The latest is that Nitin and I went to Mahabaleshawar on Saturday last week.
You can check out some pictures here: http://picasaweb.google.com/Divya.Upadhyay/MahabaleshwarTrip?authkey=l3aHEao-gNs
Let me tell you about an interesting incident from our trip. It’s about this interesting boy we met inside a temple in Mahabaleshwar. Before I start, let me tell you about an episode of FRIENDS that I was watching on Friday last week. Joey and Phoebe were fighting over this –> Selfless good deeds.
Joey said that no good deed is selfless. There’s some selfish motive involved in every good deed. Phoebe said there are examples of good deeds that were done selflessly. Both had an argument, and Joey challenges Phoebe to find out at least one example of a selfless good deed.
Now back to our trip. Here’s what happened:
I took off my shoes outside the temple and was about to enter inside when a boy aged between 13-14 years motioned me to the tap for washing hands. I acknowledged with a smile and washed my hands. I asked Nitin (who was almost inside the temple) also to wash his hands, and waited for him. The boy accompanied us inside the temple and started showing us around. He could not speak so he was motioning us to places and used signals to tell us what we are supposed to do. We found the boy quite interesting and followed him.
The boy, very efficiently, led us through the temple. At some place, we were supposed to pray and make some offerings. Nitin was holding the camera and wondered where he should put it. The boy realized Nitin’s confusion and took the camera from his hands. He gave us a look that assured us about the safety of our camera in his hands.
After we completed the prayers, the boy led us outside the temple, and asked us to stand besides a wall. He wanted to take a picture of us. We told him that we’d do it ourselves but he was adamant on taking pictures of us. He even told us how to pose and clicked several pictures of us (At the back of my mind, I was thinking that he might run away with our camera). I was amazed at the way he handled the camera; he behaved no less than a pro! He then showed us the pictures and tried to tell us that he’d taken good pictures. We agreed.
Nitin wanted to pay the boy (all guides take money so we assumed that he too would). But, this boy ran away from us, and then waved goodbye to us, and signaled that he didn’t want any money for whatever he did. Nitin tried to chase the boy and give him something, but he vanished!
We were amazed and pleased. We wondered who he was and why he did not take any money. I felt ashamed because of the thought was earlier sitting at the back of my mind.
On the way to the next temple, we found him again. We smiled and let him lead us again. He again took the camera from Nitin and signaled us to go around the temple and come back. I was reluctant (the thought that he might run away with my camera was back in my mind). Nitin and I started looking around. I frequently turned back to see where the boy was, if he’s still sitting at the same spot, if he still has the camera with him, etc. The boy was happily shooting us and himself. He clicked a couple of more pictures of us (again good ones), and led us out.
Nitin again tried to pay him but he refused again. Nitin also offered him lunch with us, but he refused, and ran away, signaling that he didn’t want anything. I again felt bad about the thought of him running away with the camera.
The same things repeated in the next temple, and we were quite impressed with this boy. We kept wondering why he didn’t demand anything, and why he’s helping us out.
On our way back to the car, he kept walking behind us, besides us, and ahead of us. We kept looking, smiling, and wondering at him. Nitin went to look for the driver and I sat inside a small restaurant, thinking about the boy. I thought about that episode of FRIENDS and felt happy that I found a "selfless good deed".
Nitin came back and told me that Joey was right. No selfless good deeds exist. He said that he too thought that we found one. But then, we did not. The boy took 40 bucks from him when he was looking for the driver.
I felt bad, not about the fact that he took money from us, but about the fact that what we thought was a selfless good deed wasn’t actually selfless.
It feels good when you find a selfless good deed. It’s okay if you don’t. But, it feels the bad when you think that you found one and it doesn’t actually turn out to be one.
But then, life’s like that, and people are like that! I still feel that there are people who are engaged in SELFLESS GOOD DEEDS.