Today while waiting our turn at the eye clinic for Ayaan s new number , amongst the continuously increasing number of patients trooping in , the mundane -ness of my thoughts got interrupted suddenly ,as I saw a familiar face enter along with a little girl who seemed to be an old man and his grand daughter perhaps .I Looked closely and knew that I knew this man ,who was simply dressed in a normal shirt and brown pants , a little aged and clearly middle class in appearance. Instantly , I realised that this was none other than my building watchman , who probably had a relative working as a clerk in this fancy eye clinic and hence the chance for him to do his grand daughters check up here. I marvelled at the irony at how dignified and calm this elderly man looked ,out of his uniform ,and smiled politely as he recognised me with a frantic and earnest acknowledgement. He inched closer and sat right beside me – as that was the only free space available. I smiled reluctantly and shifted further away ,finding it a little awkward to share the same seating place as my watchman. He tried to make some respectful polite conversation about his woeful plight of a small grandchild needing spectacles. I nodded and smiled , a little stiffly now , conscious of the fact that I was ” madam ” and Must maintain protocol. I chided myself secretly at the incorrectness of my thoughts and that I must not encourage class difference , and all that but didn’t get myself to do any different. After a few minutes I was called in for a check up and the old man was already there in line ,seated before I entered. Earnestly he shifted his position , wiped the bench clean and humbly offered me a seat right next to him. Again I gently resisted , continued to stand feigning ignorance until he vehemently gestured to me a vacant place next to him , which I was trying to ignore all along. Finally, I did take seat in fear of not offending a human sentiment and pretended to smile and keep busy nevertheless but I was certainly feeling odd at this position I was in. After that I was ushered into a hall full of people ,waiting for their reports to be handed out , with no room to sit or stand ,crowded as ever and grudgingly convinced myself to accept I would be standing a long time and I didn’t notice anything unusual in a busy sea of patients ‘chatter and movement ,until the same elderly gentleman , my watchman ,stood up in the crowd of many young and old people , many well brought up young lads and many chivalrous gentlemen .he beckoned to me ,again ,and made his grand child get up as they both vacated a seat for madam and her son ! I was ashamed and almost got tears in my eyes , as I realised how devoted and faithful this poor old man was ,to thoughtfully offer me ,out of all standing there ,a place to sit. I felt privileged and humbled as I told him to remain seated but he wouldn’t hear of it. I thanked him and wished him well and moved on as my report arrived. He waved gratefully and affectionately , and yet again I was dumbstruck at these man -made laws and rules that are so self inflicted. My heart was clean and well meaning ,but I was more worried about social pressure as against a living being with sentiments and emotions. Me sitting next to him and talking to him , meant the world to him and I promised myself to never forget the value of human beings against that uselessness of false status and pride. I went home a happy girl. I had finally met a true gentleman.

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