My dad is crazy. Compared to my ma, that is. Nevertheless, people like him make this world a far better place to live in. They don't have college degrees or high-paying jobs nor have they travelled across time zones but that doesn't stop them from being nice to those who aren't used to it. Maybe that has something to do with the hospitality industry he has been associated with since the age of 13. Maybe not. All his life, he has been meeting strangers who enter, eat and exit. It's like a never-ending drill. He's more than his profession. He's not a saint though. Drinking problems and the consequent health issues don't let you. However, he treats people fairly and doesn't judge anyone. His views are not crystallized nor are they furnished with the whitewashed cloak of modernity.
The other day he was talking about how Mumbai scores over his native place in Manipal. "Bombay gave me food when there wasn't any in my village and you don't know what hunger is..." were his exact words. It's called gratitude. Devoid of political stance and other man-made distinctions. I remember him telling me a few years ago that he doesn't find anything wrong with the frustrating immigration taking place in the city. According to him, it's a cycle: "They are here to work. Their kids will grow and they'll move out the way their parents did. Nothing lasts forever. People who make a row of it are those who aren't able administrators. They don't have it in them to govern. Besides, we are talking about genuine labour here, not criminals. These poor migrants build our buildings, bridges, monorails, metros under worst working conditions..." He can go on and on without trying a wee bit to enforce his opinion on others.
It's a pity he never got introduced to Internet.