Salesmen and my brother's word
that come with a joint family,
bringing up children and countryside life
weighed upon me since childhood.
I never missed the much-needed siesta Sunday afternoon.
The doorbell rang,
I opened it.
A young man with a bag and a forced smile
on his tired face started rattling away.
"Sir, I'm a representative of a reputed company.
Our products are the latest.
It has not entered the open market yet.
I'll show, they are cheap, you'll surely like it..."
He spoke breathlessly.
Disturbed from my cherished nap, I was irritated.
I signalled him to stop.
"Now will you just stop talking and listen to what I have to say?"
"I am not going to buy anything from you.
Please excuse me, let me close the door." I said.
My college going brother Vinayak,
came out of his room.
"Dada, go and rest, I'll handle this," he offered.
He opened the door wide.
The handsome man in his twenties
was well dressed top to toe.
The only thing that marred his executive look
was the overloaded shoulder bag.
While he spoke he shifted it from shoulder to shoulder.
Beads of perspiration threatened to fall off his forehead and face.
with a pleasant smile,
invited him to come in and sit down.
Placing the heavy bag on the floor,
he took out a clean handkerchief
and wiped the sweat off his face and hands.
He was given a glass of water that he drank gratefully.
The salesman opened his bag and showed his products.
Just to oblige him,
Vinayak bought an item paying with his pocket money.
"It is cool in here,"
he said while packing his bag.
He stood up.
"Very nice of you, thanks,"
he said while they shook hands.
In the scorching heat of the summer sun
that young man went his way,
to knock at yet another door,
which may or may not open for him.
Vinayak, as a rule,
is a quiet person but
that night at dinner he surprised all of us.
"Dada, several educated men and women,
without wasting their time have started trying
their hands at new ventures.
Gone are the days when we looked only beyond borders for jobs.
Today's youth is struggling for survival.
In our search for identity and independence
we are compelled to shed off outdated norms.
We have awakened to realise that
there is dignity in labour.
Self-respect means, learning to stand on our own feet."
we were silently listening.
"Dada, please don't view youngsters with scorn and suspicion.
Don't brush aside our sincere efforts
as immature experiments.
Never misunderstand us.
Give us encouragement and inspiration.
We won't burden parents.
Let not our attire and attitude put you off.
We are part of you.
We want to be useful, prove ourselves and
win your appreciation.
Please don't allow that evil thing called
'Generation gap' hurl us away from you,"
Years have flown.
When I open the door for salesmen,
my brother's words echo in my ears.
I am very polite with them.
Sriram Savarkar ©