This was some years ago. It was the downturn time, and I had just stopped at the office security. Jhaji, was the most respectful of the security guards at work. Often he would smile at employees who had to suffer the ripping open of their bags to check for something that is forbidden to bring into the workplace, guns or knives for instance. Of course, he did not expect to find anything, and gently zipped up the bags. Many times I have noticed the wry look of the employees, almost to say, “Hey, you have seen me so very many times. Do you seriously think I have something to conceal? Or, do I look like a terrorist?”
Some have even shouted at him for delaying their getting to work. He would always be respectful and apologize for the inconvenience caused. The smile never abated. I could learn a thing or two from him. What a man! He made quite an impression on his colleagues and so, many of those around would mimic his pleasant service. I felt sorry for him many times and wondered what it meant for him to work this way each day, every day.
One day, he had asked to meet me. I had always wanted to give him something, a small gift for him – a pen. I was sure he would like it. He knocked on the door, and a disarming smile met me. He was hesitant. Said, “I have a favor to ask of you. I have a daughter who has done her BE in Computer Science, and would you be kind enough to refer her for a job, to another MNC (that was close by).”
It was time for me to be surprised. I looked at the impressive resume, and asked him why I could not consider her for our own company, and he said, “Not while I am working here, sir. I don’t want the girl to be embarrassed.”
I promised help and was determined to do my best. He walked away quickly. And I forgot to give him the gift. I was lost in thought – behind this person there is life beyond security checks and smiles – an aspiration for a better tomorrow. What gift could I give him? He had given me the greatest gift, of a purpose to life, regardless of your circumstances.
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