Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A lesson in compassion

So we went house-hunting last evening. This was probably the first time we did it during a week-day. We found this AD for a property which was quite far away from both our work places yet the description was so alluring that we were tempted to give it a look. It was priced a little on the higher side for where it was located so I thought maybe it would really blow me away. You get the picture, high expectations.

We reached the place after a lot of bad roads and a lot of hard time for our poor Palio. When we were going there, we thought, even if this house is excellent, its not worth the pot holes. So we had mentally prepared for a tough choice which was saying no to an amazing home.

We met the owner close to the property and as soon as I saw him I thought he was an agent. He didn't look like an owner. I was about to ask him if he was an agent when he said "my house" is nearby. So naturally I refrained. We are trained to treat people equally based on their inner worth but end of the day I am human. I tended to form an opinion based on how this guy looked. Mistake.

So we proceeded to this house. We stopped in front of this really beautiful manor and I was already beginning to think of my tough choice getting tougher when he said it was the house next to it that was his. First disappointment. Then we went in. Usually I have the habit of looking all around the house on my own while Subhash is talking politely to the person showing it etc. So I went around. And what I saw didn't impress me. The house was spacious and simple and neat but nowhere close to what the expectation in my mind was based on what I read.

Then I started paying attention to what the guy was saying. Because I was getting impatient. My tough choice just got very very easy. I knew I didn't want to take this place so far away from work for sure and I wanted to go home because it was getting late and I had to cook and had calls and so on and so forth. And the guy was painstakingly going over every detail. And I mean detail. Like here is the place to keep towels, here are hooks attached to the door to hang clothes, here is a light and such.

I was wondering how Subhash was going through it all. To me it looked like some guy building a house, then claiming it to be extra-ordinary and out of this world and charging a premium for it. If you have been in the house-hunt business for as long as I have, you will see many such people simply irritating your psyche by asking for the earth and the moon in return for a piece of land.

Subhash asked this guy why he was selling this house and he said he ran into some losses in the stock market and so he had a liquidation problem and he needs to sell this house to get out of it. I quickly made a mental note of it, justified that as a reason for his asking for a premium for it and moved on.

On our way back, I was laughing over how ridiculous this guy was going over bath towel hangers and lights and all that. And was telling him how I wasn't impressed with the house at all. Then what Subhash said is what I will remember hopefully for the rest of my life.

He said "I sincerely hope this man wins some jackpot and gets to keep his house. For where he comes from this house is the house of his dreams. Its the grandest thing he has seen and he has painstakingly built it with as much luxury as he is aware of. And he must be in such pain to have to sell this dream of his for money and because he is in a financial crunch. I sincerely hope he gets enough money from somewhere so he can keep this house and stay in it"

And I said, what is so grand about this house? If he had not described it like he did, we wouldn't have taken the trouble to come all this way to see it right? And he said "Your idea of grandeur comes from where and what you were born and brought up with and what you want to graduate to. So whatever is your idea of grandeur is now, for people who were born in that, they will look to the next level of luxury and that we will have no idea about. Its the same with this guy. For what he was born into, and where he comes from, this is extremely grand for him, and to have to sell this accomplishment, and something this close to his heart, it must pain him so much."

And then I thought about it. Yeah, if I were to give shape to what I think is grand and describe it, and if someone was born into that kind of an environment and is used to all that and is looking at the next level, which I have no idea about, I think they would feel that I was equally stupid and ridiculous in thinking that my dream was so great.

That made me feel so guilty in retrospection that I had a knot in my stomach. And it showed me how much more I have to grow. As it is, I am forced into being nicer and nicer every day and a far cry from my own boisterous self some 4 years back. And now this, just when I was thinking I was improving. It showed me how two people's take on a subject can be at the opposite ends of a spectrum. How where one feels compassion, one can deride.

And more importantly, it showed me how much this man I married, deserves to be happy just for the greatness of mind he shows :)


Anonymous said...

Have been reading you for a while but never commented..

But I can not pass this post without commenting.

That is such a valuble lesson that Subhash taught in such simple has left a profound impact on me..


a BIG BIG thank you to him..

Laksh said...

Nice post Divya. Very interesting perspective from Subhash.

Anonymous said...

so how ru ? Heard abt the bangalore blasts ?

Anonymous said...

Hey ,I am too from Ann's ,don't know you personally ,but looks like you got great guy ,lucky girl.The day I read your post I was wondering how 2 people can look at the same situations in 2 totally diff perspective. Your husband definitely taught all your readers a great lesson ,thanks to him and you to post it .

DivSu said...

Thanks Anonymous :)

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