Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a Wonderful World :)

He was a security person at the gates of the little campus in which our office is situated. Being a senior citizen, he had a nearly toothless smile. What set him apart was that he used to salaam everyone who passed by. Initially, I did not acknowledge his salaam as I just wasn't used to strangers greeting me so cheerfully, as if I were an old friend. But then one day I thought, 'What the heck!' and started saluting him back! That was fun! This man was always so happy each morning I saw him. He greeted the world that went by and the fact that no one seemed to wave back at him never discouraged him.

Now I don't see him anymore, standing there, waving. He was so old and frail, I wonder where he is now. The strange part is that he looked well beyond the age of retirement.
He reminds me of one of my favorite songs, Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World':

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And i think to myself:"What a wonderful world!"

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to my self:"What a wonderful world!"

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying "How do you do."
They really say: "I love you!"

I hear babies crying I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself:"What a wonderful world!"
Yes, I think to myself:"What a wonderful world!"

I have seen some people say that this song is too happy for our times. You might ask that if people everywhere are hating and killing each other, how can someone be so happy? There may or may not be an answer for this depending on how you look at it. A part of the answer might lie in the fact that this song was written when racial discrimination was high. When equal rights seemed to be a distant dream. A dream that is now reality...

Watch him sing! :)


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Anonymous said...

ah! now i know y u asked me bout this song :D
i agree wid d song wat a beautiful world it is :)
i neva knew d song was so old!
bout d watchmen good u greeted him back:)
i usually end up makin frnds wid watchmens, canteen coffe uncle dosa uncle! hehe.
its nice to get greeted wid smile!
i have nothi to lose to smile n say hi, how do u do!:)


Mysorean said...

If you could have got a snap of that chap, this post would be complete in every sense! :)

claytonia vices said...

That so nice to know, lucky!
But I am sure autowallas are not in that list ;)

claytonia vices said...

@mysorean: hmmm... did not even occur to me... :)

Everyman said...

It's when life starts hitting you really hard that you need to bring all that cheer out - to help you carry heck is sometimes a wonderful world :-)

Anonymous said...

There was a similar story in MunnaBhai MBBS. If you remember... where a sweeper does his job really well even though he's never acknowledged.
That's a touching story, such people are hard to find. Optimistic and happy through all the times in their life, I think we can surely take a leaf out of his book...

shooting star said...

yeah i woner that too at times!..i mean i see so many people much more poorer and facing so many hardships...but they are much more happier than me...why so?

claytonia vices said...

And everyman, having ppl like you around sure helps make it a wonderful world :)

Nivedita: yes, almost forgot that from Munnabhai!

shooting star... they are happier than you? I guess our happiness is inversely proportional to our (unfulfilled) wants. It also has a lot to do with how we view life...

Martin Stickland said...

It is sad, I once used to deliver books to an old lady that could not leave her home, she must have been about 95. One day she told me that when she was a very young girl she used to live in our old house and remembers it well. I promised her that one day I would pick her up and take her to our house for tea and cake.

One day I delivered her books and as she sat in her old arm chair I patted her on the shoulder and said goodbye.

She gave me one of her sweet smiles and apparently her daughter found her dead in the chair a few hours later, she had died of old age and it was strange that I was probably the last person to touch or talk to her.

I never did keep my promise to her due to not having enough time due to a hectic family life style.

I should have made more time.

claytonia vices said...

Oh, Martin! I am guilty of many such!

But am trying to change that. I am meeting my grandma after many years now. I am glad I am finally going there next month! :)

Sapna said...

God he is one of my favourite singers and that's my favourite matter how rotten my day when i hear this song....i'm smiling from ear to ear again.

Meghna said...

oh wow thats very touching. I know, we mostly ignore such greetings many a times. I will make it a point from now on to greet them back.