lift man again, but a new day and a fresh perspective. I looked him in the eye, smiled & said : “Good Morning”