Mr. A is my insignificant neighbor. Insignificant why? Simply because kinds of him do not have much to contribute to the historicity of human existence. He is a quiet and self effacing member of the society who chooses to lead a typically middle-class life torn between desires and destiny. His florid countenance is always awash with a shy smile. I have never heard him raise his voice. He is neither into unconventional trends nor controversy. His speech is soft and eyes downcast (especially while addressing ladies). A little hesitant with a tendency to escape when it comes to formidable situations. In short, Mr. A is a thorough gentleman.

Now that brings me to an unpleasant discourse on gentlemanliness. Who is a gentleman? They are a minority who live life in constant dread because neither do they have the muscle power nor unaccounted monetary resources to snatch away from others what they think is their right. That’s an anomaly, isn’t it? Going by the books, honesty should have a stronger voice and say in society. Success and prosperity should chase them relentlessly. But is it so? My boss was an honest person but could never assert himself like the way the rogues in the office could. As a result, he kept to himself and advised us likewise – a paragon of forgiveness – which I am really undecided to categorize as a virtue. Needless to say, his career never took off the way it should have.

You may ask from where have I lifted this unique definition of a gentleman. No, this is not written in any tome or scripture. Sadly, it is the realistic caricature of the species – a dying one at that. Society by itself has gifted us with certain yardsticks, however inherently contradictory, these may be. In order to be civilized you forgo your right to survive because survival calls for bloody battles the civilized is not accustomed to win. Mind it, here I am not talking about fighting it out. I am talking about proving one’s mettle which in itself is debatable. Victory does not fall straight into the lap of the one who follows the righteous path. Rather one has to *prove* that one is worthy of a win by hook or by crook. That is why, in this rowdy race, the gentleman, the epitome of a civilized being, fast heads towards extinction.

Coming back to Mr. A , I consider him an exception of sorts. Not because of his inbred qualities but because he sails through life with an ease which is enviable. The other day we met in the Diwali Dhamaka Bazaar. After exchange of a few pleasantries he gently reminded me of a few documents which he had given me to get attested on an urgent basis. I had done the needful but returning him the same had just slipped off my memory. I apologized to which he shook his head vehemently and replied, “Didi, I am in no hurry. You can give me back those papers whenever you get time” I knew how important and immediate his requirement was yet those five words “I am in no hurry” shook me up to the core the way it always does.

These are the five words which Mr. A is habituated of reiterating to whosoever it may be not because it figures as his favourite speech but because he genuinely believes in it. Sometimes I wonder whether it is his docility which is his undoing. He has had his rough patches. Life is never a bed of roses. Not for him at least. I can make that out from the way he vies with adversities off and on in the hope of a better day. Sometimes, I wonder whether he has compromised with life for good. At others, his unhurried approach gives an inkling of a larger acceptance , a greater tenacity, a worthier forbearance which I am not and will never be capable of.

In today’s space-rocketing life, Mr. A has found his own orbit irrespective of how many days and nights it takes to complete a circle. Mr. A rests like a freezing glacier in the midst of a turbulent typhoon.

My love-hate relationship with life shall never allow me to think or live life as Mr. A does however inspired it may feel to be. Yet it never stops me to ponder how Mr. A must feel when a posh Jaguar zips past his exhausted Alto 800 on road. Well, I am sure, he’ll sedately change gear and mutter, “I am in no hurry, sir. You first.”

🙂

🙂



This post is based on an article written in my Bangla Blog the link to which is given below for those who wish to read the original

https://vanderloost.blogspot.com/2013/10/blog-post.html

About gc1963

A working woman with interests in reading, writing, music, poetry and fine arts.

9 responses »

  1. aparna12 says:

    Very interesting observation of human behavior. I am impressed with Mr. A. Love reading your blogs. ♥️♥️♥️🌹🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the beauties of retirement is that “I am in no hurry”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have developed this approach during the past 3-4 years (gradually, on a day-by-day basis). I have to work for a pretty long time further in my life (for several years to come) but at least for now, this approach has settled in my psyche and behaviour and become a part of my personality.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gc1963 says:

    I think you will find peace with an unhurried pace in life. Good luck 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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