Long after I am gone from Express, I will remember Peter for his politeness and the gentle manner in which he would ask me not to side-lock the two-wheeler. He shall also be remembered for one specific incident. The incident taught me a lesson on happiness.
Peter is a security guard at the building which houses the city office of Express. His thin frame and soft nature makes one doubt whether he can do the job. But, he has apparently been doing it with aplomb.
Few weeks ago, I learnt that Peter had been recognised by his security agency. He was feted for his performance at work. I heard the news from Peter himself.
I was leaving office after the day’s work, one of the last to do so as usual. I bid good night to Peter, who was on night duty. Before I could start the vehicle though, Peter called out my name. He walked up by my side. “Sir, do you have time?” I told that I did. After all, the only things I do after 11 PM is to eat and sleep. The two things could certainly be delayed.
“I was awarded by the company recently. It seems the people-in-charge took notice of my conduct and professionalism. I was one among the several guards to be honoured.” I instantly greeted Peter and told him “Romba santhosham anna!” We spoke for a while and it was during that brief exchange, Peter stated, “I thought I’ll share the news with you sir, nothing else. Apologies if I made you wait.”
He need not have been sorry and I told him so. I know the pursuit of happiness is very often individualistic and thereby, the fruits are devoured by the self. That approach, however, must change.
Peter shared his happiness with me and in the process, inspired me to do the same in future. What is happiness if it cannot be shared with others? Champagne bottles need not be popped. Indeed, there is no cost attached to the act.
However, there are benefits. It can create a feel good atmosphere. It drives away evil thought. It lifts the spirits of the other and possibly inspire him/her to do good and greater things. The world needs a lot of happiness, but not everyone is lucky. We all have bad days and moments. Yet, if I could so much bring a smile on another face, momentarily driving away emptiness, the effort is worth it.
I slept that night without thinking about Peter’s award, but my thoughts are still occupied by what he had said, “I thought I’ll share the news with you.”