Friday, March 30, 2007

Rightfully yours...

I feel like writing something, but i don't know what to write on.

Well, there are a lot of things on could write on. One of the old ideas that has been stashed away in my ideas folder is this thing about rights. I thought i should write about that sometime. You know this whole thing of me having my right...

Let me tell you a story. I was travelling home one day. And this time i had booked myself in the a/c compartment. For those of you who know Indian Railways, there is the a/c and the non a/c. And the non a/c is divided into two categories again - the reserved and the unreserved. Well, this classification holds good only for day trains (which means that you start in the day and finish the journey in the same day. It is not an overnight train).

I had decided to treat myself this time, so i was travelling in the a/c compartment. But the seat assigned to me had a problem. When you push it back, it would push back. Like a good citizen i complained and demanded my right. I wanted this thing fixed or i wanted a seat that was good. The response i got was that i would get a seat if there was one available. And i got smart and i said if i dont get a proper seat i would need a refund. Afterall, i paid for the pushback and all. (Who was i kidding anyways?!!) The man in-charge i.e., the TTE said that i'd get a refund if i give up this seat and move to a non-a/c seat, since they may not be able to provide me with a proper a/c seat! I was like "WHAT?!!"

Anyways, the idea was, if this seat wasn't good enough, i had the option to wait for a good seat or to move to a non a/c compartment and get the difference paid back to me. (Gulp!) Well, for those of you who don't know the Indian trains, second-class sitting, non a/c is very cramped. Forget your push-back individual seat. And forget about leg space. And don't even think about ergonomics! The bottom-line is, you'd end up with bad backache by the end of the journey. And this is something i definitely didn't want!

So, i tucked my tail and went to my non pushback a/c seat. Well, something was better than nothing. A shortwhile later, the TTE came up to me and said that there was a seat free and that i could change seats! And i did that greatfully!! And he said something that summarized this whole thing i have been thinking about rights and stuff! He said, "We can demand our rights and stuff and ask that we play by the rules. But that will not usually work as people will make you run about. You are human and i am human. We try to help one another the best we can. That is all we can do to make our lives better."

You see, i was thinking along the whole thing of rights and grace. Yes. Rules are good. And they are there to protect us. But after a limit rules are not enough. They can help us this far and that is it. At this point we need to play by a higher rule - that of grace. Allowing another person some kindness that they don't necessarily need or deserve as per rules.

And we need to learn to accept grace. It can be humbling, but it is good for the soul...

1 comment:

johndiamond said...

... and need to be able to give it where and when it is needed... (don't you think). (In your own words, "Freely I have recieved, freely I give")