Walk That Extra Mile

 


The Joy of a Compliment

 

It was a Monday morning, just another day in the city of Mumbai. Traveling by the quintessential local train, the lifeline of this magical city is an experience by itself. Every local train is uniquely known by its arrival time at the particular station. I was on the semi-crowded 7:50 fast local.


This was a ‘fast’ train, one with scheduled stops. As it halted at Bandra, amongst the few passengers who boarded was a smart gentleman dressed in a formal suit. Since I was standing near the door with a back support, I was very close to where he stood and his shirt caught my attention. I loved the shirt at first sight.

 

It was very unusual of me to notice clothes, and I was pretty happy to acknowledge this awareness.

A few minutes passed by, and quite unexpectedly I had this thought of complimenting the man for his shirt. Almost immediately, something in me revolted against this thought. Since I never did notice the way people dressed, I hardly ever complimented anybody on them, and to compliment a stranger! It felt strange to do something I had never ever done before.

Over this, the YES!+ volunteer in me and my mind battled it out hard. While the volunteer in me kept advocating that I wouldn’t lose anything if I complimented him, and if at all, there was an absolute possibility of making his day and doing my bit in making the world a better place simply by spreading a smile. Yet on the other hand, my mind just kept stamping its foot like a small kid saying, “No, No, No! Its not what you do, what's the need, just mind your own business!”

 

Jostling with the chaos in my mind I soon realized the train had reached Dadar and I saw the man nearing the door to alight. "Twenty seconds to go," I thought!

 

Another wave of thoughts made their presence felt in the already stormy sea raging in my mind. "If you don't compliment him because of the dilemma in your mind now, you will regret a lot after he goes. Come on Jainil. Where again will you get the opportunity to make this man smile? Will it ever come again? Why are you thinking so much about such a small thing, your Guru does this, (spreading love and smiles) 24/7, what are you hesitating for?

Eventually the Mind gave up, saying, "Yaar tu toh senti ho gaya!" (man, you've become emotional now)


And I shunned all the chattering within and pulled my earphones out, (a typical sight in every first class compartment of the local trains is that of everybody plugged in with earphones attached to their smart phones, Ipods, Ipads and PSP's), and tapped the man on his shoulder, waiting for him to unplug his pull his earphones.

 

- And I simply said "Nice shirt!" With a real big smile.

 

It was totally worth it. A huge grin manifested on his face and it remained for as long as I could see him on the platform before the train proceeded ahead.

Wait, that's not the end...

 

It was worth more for what happened next!

 

Five minutes later I caught myself with a big smile which I realized had existed right from the time I had complimented ‘the stranger,' and it was then, that I truly realized how the joys of small moments like these, makes life worth living.

I wonder if the compliment had made his day or not, but it had certainly made mine!

 

Jainil Khandelwal

 

*Picture Courtesy: Google


 

 

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AARAMBH 2012
 
 
 

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