Many memories are washed off by time, but some remain vivid—especially those that touch emotions. People of influence spur emotions of awe and reverence, and thus create telling memories in those they meet. Radhanath Swami’s first visit to my home is memorable too, but he spurred emotions of a different kind: ‘soft’ ones, but which stabbed our hearts. He was an unusual ‘big man’ in the way he carried himself: not stately, but humble. He acknowledged any service rendered to him by anyone, whether it be the watchman, the liftman, or the housemaid. This work-crew is ‘invisible’ for most of my visitors, except on rare occasions when workers err at a chore. But never had I seen a visitor acknowledge my crew for their good job.
As I escorted Radhanath Swami in, the watchman at the gate greeted us with folded palms, with the traditional pranam. Radhanath Swami looked to his side with folded palms, as a smile expanded across his face. I witnessed my stoic watchman succumb to a surge of joy. Next was the liftman’s turn, but it looked like he would miss out on the experience: he couldn’t register-in the “thank you” when it came from Radhanath Swami for the first time; he was too distracted. Radhanath Swami repeated again, his complete attention on the liftman. “Thank you.” This time the liftman heard and was pleasantly discomforted: he wasn’t accustomed to so much attention from my visitors.
One by one he conquered hearts, in moments. And those moments remain, unwashed by time, in our memories
Mr. Hrishikesh Mafatlal
Vice-Chairman & Managing Director,
Mafatlal Industries Limited, www.mafatlals.com