I learned a lesson few days back, an important one, thought i will write it down. So that it can be a reminder for myself later on. No doubt, we do make mistakes but it is one of the best learning experience when we learn from our mistakes. And the story goes like this –
My university campus is at the outskirt of Pondicherry. To reach the main city, it takes about half an hour by a small vehicle. If we don’t get some stuffs in our campus, we had to go to town ( that’s what we called for main Pondy city). So, some days back during evening time, me and my friend went to town to buy stuffs by bike. We were planning to come back as soon as possible after our work was done and go to our lab again for a while or so. When we reach there, we did what ever we had to do as soon as possible.
Finally when we were at a shop, i got a call from one of my hostel friend . She asked “where are you? , i replied i am in town”. Then she continued “oh, the passport verification officer came for you, he is waiting for you at the hostel and you have to sign some documents here. It seems the officer cannot connect through your phone”. Then I was like “oh, it will take some time here, i will take at least half an hour to reach university,so please inform him that i will come to their office”. Then my friend said, ‘okay i will informed him’ and kept the phone.
After the phone call, i continue to do window shopping with my friend. After 5 minutes or so, again a call came from my another friend. She told me the same; that the passport verification officer is waiting for me, i told her to pass the phone call to him so that i can speak properly with him.I told him that ‘i can’t come right now, it will take at least half an hour to reach university, so where can i come to meet him the next day’ . He did told me the address of his office, but asked if i could come next day early morning. Since i have to go to lab in the morning; i told him that i don’t think it will be possible for me at that time, but i can come during lunch time. Then he said ‘ you said you will take half an hour right, try to come soon, if it will take half an hour for you to come, i can wait, if it take more time, then i will go back’.
Then i told my friend, we have to rushed back to university. So we immediately head back. Sitting behind her, i was complaining angrily to her, ‘Why can’t the officer come earlier during the day time when i was there, we have to rush back now as fast as possible and since its evening, traffic will be heavy also. And what if I didn’t get to meet him.’
We rushed back, even though there was traffic, we were lucky enough to reach our university campus. It almost took half an hour. I called the officer and asked whether he is still there, and he said he is still there at the hostel. Lucky enough for me and thanks to my friend for the speed.
I rushed up to my room, got all my documents and gave it to him. He inquired some basic questions about me and I sign in the form he had brought. The verification was done at that instant. Then he told me ‘the passport office wrote your number wrong, i tried calling your number but it was unreachable. So that’s why i could not call you in advance to informed you that i am coming to meet you. You said you will come to my office tomorrow but i thought you may have to go to your department and won’t be able to come early morning. I stay there in the office in the morning only, around 9-9.30 am. So, i was not sure whether you will be able to meet me or not. If you did not get it done, then it will take time for you again for the verification process, so thought i will wait”.
He then continued talking, “you are from Manipur ( A small state in north east India) right?” I replied, ‘Yes, i am’. Then he continued “I was in Army , i was posted there in north east India. Most of the time i was in Assam. I was posted in Guwahati, Tawang, Siliguri and Boigaigaon.” He asked me ‘how do you go home then, it’s far from here ?’, to which i replied ‘Most of the time i took flight to go home’, he continue asking me “will your flight pass through Boigaigaon?”, ”it must be cold there now ” . We talked about other stuffs like that. I guess he remembered his times when he was posted there. He is a nice man, must be in late 40’s.I had a good talk with him and my verification process was also done without any problems. Then he left.
After all this is done it just hit me, that i was judging him before when i was coming back, i was complaining that why can’t he come earlier since i have to rushed back from town. I was worried whether i would be able to meet him or not. Otherwise, i would have to go through some troubles. Since, next week i am going home for a month, it would be a big problem for me if he comes to hostel again and i am not there. But he waited for me. He could have just gone when he knew I was not there in the hostel. His job was done at that point, he could have told me “i had come there to meet you, you were not there so i am going back, come to my office directly tomorrow.” Because this was the case for some of my friends when they were not there at the hostel, they had to go the office for verification process. Instead he waited for me with a kind thought that if i come the next day to the office, i may not be able to meet him. I came late but he waited for almost an hour. I am grateful to him for that, otherwise i have to go to town, to passport office, from my campus the next day. Half of my day would have gone waste for that thing but now, i am free from all those hassles. It is such a good feeling when a stranger helps you out, you feel blessed and happy.
These small incident make me realized that i should really stop judging people, we should hear the other side of the story first before we open our mouth to say something about the other person. I came to realized that so many things must be going on with their life and we should not just start judging at that moment. This lesson, I hope I will carry with me myself, and help me grow into a better person.