Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The electrician

Once when the fan in my room was giving some problems, an electrician was called to repair it. As is usual for someone who sees me for the first time, he asked a lot of questions which were answered briefly. (I was not present during the remainder of the incident. I am relating what Jaya had told me at the time. She remembers it only vaguely now.)

Before leaving, he told Jaya that he knew a pastor who could do many miracles. He would bring the pastor if Jaya gave the latter a donation. Jaya told him that there was no objection to his praying but she will not give any donation. He left a CD which he wanted me to see. It probably contained material regarding faith healing. Since none of us was interested in it, we did not see it.

The next day he came again and said that his wife had fallen ill and his son had met with an accident. He said that this was because Jaya was not 'allowing' him to 'help' me. Jaya didn't know how to respond. He seemed to be implying that we were somehow responsible for his troubles. She told him that we were sorry that he was having problems but we had nothing to do with it and sent him away.

I have met many such people with creative ideas - one person said that I should sleep in the front hall near the entrance because it was the best place according to 'vaastu', another person said there is a ghost roaming around my room (those who intend visiting me later need not be apprehensive - this was in a previous house), a person who could 'look into the future' tied a couple of ribbons to ward off evil spirits, one person said that I should not use AC because it will affect blood circulation, another person said that I should not sit for long in front of the computer because radiation from the monitor might affect my brain, another said that my room should be painted red because longer wavelengths of light stimulate the neurons of the medulla oblongata...ok, I am making up that last one but you never know what you might get. (All sorts of unlikely objects get lodged in the brain without being deliberately put there.)

Conditioned by such experiences, I look warily at any unknown person who comes into my room. I get the same feeling of unease that Bertie Wooster used to get when some young pest announced hat he was looking to do his good deed for the day. Some people will relax quickly after they see me and start talking about normal, everyday matters. Others will keep looking doubtfully at me and I can see that they are thinking very hard about ways to help me - a 'help' that I will dread.

I can totally identify with the street artist, Banksy's plea: "I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me."That is another skill that Jaya has honed through years of practice.


  1. On the subject of world improvers, here is a review of a book I read recently. In particular, para 3 about people who want to "make the world a better place":

    The book itself contains a lot more on "thought leaders", "missionaries" and others who think they have the right solution to everything.

    And then, when one looks around himself (or herself), one becomes aware of friends, sundry advisers and others who strive to make one's life "better", "more useful",
    "worthy of potential", etc....

    Re: the last sentence - hats off, as usual, to Jaya...

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