A Chapter Closes.

Earlier this evening, a very important person came to take leave of us. We have known him for the past eight years as one of the most cheerful and obliging people that we have ever known.

He was the Counter Salesman and home delivery person for the neighborhood chemist that we had been customers of, for the past fifteen years. The last eight years however, were when our purchases of medicines went up due to the illness of my wife. As part of their regular service, the Chemists extended home delivery service which was our lifeline. I would simply telephone them and by evening, the medicines would be delivered home.

The owner was a General Practitioner from Mumbai who took retirement and moved to Pune to spend his retirement in better climes. He became our neighbor in our co-op and opened this shop just half a kilometer away from where we live.

He has grown older and wishes to spend his time in better pursuits and has closed down the business with effect from last Sunday after he personally called on all his customers to announce the clousure and to explain the reason for the closure.

The Assistant who came to take leave of me, joins the doctor’s son’s business located about 15 Kms away from where we live. It is a measure of that man’s character that he came to take leave of us just as his employer did. He need not have. I however was touched that he chose to do so. He has assured us that he would visit us for a cup of tea whenever he came to the doctor’s residence on any errand.

We shall miss that man. On every visit, he would cheerfully ask us about our well being and inform us of any juicy news in the neighborhood. He would also share news about his children and their academic achievements. Whenever we needed some other help from him, he has never denied us the service as long as his employer did not object. Ever helpful and cheerful, that breed is a rapidly dying one. I wonder why. Apart from difference in the character, we also notice that other home delivery services have a high turnover of people. We see new faces every few months. This man however has stayed with one employer all these years and has just shifted from the father to the son’s employment.

Do you have such people in your lives? I am sure that there must be people like plumbers, electricians and other service providers from among whom one or two may be like this. What impact do such people have on your lives?