In the suburbs of Florida, his house was damaged in the last thunderstorm. David Goldrich, 65 engaged John Peterson who was in his early forties, to help him with his multi-skill professional services of carpentry, plumbing, electrical and for other ancillary work. It was at least 45+ days of assignment. John was very regular, dedicated and sincere in his work. Over time both David and John became good friends. David too was helping John in his work.
One morning John was late and after a while called David that his car broke down while on his way, around 3 miles away from David’s house and hence he would be delayed. David volunteered to drive down to help John reach his car to the service station for repairs and both came to David’s house for the day’s work.
In the evening, with a lot of hesitation John surrendered to David’s insistence of dropping him home. John invited David for a coffee to his house to which David agreed. As they parked the car in the porch, John turned and went to a big tree in his garden, placed his hands on the bark of the tree for a while and came to knock the door of his house. His charming wife opened the door. His sweet little daughter came running and jumped on him, giving him a kiss and a tight hug. His dog Caesar, demanding attention, kept on jumping and barking at him till he picked him up in his lap….it was a great welcome and an awesome return home for John after a long day of work.
David was amazed with this joyful and loving reception. While John introduced the family to David and settled in on the cozy sofa, David was anxious to ask John about what he saw outside just before they entered the house.
He asked, “John, just before you knocked the door, you went to the tree and did something. What was that?”
John smiled and said. “Oh that,….Haha, David that tree is my hanger. Every evening when I come home, I place my hands on the bark of the tree as I consider it as my hanger to place my entire day’s fatigue, tension, excursion, anxieties, issues, problems etc., and plan to pick them up next morning, only then I get in to my home. Invariably, the next morning, when I start my day and reach out to my hanger again to pick up yesterday’s baggage, I find nothing there. It helps me to start each day afresh.”
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We carry work and worries back home every evening. During the day, we engage with the external world from the time we step out of the house and place a mask on our face. We smile, be polite, be courteous, be collaborative, cooperative, prompt, vocal etc., with our colleagues and business acquaintances. In the evening, as we reach home, the fatigue starts overpowering us, we think we can afford to drop our masks and be the way we want to be, now we don’t need to impress anyone and just be ourselves……and we enter our house tired, exhausted and sometimes cranky.
My wife Ketki is a home maker. Her contribution is huge in our family. We live with our parents and as we had twins after an elder son, Ketki had a handful of life, hence decided to forgo her professional aspirations. She would always tell me that she wished I would extend my worldly facade for a little longer as I come home. She said “the whole day we wait for the evening, for you to come home. And when you come, for the next 10–15 minutes if you could continue to hold the same energy, smile and outlook when you enter the house, we all would love that.” ….to be honest, I am still trying, with some successes and multiple failed attempts.
If I recall correctly it was Prakash Rohera, Corporate Trainer, who mentioned something that I loved, –
“Don’t just ENTER, make an ENTRY!”
– Let this be my resolution for 2018.
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बहुत पहले से उन क़दमों की आहट जान लेते हैं,
तुझे ऐ ज़िंदगी हम दूर से पहचान लेते हैं I
bahut pahle se un qadmoñ kī aahaT jaan lete haiñ
tujhe ai zindagī ham duur se pahchān lete haiñ
Can sense your presence from a distance….O life.(O love).