Selfless

 

don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing
Somebody helped me – without asking for. The bizarre part is that I didn’t even look at his face let alone thank him. Its not that I wasn’t able to, but I didn’t care to. In fact I forgot it completely. I should be ashamed of myself. But I am not. I am a little uncomfortable. That’s why I am writing up this little incident.

Time was 6:15PM. My train leaves the station in less than two hours. And I was still waiting for a bus. Buses were coming and going. All were crowded; especially those headed to majestic which was my first transit point. Train starts from Yashwanthpur whose roads were notorious for heavy traffic throughout the day. It worsens especially during six to seven. I was forewarned. But I didn’t get enough time to heed that advice. There I was, not even taken a single step towards Majestic. I was in the early stages of panic starting with mounting tension.

Just then a van came shouting for majestic embarks. I found a seat in the second last row. The van had two rows with one row twin-seated and the other single-seated. Mine was a single seat. I had no change of money this time. I had some hundreds but no change. (Look where all fate brings me into! ) A kid was collecting the fare. “No change,” he declared and gave me back my note. “OK,” I thought and I placed the note back in my pocket since I had nothing better to offer him. He ignored me and went on to others. A few seconds later (or immediately?), I felt someone tapping on my shoulder. I ignored it. A little later it repeated.

Before I could turn back a hand shot out from the back seat. It had some notes clutched in its palm. I blinked at it repeatedly. Then the hand talked. “Hundred change”. I took the money and counted it. A hundred, it was. Alright, what if they were counterfeit? Since the van was in semi darkness, I couldn’t easily make it out. So I had to wait till the van go under street lights or pass in front of some shops to get decent illumination. I recounted carefully in two-three pass. The hand was still there; waiting, watching me silently. I took back the hundred’s note from my pocket.

Everything suddenly slowed down as if in slow motion. I could see my hand reaching out to the hand to give it the note. I could sense that inside me I was still confused — hesitant. I thought, “Am I reacting too fast? Or is this some kind of a trick? What if it turns out to be counterfeit later even after me double-checking it? ” Once the money reached the hand, I could blame no one but only me.  I was still thinking when I placed the money in the hand. It withdrew the way it appeared.

I paid my fare and resumed looking out of the window. I was nearing majestic. One more stop. I made my way to the front of the van, got down and started walking towards the bus depot at the next stop. Suddenly a thought struck me. I didn’t thank him! Far from doing it, I didn’t even look at his face. I stopped moving. I felt bad in my stomach. I clearly violated the most sacred law of decency. I forgot to thank my benefactor. Even if it was a small deed, it was kind. From among the million strange faces, only that friendly hand selflessly helped me and I didn’t even bother to … A loud horn made me jump. I was standing in the middle of the road with a bus barely touching my ass. The bus driver looked furious. I hurriedly moved out.

free dinner

 

I was walking back to my home after another exhaustive day. I was very hungry. I could hear my stomach rumbling. It was nearing nine. I wanted to eat “Choru” with Fish Fry from “Chechi Mess”. I needed to hurry. Their meals were so tasty that they generally closed a little after nine o’ clock. It was a good fifteen minute walk from the bus stop. If tried, I could cut short five minutes. I started taking long steps. It looked like I would make it in time before the last plate was served. My cell phone started ringing.

“Brother calling” my cell declared. “Hello”, I said as I picked the call. “You are in Madiwala? Excellent! Can you book me a ticket for this Friday? Friday’s Train is full. Call me once you got one, will you?”; Before I could even protest, the line went dead. What choice did I have? After all he is my only brother. Chechi could wait. I stepped into the first bus agent on my way.

I stepped in and out four more times. “No ticket for you”, they all chorused. One more agent left to ask. “Chechi please don’t close. Wait for me.” I muttered while I went inside. “Rs. 750/-“, he said while making me a bill. He appeared very sure that I would take the ticket. Did he know I was thrown out by others? I knew I had one Five hundred note in my purse and some change. I quickly checked. I had one hundred’s note also. The few remaining tens I ignored. The agent said I can make the remaining pay before boarding the bus. Excellent! The rest brother could pay. I put the ticket safely in my purse, informed him and started towards Chechi mess in top gear.

“Is this my lucky day?” They were still serving. I quickly washed my hands and hopped on a nearby chair. I was seated before anyone could raise a finger. Suddenly I had a suspicion. Do I have any money left with me? I didn’t count the tens. What if they weren’t enough? I checked my purse. I was right. I had only twenty rupees. The meals definitely cost more. How much I didn’t know. I got up and started leaving. I must find the nearest ATM. A few steps outside the mess, I turned back.

The waiter was watching me with curious eyes. He had seen me coming in, checking my purse, going out and then coming back. I asked him, “How much is it for the meals?” “Twenty Five. Why?” “Nothing. I have only twenty rupees with me.” I turned to leave. He suddenly said, “Its okay. You eat. Pay me what you have. Now go sit there.” He brought me a plate.

I wasn’t a frequenter in his place. But I had visited some six-seven times so that he might remember my face. Considering the hundreds who frequented them, the odds were pretty grim that he remembered even my hair colour. Still he was there serving me. I wondered what if this were my first time? Would he have had said the same then also?

He approached me and asked, “Do you want any special? Fish Fry is today’s attraction”. I simply stared at him.

a year in penning

so sums up the reader response to my blog by google analytics. nice way to spent an year huh ? i know it looks pretty bad from this angle. but i wish it could plot my satisfaction level.

blogging was never a necessity. i started this blog one year ago just for the sake of owning a blog. i jotted down whatever that came to my mind. i was never bothered about its reading value(google sure does know how to plot a content’s worthiness!). a little later I started being conscious of my writing. some time after that, I found out that I can write.

this revelation was a surprise as well as a comfort.

would it get better than this? i hope it would.

celebrating one year of evolution