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Tale of two men

columns Updated: Jan 09, 2013 23:49 IST
Vineet Mani
Vineet Mani
Hindustan Times
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He cried in exasperation that he had no time to do things he wanted to do. There were people all around his workplace but none paid any heed. "It is a daily affair", whispered some of his colleagues.

But there was someone who listened and walked up to him and smiled, placing his hand on his shoulder. But he did not say anything and left, smilingly.

One day, the young man was going back in his car from office when he saw the same colleague waiting at the bus stop. The young man wanted to overlook but somehow asked him if he wanted a lift. The colleague nodded and got into the car. The young man started narrating his tale of woes but found his friend reading a book. He wanted to scream but instead asked him about the book. "I am pursuing my higher studies and the time I get is only when I travel," the colleague replied.

A show-off, thought the young man. There was complete silence till they reached the colleague's house. Do you mind coming in and having a cup of tea with my parents? asked the colleague. The young man agreed. The colleague met his parents amicably and kept talking to them while preparing tea. The young man also spoke a little while sipping tea. "He cooks the breakfast in the morning and helps in almost all the household chores", his old mother said softly. "We can't afford any maid as he is the lone earning member."

The young man stood to leave and saw his colleague pick up a small bag, embraced his parents and locked the house before bidding his colleague adieu. But he enquired about the bag. "I need to leave for my part-time job as the expenses of the medicines of my parents is a bit high," the colleague said smilingly and vanished away.

The young man stood speechless with many thoughts crossing his mind.