Monday, July 09, 2007

The Omnipotent

I cannot say if I noticed him when I first saw him. I had gone to a small restaurant for dinner and he was the waiter serving there. He must have been nearly twelve years of age, thin, dark, and shrill voiced; identical to thousands other like him. Thus he had nothing which attracts the attention of anyone.

I gave the order and he copied it obediently. While waiting for the order to come, I somehow noticed him staring at the dishes he was going to serve at the tables. This looked to be his usual practice. He looked hungry and was perhaps attracted by the smell of the dish.

I am no fond of giving alms, but for an unexplainable reason I felt that I should make him happy. I will not say that I had any sympathy with him. It was in a way , the desire to feel that I was great and was able to fulfill the wish of someone, similar to the omnipotent god. My urge grew stronger and I wanted to feel that I am the agent of happiness in mankind.

When he came to my table, I asked him that which was his favorite dish in the menu card. Somewhat startled at my strange behavior, he replied it was the chilly chicken. Then as an obedient salesman, he went on to describe the specialties of that item at this restaurant. I smiled and ordered him to bring its two plates.

He arrived again, staring greedily as usual at the dish. With a big smile on my face and expecting a deep gratitude from him, I told him that the extra plate was for him, a gift from my side, the self appointed Santa Clause.

For a moment he stood there, quiet, clueless, looking the chicken, looking at my face . Then he looked at the manager’s counter and said bluntly that he cannot accept it. I was shocked. This guy was behaving in such an erratic fashion and was actually shooing away the Santa Clause. When I gained some calm, I asked him the reason for refusing it when he had been staring at the plates for long.

With a blank face he told me that a customer can give him a tip, but if someone makes him to eat something, it shall be taken as a sign that one is luring him away from his job. This may look to be a sign that he can quit the work and hence is not a reliable worker. It may cost him his job.

I will not say his reply made no sense to me. But then it was too much for me to understand viewpoints; perspectives. I was not really disappointed, but I felt like a big fool. I made the payment fast and rushed out of the restaurant.

I had this urge to run from anyone who had seen me performing Santa Clause.


Chandana said...

Now this is a biography piece...cudn't stop it...another proof to shw u r different frm the crowd :P!

Chandana said...

*auto-biography piece actually!

Anurag Srivastava said...

@Chandana: I hope the difference is in right direction :)

ASP said...

First things first...its a pleasure to read your blog..

What is wrong with charity?
Typical "Ayn Rand~ish" ideas I feel..I don't see anything wrong with trying to play the Santa Claus!