The driver cursed the road conditions, municipality officers, and everyone walking on the road as we got stuck in a jam at the old Beadon Street of Kolkata. Ira was sleeping, Adi trying to solve some puzzle in mobile. The cars and bikes honked impatiently, and to make things worse, it started raining. I was looking out of the window.
“Any message from Richard?” Kuhoo asked.
My reply made her more curious. Life hasn’t been easy in recent months. Too much of traveling, turbulence at work, health condition of few dear ones, and my own health didn’t help much. And the onset of autumn, the season that has brought several big changes in my life.
I was traveling back to KL that night. With some reflections on the days in India, and some learnings.
No one is indispensable?
In last two months, I saw a promising guy sacrificing his career to support his ailing father; a doctor deciding not to marry to continue supporting his bed-ridden parents; a dear one passed away, and another who isn’t left with much hope. When I look at their lives, I realize the value of a person, without whom paths of many lives will change forever.
There ‘are’ indispensable people in our lives, in our societies and surrounding establishments. They are everywhere; even in the history books.
Take some risks
Growing up in a competitive environment, fear of failure, social pressure etc. have made many of us habitual risk-averse. We have stopped experimenting, and try to get into a comfort zone as quick as possible.
But actually there is no late age to start anything. And many a time the biggest roadblocks are just thoughts. Surprises could be our best teachers, and how we respond shows our character and resolve.
On my side of the road was a tea shop. There was a lone old man, quite old, nondescript perhaps unwell too, busy in cleaning, arranging his kettles and glasses all by himself. The mud-stove was lit but the empty benches suggested there wasn’t any customer.
When it started raining, he suddenly jumped out of the shop. Stumbled over the water logged drain and somehow avoided the rains falling in the mud-stove. I thought that was unnecessary because he hurt his leg in doing that. Anyway there was no customer, and then an injury could have resulted in shutting his shop and business for few days.
But as quickly as he’d jumped out, he went back to his place and put the kettle on. While I blamed the rain, the old man used that as opportunity. He got four-five customers in people who hid near his shop due to rains.
I couldn’t stop grinning. And there he saw me. He knew I was into his world for some time. He smiled back.
There is a quiet in chaos, a rhythm in disorder. Within indispensability and risks lie the very fabric of life. We cannot be afraid of living. We can not be afraid of our dreams.
|Pic: By Sudhir Gupta|