Yesterday was a pretty hectic day for me with study and gym and then cricket.The first two aspects of the day elapsed quite satisfactorily but the cricket was disappointing.Indians Can never be consistent.And that goes for me too.
I woke up very late today morning.About 9 am.
Anyhow i got myself awake somehow and went for a walk.I think I overdid the 'how' thing in the last sentence but am feeling too lazy to edit it now.
Then I got ready and left for the library.Was at the Borivali station in ten minutes.And then I ran towards the ticket window
Well there was a huge queue and I stood patiently cursing the population of India for half an hour.It was extremely hot,not a leaf was moving and to top it all the air was full of dust thanks to the constuction work going on nearby.What a bleak day it is ,I thought.
I was only a few people away from the counter when I felt a light tap on my shoulder.An old bent man with a walking stick was looking at me apologetically."Maare ticket levu ?"he asked in Gujarati.(will you buy my ticket?)
Honestly ,I am not very good at Gujarati but I know enough to understand .I looked at him and nodded.The man then smiled with gratitude and handed me a ten rupee note with shivering hands."Vile-parle javanu.Mane utari des?"(I want to go to Vile-Parle will you help me get down?)
I saw that the man had titubation and tremors.I again said nothing and bought our tickets.I was going to take a fast train and he would have to go by a slow train.I was just thinking what to do when the man held my hand for support and followed me quietly as i headed for the stairs to the bridge.
"I have to go by fast train dadaji,I told him.Am late."I then gave him his ticket."Go to platform no.2.You will get a train from there".
'Maare saath nathi avtu?(wont you come with me?)he asked in a small voice.
'No,I am sorry",I said.And then ran up the stairs.Just as I reached the point where I had to descend to my platform,I stopped.
I looked behind but couldn't see the old man .Concerned ,I waited there for five minutes.Sure enough he was coming slowly,swaying and struggling to avoid the other passengers who were roughly pushing past him.
At that moment he didn't look like a stranger to me.
I felt that I had seen him before in the helpless faces of countless residents of old age homes and ashrams.I had seen him in the many old debilitated patients that got admitted in our wards with no one to look after them.
The pain of being forsaken by their own flesh and blood and the agony of being handicapped by their age and weakened body was too much to bear.And they chose death over this traumatic life......
As I watched the man still trying to fight his way ahead,tears welled up in my eyes and my heart filled with remorse.I walked briskly towards the man and held his hand.
Guiding him deftly through the crowd I took him to the platform.When the train arrived ,I used all my skill and strength and got him into the compartment.Looking around ,I was pleasantly surprised to see my uncle Arvind in the first seat.
I quickly explained the situation to uncle who smiled and offered his seat to the old man.Uncle was to get down at Dadar and would take care of the man.Relieved,I told the old man to do as my uncle directed and turned to go.
Just then the old man stopped me and gave me a hug."Thank you ,Beta,"he said,'Thakurji raksha kare".
I stepped out of the train feeling like a different man.
A cool breeze was blowing and the tall coconut trees next to the platform were swaying happily in the wind.The sun had hidden behind the clouds and as I looked up at the sky,I realised how selfless the clouds were.
In Summer they shielded us from the burning sun while they themselves bore his fury.In the rainy season ,they were the carriers of the elixir of life-water to quench our thirst and give life.At other times they just gave us happiness by being part of nature's beauty.But they never asked for anything in return.
That is how we ,humans must live our lives.
I got into my train which was surprisingly empty and got the window seat.
Well,I thought what a beautiful day it is!