Wednesday, May 23

In a matter of seconds I lost my everything!

Maa had switched off the AC, and the fan. She had come thrice in the room to wake me up. She came in again,’ Get up, you said you have some work in college today. I won’t come back to wake you up this time. Just get up’
I opened my eyes, and due to some predefined actions my hand rose from the bed to reach my iPhone carefully placed on the side table. I sometimes wonder I care more about it than myself. I was in half sleep mode. I barely saw the notifications on the phone. There were two messages. One was from BSNL which said Happy New Year. These guys; they are always late, you know, sending me a Happy New Year message after four months in April. It might have been because of a technological glitch. I wanted to see their faces when they realized they had sent this Happy New year message to every customer. Anyways, the second message was from a friend which read, ‘You have to go to college to pay my fees tomorrow, don’t forget.’ The guy was down with fever and couldn’t go to college, so he had asked me for the favor. I was so sleepy; I would have totally ignored college if it wasn’t for the fees and friendship and getting a point on the ‘favor sheet’. I put the phone down and went to the washroom.
In 20 minutes I was ready or somewhat close to ready. I had eaten a sandwich that Maa had prepared for my brother and taken a rare bath. I checked the phone; it was 9.05 in the morning when I finally left, with 5000 bucks in my pocket. I hated carrying so much money. I always thought someone would magically do something and steal it from me. And this wasn’t even my money. The guy would totally eat me if I lost it.

I walked till I reached the bus station. In a few minutes the bus was there and I got up. The last few rows were empty. I occupied the window seat and got busy reading my class notes. In no time, we reached Howrah station and there were so many people there, running from every direction; some dressed in office attires, some wearing casual denims, some with the least possible, searching for the bus that would take them to their offices where they would spend their whole day working and getting bored. Our bus stopped, some more people rushed in and occupied the empty seats.
One gentleman got in; in his 30s, broad chest, rugged and age old shirt, tight dirty jeans. His build scared me. We were always told to avoid these kinds of people on the bus. They were the street thugs; they would talk to you and poison you or kidnap you and demand ransom. Though he looked kind of handsome to be a thug, he was poor. He was wearing a glove on his left hand. I prayed to God to not let him sit beside me. But, God, as you know, always had some problems with me. The man smiled and sat beside me. He opened his bag to take out a copy. I assumed he was a school teacher. He was reading the stuff written on it; some math equations, some drawings. He started touching the pages awkwardly, gazing them, smelling them. The copy had a lady’s name on the front page. ‘He’d have taken it from one of his innocent students who had no idea what he’d be doing with her copy’.
His dirty left arm was touching my new white shirt. Seeing me trying to avoid his touch, he smiled and reverted. I was embarrassed. My phone had vibrated once or twice in between, but I didn’t want to get his attention towards my brand new iPhone. I chose to ignore it.
The bus had crossed the Ganges. I was bored, still had half hour of journey left. I started to look at the man; he was scribbling something on that copy with his left hand. I realized he was solving an unsolved math’s equation. “How dumb you are!” I said, as he still had that glove which was the reason he couldn’t write properly. He looked at me with a soft smile and again reverted back to writing and drawing. I was irritated, I didn’t like being ignored.
Some more minutes passed, he kept his copy in the bag and took out a bottle. It was a kid’s bottle; round shaped flask with bright colors, a Tic-Tac-Toe, a flip open cap, and a finger loop.  ‘He’d have taken it from another student’ I took out my phone to click a photo of him drinking with that bottle. I had to. How often do you get to see a grownup man drinking from that kind of bottle?
The phone showed two messages. One was, ‘Vineet, college is closed; today is April 14th, Bengali New Year. I am so sorry!’ I was pissed off. First, you get up in the morning when you don’t want to. Then you eat nothing and get ready for college. Then you get to sit with this douche bag. Then the guy who you’re doing such huge a favor messages you so late? Life’s hell, man, I am telling you. I have so many problems.
He sensed my exasperation. He looked at me and said- ‘whatever it is, it’ll be fine’. I didn’t like people giving me free advices. That too this guy, this idiot. I told him, ‘Mister you don’t understand, mind your own business, please?’ He laughed and showed me the bottle, and said, ‘this is my kid’s bottle…’ I cut him in between saying, ‘yeah I figured that out!’ I had thought he had taken it from some kid. STILL, I was half right. He stopped for a while and said again, ‘this is my 8 year old kid’s bottle, who died three months back in a car accident, with, with his mom, and I didn’t, I just got two fingers fractured which I can easily hide with this glove. We were dropping him off to his school and then her to her school. She was a math teacher. She wanted to drive. She wasn’t a good driver. But I loved her and I let her do it. A speeding bus coming from the opposite direction hit our car and crushed the driver’s and the seat behind it.  And the worst part about it is, I couldn’t do anything, I just watched them, dying.’ He wiped clean his tears and smiled. He took out the glove to show me his hand. Three fingers were missing.
But you know me, I am not that guy, you know the compassionate one, I am cool and all. I said,’ so? Listen, I don’t really care about you or your wife or your kid’ He replied, ‘I know, I know you don’t, and frankly I don’t want you to, I don’t want that sym-pathetic acknowledgement or that “I know how you feel” nod, you know, because you don’t, no one does. I just want to tell you that, its life. One minute I was happily driving with my wife and kid and the other minute it was all gone. In a matter of seconds, I lost my everything. You have to understand that….’ He saw me not paying attention. He cut himself short and said, ‘whatever it is, you have to live with it, sometimes it might not get okay at all, but there are things you can’t really help, stop being pissed off at everything, no one told you life was going to be this way or that way, stop being the victim, take the blame of your action. When something wrong happens, we so easily blame it on someone else, there’s always God to blame, stop doing that, start taking responsibility for your actions’
Although I didn’t want to agree with his ideas, he was speaking some sense and needless to say, I was impressed by his ideas. So often, we blame people for whatever happens in our life. We get pissed off on the silliest of issues. It’s mainly because we are always given a ‘Guideline for a perfect Life’. Who has defined this perfect life? What if God, if you believe in him, always wanted you to be hunters and nomads? What if, this life you’re living is the imperfect one? What if the things that make you happy were the ones designed to make you sad? Maybe it’s because of the preconceived notions that we set in our minds while growing up that we start thinking certain things are good while certain aren’t? Maybe it’s because the society has already decided what right is and what wrong is, and we actually believe them so religiously? I say, why do we have to follow a rule book of perfect life? Why can’t we make rules according to our wish? If I like it, I do it.
My weird out of the blue thoughts kept me silent for a while. I had started to think about my whole life because of this one little incident. After this HUGE philosophical exchange between us, I tried humor to lighten the mood, ‘Since your middle finger is missing, how will you tell people like me who start judging the other one right from when they see them to FUCK OFF? He said, ‘Man, I have been telling you to fuck off since the beginning. You just couldn’t see!’ With that I laughed. I talked to him till his stop came. He was telling me how he had managed to live his life after that fatal accident, he told me about his past, about his wife, and kid. And I listened to him, properly this time.
After he got down at his stop, my friend called me up to say sorry, when I realized I was not angry, not angry at him, not angry at myself, not angry at life.

Dekho wo kese chal raha he,
Pakka bewda hoga saala,
Dekh use English bolni nahi aati,
Kya bewkoof he saala,
Dekh uske fate kapde,
 Chaar pese kharach nahi kar sakta saala,
Dekh puri duniya ko,
Saale hum hi sabse ‘intelligent’ hein!

1 comment :

  1. lol yez!!

    saale hum hi sub se intelligent hai !!!!!