A few days back I came back to my flood-hit home. It was our new home; we had not even done the housewarming. The first floor had almost gone underwater. Now it had become a dirt pile. The floor was covered in a thick mass of dirt, all the furniture turned upside down and scattered around including that newly bought sofa set covered in filth; the cots, the beds, the refrigerator, the washing machine and many more utensils.
My trouble was cleaning my home as I was left alone with my old parents. I sought help. I got it. Four young men whom I hardly know came to our house through the contact of a friend. They started cleaning the first floor gracefully. They lifted the heavy water-filled utensils, set it upright, swept away the dirt on the floor, washed, mopped, and scrubbed until late midnight.
My father kept reminding me about paying them. “How much should we pay them?” he was concerned.
“I don’t think they will accept any offer, and this is not their job, some of them are IT professionals, one is a musician, another a driver”, I said.
“But how could some young men turn up at late night in a stranger’s home doing such menial tasks without getting paid.” my old father couldn’t understand the logic.
My father, a septuagenarian had always been sceptic about the youth including me whom he sarcastically mentioned as “so-called new gen” whom he believed to have lost the sense of humility and humanitarian mind.
He kept telling me, “You ought to give them something.”
They might have sensed the whispering. “We will not accept anything because we are not working for you. And if you feel like you can buy some groceries with that money and give to those collection centres.”
When it was almost done, it was late midnight; they had not yet had their dinner. They were about to go back to their homes after cleaning some other houses all day long when my friend informed them about my plight; they were worn out, yet these men decided to come home very sure of the mess in a flood-hit home. They didn’t look tired but was cheerfully cracking jokes and enjoying the laborious task. My desperate parents were relieved, and I was glad to get help which would have been a tremendous struggle for me had I not met them.
In between, one of youth’s mother was on the line, and his phone was in the speaker mode. “It’s enough..you know what time it is?? Enough helping out. In the end, one has to take care of one’s health” I could hear the voice of a worried mother on the other end.
Dear mother, you needn’t worry, for your son is out here shining like a lamp in the darkest times. Mothers like you can be proud to have sons and daughters like him who has eyes to see the struggles of people around, who has the heart to give a helping hand expecting nothing in return, there is nothing more significant in this world than the sheer will and passion for bringing a sense of hope, a mere smile on the faces of desperate people. The disaster saw many youngsters like them actively involved in voluntary rescue and relief mission which was a commendable aid to many affected by the flood.
P.S- “Some young men came home at midnight and helped us”, my father was saying to someone. I was hearing that for about the eighth time that day!