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The Monkey’s Message

ost of us visit the washroom at least twice a day. How many times do we read the message: “Don’t waste water. Please conserve water. It is a precious resource”? At least 50 times a month!

But why do we need to have such reminders? Are we enlightened as a result of reading them? Has our enlightenment led to a change in our behaviour? Are we more evolved now?

We at Godrej have been selected to work here on the basis of certain minimum qualifications or criteria. We are expected to come from good backgrounds with decent upbringings a result of family environment, schooling, higher education and our own world view.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Each of us must be the change we want to see in the world.” His message needs to be understood at a deeper level. If we observe our colleagues and ourselves, we realise that we do not set good examples!

Electricity: Although only one or two persons work late at the office, the lights and fans are left on. Worse still, even when there is no one in the office, the air-conditioner still happens to be working!

Water: The most visible and painful negligence of all can be seen in our washrooms. Most of the time a few conscientious souls are seen closing taps. This is because the remaining employees do not bother to shut the tap properly! The most precious element of life, water, continues to drip, flow and get wasted.

Now, let me narrate a short anecdote in the hope that we learn something from it.

In May 2003, at the height of summer, I had gone to Faizabad, a place near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. Faizabad is different from other cities in that it has a thriving population of monkeys. I was waiting for my train at the station, when I saw a passenger get up and go to the drinking water tap. He opened the tap, cupped his hands, drank the water and left without shutting the tap properly.

Soon after he left, I saw a big monkey jump down from one of the asbestos sheds typically seen at railway stations. He rushed with a sense of urgency towards the dripping tap, shut it properly and bounded off to join his friends on the roof.

I sat there stunned, wondering whether we have really evolved.

R.H. Ansari
Locks Service