Teacher of gratitude

A middle-aged lady visits our home for washing purposes. Not only is she impeccably honest, the lady is also very humble and ever smiling. We came to know that she has turned grandmother of a baby girl through her daughter’s side. Thus she was in a rare holiday of two weeks. When she returned to the job, my wife handed her a tiny piece of garment for the baby. It arrived as an absolute surprise for her. Never did she imagine that my wife would gift her a cloth item! She just stood frozen in wonderment with her eyes wailing up in delight! Struck by emotion, she could hardly mumble just three words and was continuously repeating it — “For my daughter, for my daughter (meaning granddaughter)….”! Also I know of an instance when a street child, wrapped in rags, waited for hours outside the chamber of a high profile Doctor just to offer him thanks for getting cured through his medicines! Rabindranath Tagore came up with a song wondering at the scene of his wife and her friend freely speaking their minds while conversing with each other and thereby envied if he could also open himself up with such liberty! In the same vein I also wonder why I cannot express my gratitude with such whole-heartedness to those whom I am indebted to!
Is it because I have plenty, so fail to fathom the worth of selfless gift or warmth of helping hand? While those who lag way-down in the social ladder promptly succeed in appreciating any touch of warmth probably because very very rarely do this oppressed deprived neglected lot receive any gesture bordering humanity? Whatever it is, there lies no doubt to the fact that these “uneducated” downtrodden serve this society as teachers of gratitude and indebtedness.
KAJAL CHATTERJEE
Kolkata, India

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