An auto rickshaw driver shares with me how that day a woman gave four rupees less than what was shown on the meter and just walked away. Possibly because she didn’t have change or may be because she thought an effort to look for mere four rupees in the wallet is not worth and the rickshaw driver should also not mind. The driver doesn’t know why and he doesn’t really care of those lost four rupees. What he strongly disliked was the lack of compassion in that woman to even ask him to consider those four rupees. And he continued narrating stories being disappointed in people for being inconsiderate of others money while fighting for small pennies when it’s their own.
I went for coffee another day with my roommate in a dhaba close to my hostel when I was staying in JNU. Since this was the closest eating joint to the hostel and we preferred lemon tea we used to always insist the bhaiya there to start serving lemon tea. That day, as we were again there for coffee, she took the lead asking bhaiya to start serving lemon tea. Continued to that, she expresses how she would pay him higher for lemon tea, just to incentivise him to serve. My roommate was from economics. With that one statement I felt my relationship of care and comfort with that bhaiya was translated into a mere game of higher moneys. I don’t know if he felt guilty, I did.
In the same food joint, I see this young kid who assists the person in serving food. I once saw him keenly staring at a group of my colleagues chatting and munching some food. I don’t know what he was thinking, but it was uncomfortable. Another young guy, in the laundry shop, right next to this shop always greets me with a warm smile. On my recent visit there, he expressed the same comforting smile to me as I reached to him, only that this time a few minutes back I just overheard his elder brother screaming on him over some money issues. This time, his smile harassed all forms of enjoyment and happy moments out of me.
I cannot find a reasonable definition of pain and pleasure. It seems impossible. It is possibly what we focus that becomes out driver to emotions.
I am not sure of what is the reason of sharing these incidences but what I am even less sure of is of where our society is leading us to. I have no solutions, my imaginations fail me to think of a generation ahead which can feel with rigour of pain and pleasure of all and not just your family, not just your friends, not just who you personally share your relationship with, but with all, each and everyone sharing this planet with you. I hope for a world where people could reflect over circumstances and situations of everyone, to place in people’s shoe and realise the construct of a personality, it is not born, it’s nurtured with each situation, each decision one makes. Many are in a situation where they have limited choice in decisions, there are others who decide for themselves. We might want to know the difference between the two. The first shall be respected, the second should be sensitised to ask them to make decisions closer to humanity, human well-being.