Sunday, April 05, 2009

Golden Apartments. Man of Steel and the Ironing man.

Sometimes they all fall in place, the most discerning and the wise take the message out of it. Nay, I dare not blow my own whistle but that which I had observed and understood I share. For mortals delve on the physical realm trying find meaning and value on a limited dimension. Seldom do they take the effort to see and glean from the unseen. Forever foraging the market to find security in the bullion and the bulls and what comes of it is what sounds like bell - 'dung' - that slides down warmly, from the west side of the east facing cow.

Once upon a time in a quite residential locality lived a very kindhearted man who after retiring from the civil services got himself a sizable plot of land, planted trees and built himself as small modest house. He had three sons and they all lived in peace. Now the seeds that he had sowed and the plants that he had planted rejoiced with the harmony of this small home, their conversation and their music nourished the air and that they all began to grow at a good clip. The plants grew and flowered every day some began to grow as good trees and the birds came and dwelt in them, chirping with joy. Some even say that whenever the kind man stepped out the trees and the plants shook and clapped their hands. But then you know how good people talk about other good people.

One day a poor man with his wife with all his belongings, rolled up in a mat, holding a few vessels to carry his food and water sat under the shade of the tree. The man and the wife conversed for a while in monosyllables and they both decided to lay down and sleep. They slept and they slept as their tired limbs demanded some rest. Some naughty urchins who were passing by decided to play a cruel joke as they deftly took away the mat and all their belongings, and after accomplishing their mission they hid in a nearby bush and ran away. The ubiquitous rag picker within a few minutes rummaged through the bush picked up the mat along with all its contents and walked away.

Now when this tired man and his wife, woke up and found themselves with nothing left, wept their hearts out. It was evening, while the road stood deserted and as the stillness set in, their sobbing fell on the ears of the kindhearted man in the house. Taking pity on them, he invited this poor couple inside, gave them food and room to spend the night, good man as he was. Early the next morn when the man of the house walked his garden he found it watered, the fallen leaves had been picked and the pathways were swept clean. With much delight he saw the man and his wife, for whom he had provided shelter, sitting in a corner as a church mouse, wondering their next move that did not seem to be there.

The kindhearted took pity on the couple, employed the lady for house work and for the man he provided him with a small investment to set up a small shack and some tools. And thus was sowed the seeds of a small self employment program - Rajan puncher shop. The puncher shop was a great relief for the cycles and the cycle rickshaws that often got stranded on the rough roads with a burst Tyre or a faulty valve.

This went on for years then two important events literally rattled the business, one was the demise of the kindhearted man and other was an economic downturn. The cycle rickshaws suddenly vanished and then the cycles vanished too. The trees had grown taller and they provided a effective canopy for Rajan Tyre shop but there were simply no customers. It was at this moment that this idea of starting a 'ironing unit' came to his mind. He drew out his business plan after a quick survey of the area he repositioned his business - Rajan Ironing

The three sons of the kind man had grown to become smart young lads and two of them migrated to Australia leaving one brother behind who took up employment in a soft drink factory 20 km away. Rajan Ironing was abuzz now, his wife joined him full time and they even managed to buy themselves a small house nearby

In the year 1992, a leading real estate developer was seen making frequent trips to the house and then one day the house was brought down, most of the trees were cut but for the huge tree that provided the shade for Rajan Ironing. Within 10 months the entire project was complete and the new apartment complex called "Golden Glade" accommodated nearly 28 families and Rajan Ironing saw an upturn in business.

Now Golden Glade Residents Association (GGRA) met one Sunday morning and deliberated on a host of proposals, including upkeep of the apartments, disposal of garbage and beautification. In order to beautify the apartments they decided to have some plants along the wall. GGRA, assigned a grouchy old man, as the head of the beautification committee. Now this grouchy old man took up the task with full gusto. Rajan Ironing must be thrown out; was his single point agenda. He went about his task rather methodically and what started out as a pebble in the shoe for Rajan Ironing soon became a pain in the neck. But Rajan Ironing stood still weathering all the storms.

Now the Grouchy old man became so obsessed that he refused to even listen to his grand daughter who pleaded the case of Rajan Ironing, one day he literally pushed her off as she fell screaming to the floor.

Rajan Ironing, by now had garnered a huge sympathy wave from even some GGRA committee members and this angered the grouchy old man who one morning after a hot altercation cut off three large branches of the tree that provided the canopy for Rajan Ironing. Now this was the last straw - Rajan Ironing had no choice but to move.

The Grouchy old man, after his successful mission, went to his apartment had a hot shower, and had his lunch. The air in his apartment was heavy, even his wife refused to talk to him, his grand daughter shut herself in her room. The conqueror, as a unrepentant man of steel, lay down on his pillow to sleep and he slept as log,and then turned cold as ice. He died of a heart attack in his sleep.

The GGRA, sent out a circular to all the 27 residents informing the sudden demise of their - 'beloved' and active committee member. People sauntered in, some carried flowers and some carried a sad face. They all saw and left. And no one cried, not even his very own.

A servant carried the funeral tidings to Rajan Ironing couple.

Rajan Ironing by now had found another small place nearby. On hearing of this sad news the ironing couple rushed to the house, and they literally barged into the quite house crying. As they wept in a loud voice they said "Aiiiiyaaa, you were so angry with us this morning and you even chased us away by cutting the tree... and now you are gone" they wailed and wept.. the others had a difficult time consoling them but they cried their hearts out.

The residents of Golden Glade marveled at this and some ladies whispered to one another "Truly the Ironing Man and his wife have a heart of Gold" so saying they went back to their lodgings. They nearly saw but could not see.

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