The feeling of ‘not you but me’ seems to be governing today’s human character. From ticket windows to bank counters to ATMs and even religious places, it is often seen that people try every trick to be ahead of others. Skirmishes are also witnessed in the process. Nevertheless, human nature is basically honest, which is vouched by subtle behaviour at some common places. If we analyse closely the human behaviour at ‘ordinary’ places, we find the spirit of ‘not me but you’. It is not always the devil which rides and governs the mind. A caring and helpful attitude, which often gets buried under the weight of the complex mind, does come to the fore when God rides the mind. It is rightly said, ‘humility is a strange thing, the moment one feels he has it, he loses it’. The true spirit of humility desires action and karma in a way that nobody, not even one’s own self, should notice it.
It takes me instantly to the small and ordinary hand pump on the banks of a canal at Badopal village in Fatehabad. Since childhood I have witnessed the attraction of this hand pump, which untiringly supplied sweet and cold water to humanity. Right on the banks of the Bhakra distributary on NH-10, there was a rush of vehicles, private as well as public, and confluence of people of all religions and economic strata. The coolness of the shadow of old banyan and peepal trees used to compel truck drivers to make a halt there and refresh themselves for the journey ahead. The real essence of secularism could be experienced at this place, where thousands quenched their thirst.
A unique kind of satisfaction was writ on the faces of people when they gently rose after drinking water. The arrival and availability of different kinds of bottled water could not rob this ordinary hand pump of its popularity. The sight of people readily operating the lever to draw out water and let others quench their thirst first was soothing. Apart from the sweetness of the water, one could feel the warmth of human bond.
I used to experience ‘God’ in this place, where true lessons of humanity subtly and silently flowed day and night. The hands operating the lever were nothing less than God in His totality.
Sadly, the place that once was the hub of activity on the roadside has now been relegated to isolation. The four-laning of the highway has taken its toll on this place. The barricading on both sides of the road has restricted access. God appears to be shedding tears when water drips from the pipe of the hand pump. Human beings appear to be forcibly shifting God from such places to ‘better’ ones that are acquired for Him after fighting many battles, causing bloodshed and generating caste divide. Perhaps God has also succumbed to the cosmetic and ornamental love of His modern-day devotees.
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