Do we all deserve a “paper cup only?”
Voice of The Reader

Do we all deserve a “paper cup only?”

January 27, 2020


This is with reference to the article, “Every one deserves a paper cup only !” by  N.K.A. Ballal (SOM dated Jan.23) and, of course, the WhatsApp message about the Under-Secretary, which has gone viral and is quoted by Ballal.

Well, it is all about people who have enjoyed power of the office they occupy when in service.  SERVICE… Sir, yes SERVICE to society. We seem to have forgotten that whatever position we hold, our period is determined. It is here that you are to be aware the paper cup, which is  THE reality. The show of respect, which is only undeserved flattery (in some cases) will soon evaporate when you have to move off the centre-stage. 

The question is simple:  Were you there for rendering service or to be pampered by the show of love or respect or whatever?  We all agree with Ballal that if your feet are not grounded (in ‘service’), well the disappointment is waiting round the corner.  

Please permit me to share with SOM readers my humble opinion about the whole issue with a difference:

The politicians and the bureaucrats are scared of losing the limelight or the illusory ‘halo’.   But there are some equally important, if not more important jobs done by others like doctors, teachers, soldiers etc., who do not fear the loss of that ‘halo’. I have personally seen how soldiers are immortalised, how doctors  (only those who were humane) are adored, wherever they are, and met by those whom they have served with care and kindness.  

 As a teacher myself, I can proudly say that for the humble service I have rendered, with love and devotion, I have been amply rewarded with grace.  Incredible but true. The respect of this sort is not just a “paper cup,” Sir, but a golden one studded with diamonds. 

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You are humbled when an Army Officer claims you as his mentor in an assembly or a Bank Manager comes out of his cabin, recognises you to help you in your need, or a doctor remembers you and shows serious concern about your need in a corporate hospital  or a musician of repute bows his head in reverence, in the middle of the concert after discovering you among the audience. 

 Believe it Sir, these are my moments of pride (forgive my arrogance), this is happening even after fifteen years of  my moving out of the centre-stage.

What is this, if  this is not glorification of the service, celebration of life’s moments that you lived so honourably, not at all bothered by the fear of evaporation of power around you?  Well Sir, let us not be bothered by the “paper cup” even before you relinquish your office of power and grandeur (!) which even may be a silver or a  golden one in the years to come. 

– Prof. K.V. Satyan, Camp: Dallas, Texas, 24.1.2020

Note: I guess the danger of a ‘paper cup’ or the absence of ‘special attention and care’ after retirement is a dessert served specially to Government servants who held high office, no matter professionals like professor, teacher, doctor, IAS, IPS officer whoever, who have not served the people with honesty (without corruption), efficiently, sincerely upholding the professional ethics if they are doctors or Professors.  Common man always remembers both the good Samaritan and the bad guy and treats each differently. – KBG

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