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Monday, 12 January 2009

It takes all kinds to make this world…

Last night I received a call from my cousin across the seas, asking me to help his friend who has recently moved to Mumbai and is completely lost and confused. He was worried that she might go into depression if she did not find something worthwhile to do. I called her this morning and asked her what would she like to do? “Social work” she said “I just need to kill time.” “What kind of social work would you like to do? What are your interests? I asked her. She was not sure what she wanted “I want to do something like what you do. I like children, find me something where I can help children” she said. I asked her if she would be interested in teaching to slum children in Byculla, I thought she could help my friend in Byculla who runs activities classes for slum children during late afternoons. She said she didn’t want to go too far “No, I don’t want to go too far, can you find me something close by, in Bandra or Khar” she said. So I asked her to go to Carter road, early mornings, and there are free classes conducted for street children there. She said she cannot get up so early in the mornings because she has late nights and cannot sleep before 5a.m She wanted to do social work at her own timings and at her own conveniences.” Fine” I said “so what do you want to do?” “I am very lonely and I need somebody to stay with me, a paying guest will also do. Can you find for me a paying guest?” she said. Now she was asking me to get a paying guest for her. “How many rooms do you have?” I asked “I have only one room but I can share it with them. I don’t mind sharing my room with them. That way I will have company” she said Hello! Paying guest need space, they rent a room to keep their luggage and rest their feet. They are not there to keep company. I wanted to tell her about the pains of sharing your space with strangers. In one room it will be even more difficult, what if they want fan at a higher uncomfortable speed? What if they snore? What if they want to put off the light when you prefer to read? Too many sacrifices are needed if you accommodate people and charge them rent. They want full value for money. They are not there to fade away your loneliness. “I will see if I can find a paying guest for you” I said and wanted to end the conversation “No but I need something to do,” she continued “I need to talk to you, can I come over and spend some time with you? She said Now, since last fifteen days I am having guest, where is the time to listen to her? I told her that I was busy with my guests and she could come when I am free. She wanted to know when I will be free….My own work is pending, there was too much back log already and how do I answer her. I told her to come next week. “Is there some club or social gathering where I can find some friends?” She asked I told her about laughter club where people meet early in the morning at 630 am. I was not sure if she would be interested because it would mean getting up early in the morning at 6am. “Oh! There is a laughter club in Bandra?” She said “Yes, but it is in the morning so I m not sure you will be able to attend it since you sleep late.” I said “I think, I can try to get up early in the morning if you can take me there.” She said I told her that I cannot go but I gave her my friend’s name and contact and asked her to meet her (since she was a regular and friendly) at the laughter club and that she would introduce her to the group. I informed her the benefits of the laughter club that she would meet many people, who are jolly and maybe find some solutions for her loneliness, and they go for regular picnics, do social work and meet everyday to laugh and to exercise. The prospects of joining this club are good enough for her and she was quite pleased. I am feeling good to be able to find some solution for her and prevent her from going into depression…I hope she finds some comfort and joy and my overseas cousin might be happy too.

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