• Capt SN Ahmed

Thank you Saar!

Updated: May 8

I love the streets..., and we all love it even more, if the streets are clean.

But what about those who keep these streets clean?


Since the time I have been in Hyderabad, I have seen the streets and roads being cleaned continuously. Through out the day the Municipality workers clean the streets..., and even late at nights they are busy keeping all the major roads cleaned.


They keep the landscape of the city tidy & clean but for most of us they just become a part of that landscape. Nothing more.


We litter. They clean. We respect.

We more or less ignore them while passing by, in our cars or buses or autos or just walking by. But do we ever greet them or exchange pleasantries? May be few of us do try but most of the time there is an inhibition.

I did try to come over that inhibition once.


There was a group of ladies who used to clean the street where my office was located. Everyday around 11 or so the gang used to sit under the shade of a roadside tree and have their food.

A familiarity brewed over few months and once in a while we all used to exchange glances.


I remember, it was raining heavily those days and I saw two of the workers taking shelter in the veranda. Courtesy sake I just asked "Baunnara"? (All well?) and they just nodded in reply. I carried on and life continued.

Huge Respect.

One fine day when I was entering the building and I heard, 'Namaste Saar'. I looked in the direction of the voice and I saw one of the ladies, with all smiles while others were pretending to be busy looking at each other. I replied "Namaste" and started walking in and once again she said, "Saar Saar. Thoda chaay pila do saab" (Sir kindly help us with some tea)


For a second I was zapped as to how dare they? Was this demand there, just because I inquired about them on that rainy day? I was feeling embarrassed and also a bit agitated.

But the very next second I realised (thank God!) that my agitation was wrong.


For so many years these very ladies, have been cleaning the street which I use everyday. I have never even said thanks to them. Not even once. Not that it was mandatory as they were doing their job BUT that day suddenly I felt, that I should have.


By asking a cup of tea they were not trying to demand in exchange for their work but they were asking with a right to a person, who had acknowledged their presence on a rainy day.


I quietly took out 30 rupees and gave to the lady. This time all the ladies said in chorus, "Thank you Saar". I just smiled and walked into my office. The whole day their "Thank you Saar" was echoing in my ears.


I felt so good. Next day onward I started exchanging smiles and sometimes the courtesy question "Baunnara"?

Today I speak, "Baunnara" (at least) to most of the cleaners who work in and around my area. Some of them get surprised, few of them ignore but most of them answer with a big smile.


The gleam in their eyes say that their souls were touched. Coming from an unexpected source, happiness simply doubles up. And that glint in their eyes actually makes me feel really peaceful for the rest of the day.


So next time you appreciate the landscapes of the city, do remember the people who keep it clean. Let's not let them pass by as the part of the city landscape.


Try it (if you have not already done it) ..."Acchha lagta hai." (it feels good)


C ya soon


Capt Ahmed www.captionz.biz





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