Ephemeral Morality

Sometimes, just the once, s/he walks into my cabin.
Once in a hundred days, one in a hundred clients.
They always hesitate and plead, they never demand.
They are extremely grateful for things that they dont even realize is their right and not a service offered.
They walk in with a lot of trust, but very little hope.
They remind me of my brief rural stint in Hirehalli, Karnataka.
They remind me of the reasons why I had first wanted to get into public service.
They are the ones who never walk in or out without folded hands and gracious bows.
They are the ones who are never offered chai or thandaa paani.
They are also the ones who take my word at face value and never negotiate.
They are also the ones whom I am able to serve the least.
They are the only ones who leave me disturbed long after they have left.
I don’t know what, but something makes me awkwardly stand up from my chair as they turn to go.
They ask for little, but the country owes them a lot.
I owe them a lot.

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