There are funny things which happen around us all the time. The best perhaps are ones which completely change your mood, which snap you out of your reverie, and make you wonder about karma and the world in general. Here are a few independent incidents, all more beautiful than the rest, which will remain imprinted in my head for a long long time to come.
There is a crossing, on the way from JVPD to the highway, which has a large number of slum dwellers. And they have to be by far, the happiest group of slum dwellers I have ever come across. Specially the kids. This huge group, which seems least concerned with life in general, always roam around in a huge group, and always have one performing to entertain the others. While they always manage to amuse me, the last time I was stuck in the traffic at that signal, I was met with the most amazing sight ever.
The signal turned red.
The traffic stopped.
The kids ran across the road in front of the traffic.
Specially one, around ten years of age. With a frilly Christmas decoration around his neck. Break dancing. In the middle of the road. And he was good.
He knew the steps.
He raised his collar and yanked around his shirt.
He looked directly into the eyes of the car drivers. And winked.
With attitude, like never seen before.
The signal turned green.
The traffic policeman chased him away.
He laughed, and ran away, one last look towards the amused vehicles.
Again, in an auto. Again stuck in traffic. I was randomly looking around, dazed, wondering when I’ll finally manage to reach home. Without much thought, I stared on at two men standing inside a bus, some distance in front of my auto. One of them was clearly excited. It was easy to tell from his body language, his flurry of movements, his expressions. Somewhere in my boredom, I was transfixed by his lack of boredom. He was emoting like I perhaps haven’t for quite some time. He seemed happy, and was clearly expressing it. I kept looking at him, randomly smiling to myself, my imagination coming up with random stories he might be narrating to his friend.
My auto moved forward, even closer to the bus now.
His excitement, happiness, emotions were even clearer from here.
His body language unique.
And then I realized.
He was talking excitedly to his friend.
Using sign language.
The walk home from office is not a pleasant one. It involves dug up roads, mush, and heavy traffic, along with a million other human beings rushing around in their hopes of reaching home a little earlier every day. It’s an ugly walk, where you’re pushed and tugged from every direction humanly possible.
That one crossing. Where the signal turns red for exactly 5 seconds.
5 seconds to cross two roads.
With cars waiting to run over you.
A zillion people rushing across. Those 5 seconds. Two roads. Need to reach home.
So you bang into people, but you keep plowing ahead. You get hurt. But you keep moving.
Because that’s what life in this city is like.
As usual, I was crossing the road. Running for life in that tiny window of 5 seconds.
And as usual, a man came running from the opposite direction, and banged into me, hard, before continuing on his way to the other side.
I grimaced. It hurt. And plowed on. As usual.
But then I felt a hand stop me from behind.
I turned around to find that man, pausing.
“I’m really sorry.”
I froze. I managed to nod, before making my way to the other side of the road.
Two roads. 5 seconds. Need to reach home.
But it just wasn’t as ugly today.