I came back home after having my morning coffee outside. There I found my landlord, a very old man, on the stairs struggling very hard to get two heavy flour bags to his apartment, which is on the second floor.
I stood in dull pain of the view. Out of empathy, I offered to help him with those heavy bags. He thankfully accepted. We put down the last bag, and I said good-bye; but he insisted on having tea together. I hated the idea of being rewarded for my generous act by some tea. Yet, to refuse the invitation, for whatever excuse, is unmannerly rude behavior. I sat down next to him, preparing myself to hear again his long heroic adventures when he used to be a miner. After a while, his wife, a nice cheerful old woman, jubilantly served us tea.
He started talking about life in general. In fact, he was complaining about his life, and how he had taken bad decisions. He regretted having married to a woman of nearly his age. If he had married a younger girl, he believed, she would now be young enough to take care of him. Unfortunately, both of them need a caretaker. I felt that he was egocentric to think this way, but I didn’t dare face him with this glittering fact. More than that, I wanted to have this meeting over as soon as possible.
I took in the last sip from my cup of tea, and innocently exclaimed, “The aroma of saffron in tea tastes incredibly good”. The old man looked at me, and mockingly said: “Women are just like saffron; it loses its fragrance and color as time goes by”. My attempt to change the subject failed, and I had to listen to more talk about women.
He believes that a woman is the source of all troubles. I was stunned when he started talking about Cain and Abel, the two sons of Adam and Eve. He claimed that the woman was the source of the conflict between the two brothers. For the sake of marrying his beautiful sister, he added, Cain committed the first crime in history; he killed his younger brother, Abel. To convince me, and to give some credibility to his thoughts, he tried to quote from the Holy Quran; but he mixed up things in a more funny way.
I decided to get out of being only a passive listener, and tried to argue him. To refute his beliefs, I gave him examples of educated women and explained to him how much they contribute to the development of our society. He didn’t even allow me to finish my talk, and nervously said: “A woman is by nature a cunning creature let alone if she is educated”. Apparently, he seemed to be that kind of people who would never change their mind even though you bring glaring evidence, and beyond doubt truths. Finally, I decided to go along with the old man, believing that there is no use teaching an old dog new tricks.
Editing By Benjamin Villanti
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