Earlier this week I was listening to a talk by David foster Wallace.
There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”
It was a chill-out evening with my colleagues. Srinath cab driver had just dropped me outside the restaurant “Inside Brew.” In comes a call from my daughter. She was in pain. She had got hurt earlier in the day and she had run out of gauze and medicine to change the dressing in her wound. I was told to get the medicines before I reach home. It was already 9 PM and I asked Srinath to get those medicines. This was a logical and timely way to make sure that I got the medicines before the shops closed.
I came out by 10.30 PM. I had kept my phone on silent mode and I noticed that there were several missed calls from him. He was anxiously waiting for me and asked me where I had got hurt. I explained that it was not for me and it was for my daughter. Then he went on to explain how he went about getting the medicine. As soon as he got my call, thinking that I am in pain, he left the car and went to a nearby friend, got his motorcycle and rushed to get the medicines. I recollected, he had called me to get the names correct. He zipped back and was waiting for my call. In that darkness inside the car I saw my own dark side. I realized that I should have mentioned that it was for my daughter. Just because I did not feel it was important for conveying this information, I caused so much distress to him for some time.
Water to fish is ubiquitous. The immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about. So let us keep an open view to see those hard things and talk about it.
The other day , I was standing in our balcony. Facing our flat on the 9th floor I saw a small child climbing the balcony rails. My blood pressure started rising and I immediately told my wife to shout from the other window and balcony if you can attract someone in the other buildings. Being afternoon there was no response. I ran to the bottom of the building and I informed our security. When I told the security guard he dropped everything and came running with me. While we were in the lift he mentioned that I am sure it is flat 805 and I know that they have a very young child. Wow! I was very touched that he knew the details to that level. We came out of the lift door and dashed into the room and we asked, “Where is your daughter?” I still remember the expression on the father’s face. We noticed that my wife’s effort to attract did pay off and the child by hearing all the noise had stepped down and I was relieved. Looking at the gravity of that situation I felt that I and Iriyan were more concerned than those folks at home as they did not notice that incident. At that moment, it made me realise that we take security people for granted.
Srinath and Iriyan like good Samaritans had let go of everything at that point of time and ran towards the cause. I felt bad about the fact that I did not notice them before. As a small token of my appreciation I decided to gift them caps for their wonderful job and captured that moment . In normal day to day life we forget how they support us. In my view, we should take a moment to thank people around us who serve us.
Every day I am sure there are many such incidents. In our daily grind, we forget to notice those. As a small token of appreciation, “Catch them doing” and share your kind words, caps or take a selfie and share it with the world. As they say, “when you share kindness it multiplies.”