You know what the world doesn’t need? Good people. I know, I know. I am being cynical but I have reason to be so.
I don’t know if I shared this before, but S is a really good person who can be very selfless, forgiving and always trying to be helpful. Although I would like to help others, I think before acting. I am not this selfless or easily forgiving person. S is one of the few people I know who doesn’t even talk bad about others, not even unintentionally. I don’t know how can he be in such a Zen state, but he is without even making an effort. And man, does he have patience or what?! He can put up with pretty much anything. In short, he is everything that I am not.
That said, I don’t think this world is a good place for people like him. Time and again through our married life, I have had to point him to the negatives of certain people or situations or the implications of helping others. Most of the times it is about money and sometimes it is about people using him for their benefits. And every single time it ends up with both of us in a lot of heart burn. While he forgives and lets go, I keep these things locked up and end up eventually hating this person. Over the years, we both have learnt a lot from each other. Now he does think a bit about jumping in to help someone else and I have learnt to forgive people, with some effort. But that doesn’t stop us from landing into issues.
So, we were looking for new tenants to our house in Chennai. S had talked to the block watchman and handed him the keys to show the house to potential tenants. As it happens, we get a call from a guy who was very pleased with the house. He was okay with all our terms and was all set to sign the agreement. S wanted to hold off the signing until we met this guy and his family in person. This guy called S every day, discussing on his moving plans etc. Two days before we were supposed to meet this guy, he requested for house keys as he wanted to do some cleanup. S checked with me and my immediate reaction was NO. S being S told me to chill and that it should be ok. Guess what, couple of days later this guy called in to say that he had to travel on an emergency. For the next one month, he would not pick up our calls nor return them. Soon, he blocked S’s number too.
We knew no details about this guy and he had a set of keys to our house. We had no option but to change all the locks. That’s when we got the call from our neighbors – that someone stayed overnight in the house. All this made me super queasy. We had to tackle this situation. Few of our friends suggested going to the police. What is the use? We travelled to Chennai the following weekend.
Before things got really ugly, this guy showed up at the house. Guess what he thought, that he could do a double cross. He pretends to be the actually tenant while playing a broker, trying to find another tenant for higher rent and deposit. As he was trying to show the house to others, he was caught. We later learnt that the watchman played along with him right from the beginning. We didn’t have to change our locks but for a month and half, it was such a stress. Anyone who heard this story asked, how could S give away the keys without signing the agreement. Well, he did. He was just being good. Not ideal in a situation like this, but he trusted this guy and the watchman (who has shameless taken money from S everytime he visits).
S and I were discussing about this very incident and how this world is not a place to be good, we had to stop at a toll booth on the way to Bangalore. The toll was 45 rupees and S handed the guy at the counter a 100 rupee note. I saw it with both my eyes as he had the cash ready in his hand while waiting for our turn. This guy at the toll both hands us the receipt along with a 5 rupee coin and thanks us to leave. S asked him for the remaining change. Immediately, this guy pretended that S handed him a 50 rupee note. S got confused for a minute and checked with me if he was right. I clearly told the toll guy that we handed him a 100 and that he better give us our change back. This toll guy had the nerve to tell us that he had only one 50 rupee note and that we gave him that. So, I asked if he doesn’t have any 100 rupee notes at all. S asked him to show his cash box and prove his point. He coolly tells that he has many 100 rupee notes but we didn’t give him any. Since he has only one 50 rupee note – that is what we gave him it seems. What is this logic? Both S and I were not ready to move an inch until we got our change. Soon the vehicles behind us were honking. So this guy had no option but to give off our change and had to hear some choicest of words from S. I don’t like using/hearing swear words, but that day I didn’t stop S. We are good people not dumb people.
This is not the end. We learn our lessons every single day. Does it make S any more skeptical towards people? No. Does it make him think twice before helping another person? No. Because that is how he is. Everytime I see him/us suffer, does it make me cringe? Yes. Everytime I see/hear someone thank him wholeheartedly, does it make me proud? Yes, immensely happy and proud. I can’t be like S, so it is not fair to expect him to be like me. And life goes on.