It was late evening; in this heavy traffic I came home all tired and exhausted. As I entered the house I heard my mom shouting on the sweeper. I was wondering what had happened that my mom got so mad and started losing her temper. I made her sit next to me, gave her water and asked her to calm down. I told her it’s not necessary to be mean o people who are mean to us. There might be a reason that they are such. I told her a story of my friend who got into such a situation.
“AAAYY, move your car from there” – shouted the elderly Car-Parker as harry pulled in a public garage. In India, at any public garage, is a Car-Parker who is supposed to help you park your car in a proper spot. Every single time after you have found a perfect car parking spot, the so called Car-Parker comes and makes you move your car to a more convenient spot(in his opinion). Don’t really know why, but it always seems to happen — J
Let’s refer to that particular Car Parker as the JERK for now.
“But, this is a perfectly good parking spot” – argues Harry who is driving the car. Bijal is sitting next to him. “Don’t teach me my job and park it where I tell you “yell the JERK. He was looking to pick a fight – very obvious the man was having a bad day!
JERK was around 60, had pimples on his face, very dark in complexion; was wearing an old beat-up khakhi pant and a white shirt which had a million stains. He looked like the devil incarnation (not too far off really).
It took us about 10 minutes to park the car exactly how he wanted us to park it. Maybe it was God’s way to teach us patience…
As both of them get out of the car to finish an important business meeting in the nearby building, he gave a nasty stare.
Bijal remarks giggling –“Maybe he swallowed a loud speaker”
45 minutes later we come back to the garage. As we get in our car, Bijal sees JERK running towards us and in his not so quiet demeanor said –“That’s 5 rupees. Were you trying to leave without paying?” Back in his old days, Harry would have punched the JERK, but this is a different Harry. This Harry likes to kill with kindness.
Seeing a near by slush vendor, Harry asks the JERK – “Sir, do you like Slush (Golo)?” JERK said – “Yes, who doesn’t” Harry says –“Which one is your favorite?” JERK replied in his high pitched angry voice – “I like rose flavor.”
Harry walks to the Slush vendor 20 feet away from the car. The JERK follows him there with a curiosity. Harry orders a Rose flavored slush. As it is being made Harry asks –“What is your name?” “Kalyan Shankarlal Patel” – says the JERK with his voice becoming milder.
“So you have been working here for a while?” – inquires Harry
“Yes, I have been here for the last 5 years. After my wife died, I decided to work here so that I don’t stay lonely. I take care of the entire garage (it could only hold 7 cars). A lot of people leave without paying and they take it out from my pay, sorry to be rude son!” – Kalyan Patel responded proudly with his voice becoming more and more mild…almost normal.
“So do you have kids?” asks Harry
“Yes, I have one; I give him 40rs of the 60rs that I make everyday as I am staying in his house. I actually have two brothers who are in the California he responded. They are both doctors you know.” – said Kalyan Patel.
“What do you do with the remaining 20rs everyday?” – Harry asked
“Well son, with 10Rs I buy bird food and feed the pigeons you see over there. With the remaining 10Rs, I buy biscuits and give it to the poor” – said Kalyan Patel lovingly…
The Slush vendor asked – “Regular or special?” They put vanilla ice-cream in the special one.
Harry replied without hesitation – “Special!”
The JERK had become Mr. Special!
After initially refusing to take the Slush, Kalyan Patel took it with a smile and told Harry to come visit him again.
An invaluable lesson we get through story is Appearances can be deceptive!
Maybe we should be extra nice to people who are mean to us. Maybe they have the heart like Kalyan Patel inside them, which you might not come to know about by retaliating!
I told mom to always remember this quote of Joel Osteen – “Forgive for your own sake. We can’t live with poison inside of us and not expect it to eventually do us harm.” This story was quite convincing to her so she decided to follow it and get back on her work.