Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

9. Salute!

Every morning it happens and every morning it gives me a cause to smile.

I am at the present workplace for more than 8 years now. Till then I was always a wanderer, so this is a kind of change time has brought into my life. In the early days, I was reaching office by bus. Then for couple of years I stayed in the campus itself. Then five years ago, I shifted to my new home. It is just a 15 minutes walking distance. I love to walk and I do walk a lot.

For various reasons, I did not purchase a too wheeler for many years. First of all, my workplace is at a walk-able distance. Secondly I travel a lot – I am a kind of NRP – Non Resident Punekar – so did not need two wheeler. Third, I do not have the courage to travel in the interior of the city – the roads and the traffic confuses me.

There are couple of security persons at the office entrance. When I used to walk, sometimes I exchanged words with them. Nothing of much consequence, just a curtsey conversation.

Because I thought I was forgetting driving skill, I decided to have a two wheeler. One fine evening I purchased a two wheeler. First day I did not notice it. For a week I overlooked it. But it kept on happening.

Those security persons, who did not pay much attention to me, unless I spoke to them, started saluting when I entered the office gate. It was a salute indicating hierarchy. I was puzzled. Then I thought it must have been a ‘mistaken identity’ – they must be thinking me to be someone else. But no, I had shared pedhas of my two wheeler with cleaning persons and security persons too. So, they knew me. Funny, they never saluted me earlier, why are they doing it now? I do not like people saluting me – because I do not deserve to be saluted.

Then I realized. It is not what you are people are concerned about; it is always what you have. Every day they do not salute me, but they do salute the two wheeler –as if it adds value to my status, my existence.

Anyway, the security persons (and the world at large) do not take notice of me – they take notice of my possessions (i.e. achievements). It is very droll. I am not valued for what I am – but what I have and whether it is useful. When my qualities are needed, I am treated like a queen; when my qualities are not needed I am treated with indifference. This is the reality in the world and we have to live with this utilitarian world.

Then I remembered the story from ‘Chaturmas’ story book. A poor sister was never invited by her brother, always treated with contempt. Suddenly by worshiping some goddess she becomes rich. The brother now invites her to lunch – she exhibits and puts all her jewelry in front of the food, and tells her brother that she is aware that ‘he is feeding the gold and not her’. If anyone of you have this original story, do give me a copy. Now I can appreciate the depth of the story,

Yes, the world remains the same though times change!! That brings a smile to me. Every day.

I salute the world for what it is!


  1. its true, salute to u r chair.

    bye the way, NRP is great idea,

  2. Next time - let your two wheeler respond to their salute. After all, it is the two wheeler, which is being saluted.. Try it once and have the fun..!

  3. Very true. Even I thought of 'Chaturmas Katha' when I started reading your article. The world bows not to a person, but to his/her possessions. There is a saying in Sanskrit ‘सर्वे गुणाः काञ्चनमाश्रयन्ते’ which literally translates to 'All virtues take refuge in wealth'... Nice article.


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