With the growth of civilisation, several man-made laws, customs and practices have come into existence. Their main objective is to create order, convenience and efficiency in the society. They are also important for the protection of an individual’s freedom, dignity and happiness. With the increase of pressure on the individual’s time due to several modern developments, the need for them is also increasing day by day. As a result, we are becoming lonelier and paying its price in a different way. I had such an experience a few years back in the USA. I was in Denver staying with a nephew of mine who was alone at that time. He used to take me for outings whenever it was possible to do so. He is a nature lover and the surroundings of Denver provide plenty of natural beauty. On one such outing, he mentioned that a brother of the Indian magician P C Sarkar lived nearby, in a beautiful house on the bank of a lake. He also told me that he was a frequent visitor to that house and was always welcome there. He further added that he would show me the house from a distance, as going inside without an appointment might be inconvenient to the family.
Being generally aware of the American way of living, I was in agreement with him. While returning from the outing, he took a detour in order to show me Mr. Sarkar’s house. Soon we arrived there and he stopped the car at a short distance from where Mr. Sarkar’s house was visible. It was a beautiful house and I had some desire to see it from the inside. Besides, after a long drive I was feeling the need for a cup of tea also. But I left it to my nephew only. Incidentally, when our car stopped and we came out of it, Mrs. Sarkar was outside the house watering her lawn. She immediately recognised my nephew, who then extended his greetings to her. Responding to that, she invited us inside. On this, my nephew became formal and said that it could be inconvenient for her as prior appointment was not sought. In reply she said that it was not inconvenient at all as she was free at that moment. My nephew again tried to be formal on which I intervened and persuaded him to accept the invitation.
Thereafter, we spent about half an hour with Mrs. Sarkar, going around, inside and outside the house. This was a very meaningful interaction, which greatly enriched us with many facts about American life and Indians’ contribution to its development. A hot cup of coffee was an additional gain, which was indicative of the true Indian hospitality. I thought to myself that there has to be a limit to man-made laws, customs or practices and man should have the power to refuse them.