Friday, May 24, 2024
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Bob’s Banter

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By Robert Clements

No Hot Water Sir..!
Went out of the city two days ago, and as I entered the fancy hotel where I was staying, I was told by the manager, “Sir, you have been given a super deluxe room!”
“Thank you,” I said, quite impressed by the way the ‘super’ was stressed by the manager. I followed the bell-boy to my room. He opened the door with a flourish, drew the curtains and exclaimed, “Enjoy!” and I all but expected him to give me a bow or royal courtesy, which he nearly did, and I was quite pleased, as I got myself ready for a bath to take away the ache in my bones I felt with the long journey I’d had.
With a smile on my face and whistling my favourite tune, I turned the hot water on, and waited the required seconds to feel the gentle warmth that would take away my fatigue.
Ice cold water flowed out.
No, I did not stop whistling, a little forcibly now, as I imagined the hot water travelling all the way from the boiler on the roof, maybe stopping at a redlight, then slowly surging forward when the light turned green, and I waited while whistling another tune, which slowly started dying on my lips as I realised that my fingertips which I’d put forward hopefully under the hot water tap, were still cold.
I rang the reception, and the manager hurried up, “Look at the silver fittings sir!” he said, “Just for you in your super deluxe room!”
“Thank you,” I said, “I need hot water!”
“In the other rooms, we don’t have such decorative fittings sir, only ordinary steel ones, and when you are having your bath and open your eyes, you will want to close them again! So bad! So bad!”
“I am sure!” I said patronisingly, as he continued turning the fancy fittings left and right, then up and down, then half one way, and half the other way, and yet in a steady flow of defiance only cold water gushed out.
“Did you see the view sir? Those windows are soundproof, and even a bomb blast won’t wake you up!”
I didn’t care much for the idea of a bomb outside my room, and decided enough was enough, “Where’s the hot water?” I asked a little rudely.
“I am afraid, there is no hot water sir!” he said, and without turning his back to me, slowly moved out of the bathroom, then out of the gilded room.
A little later as the ice-cold water made me spring around shaking and shivering, I looked at the fancy silver fittings and through clenched teeth muttered, “Many of us are like you!”
“How?” they seemed to cry out.
“Fancy suit, showy hairstyle, ornate gestures, or religious rituals! All fancy fittings! And when the hot water of spirituality, love and brotherhood is supposed to flow, there’s none!”
And then in my mind I walk to the room which is not a ‘super deluxe room’ and go directly into the bathroom. The taps are ordinary steel. I turn a tap, and put my fingers out and heavenly hot water flows, “Good!” I say in my imagination.
“Bad!” says the steel tap.
“Why?” I ask.
“Because, we are not fancy looking like the ones in the super deluxe room,” it says.
“Ah the ones with no hot water,” I laugh and tell them a story, “So many of us go through life wondering why we didn’t get great looks, good height or more colour. We look at others who we think are prettier or more handsome and sigh with envy, “If only…” we say to ourselves and look in the mirror sadly.
To you taps who think such, here’s something to chew on: It’s about a girl who grew up with a blind mother: “One day when that girl was standing in front of the bathroom mirror combing her hair, she asked her blind mother, “You really don’t know what any of us look like, do you Mom?”
“Of course, I do,” the blind mother answered, “I really know what you are like- what you are like inside. I know that you have a good nature because I hear you talk to the cat and to small children.
I know you are tender- hearted. I know you are vulnerable because I’ve seen your hurt reactions to someone’s remarks. I know that you have character because you have the courage to stand up and defend your convictions.
I know that you have respect for human beings because of the way you treat me. I know that you have wisdom because you conduct yourself wisely for a girl your age. I also know that you have a will of your own because I’ve seen a hint of temper, which tells me that no one can dissuade you from doing the right things. I know that you have family devotion because I’ve heard you defending your brothers and sister. I know that you possess a great capacity for love because you’ve shown it to me and to your father many times and have never resented having a blind mother. So dear,” and she drew her daughter closer to her, “I do see you and I know exactly what you look like, and to me you are beautiful!”
What meaningful words from a blind mother, who could see beyond the surface beauty of her child. “Now dear taps, let’s pretend you’re blind. Now look into yourself; what do you see?
A person, hurt, resentful and angry?
Someone filled with envy, jealousy or an anger that is distorting your heart?
Or is there love and warmth, caring and compassion?
What you see is what you are. Fancy fittings when not giving hot water are like skins that are wrinkled, good looks that have faded and bodies shortened with age but that beauty which only the blind can see and feel, is the hot water that gushes out of you!
What matters is the beauty that comes from within…!
( The Author conducts an Online Writers and Speakers Course. For more details send a thumbs-up to him on WhatsApp 9892572883 or [email protected])

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