I am Ramesh Srivastava, fifty-seven years old. I have been running a garage for twelve years. Before that I was working as a helper, lending a hand to anything that might require the support of my energy and youth.
This is about an incident, some 15 years ago. One day I was washing a car early in the morning. One of the car owners came to collect his vehicle. He started yelling at me because I had rinsed his car but didn’t wipe it dry! Now in the garage we followed a process. First we rinse out all the cars and then get into drying them all, one by one. But this car owner was at his worst, that morning. He started shouting at me, “These filthy people can’t do a single job properly. Where the hell will they go in life? What is their use in this world?”
He kept showering explicits at me for no reason, unwilling to listen to anything. He took me out of the job without considering the fact that I had been working for him for the past five years. We used to make some 200 bucks for the entire month back then. I used to wash both his cars every day without taking a single leave. I felt wronged and cheated.
Much later I found out from his driver that he had been under a lot of pressure from his office to arrive on time! He could just have told me that he wanted his car early every morning. But he took out his anger at me all so unfairly.
For a long time after that I lacked self confidence and remained very timid. But there comes a point in every man’s life when he turns. I had to come out of the spell. Today I feel that incident had changed my life. I started working very hard and learnt to save my money. I invested my money in the right places. Slowly I started buying tools and materials for building my own garage. I also started observing a lot. With time I got to know that everyone has their own problems and they react differently. For me it was injustice; maybe for him it was fine. This is like a coin with two faces. Our life and our situations too have two different faces, one each from the perspectives of the two people involved. This realisation has helped me to forgive that man and help myself move beyond that morning.
As told to Ritika Jain