Thursday, August 30, 2007

Strangers or Saviors?

As dusk sets in, whether the birds fly back to their nests or no, it starts raining heavily in Bangalore... So you kind of need to step out of the office space to the balcony to see the weather outside before you leave work...

Yesterday, after I double-checked the weather and kind of was sure that it was just a drizzle outside, I stepped out.. Unusually there was too much of traffic deadlocks on the road..... At least ten autos refused to come to the place I wanted to reach. In all the time that I was waiting there, I saw more and more people walking, waiting for auto, waiting for cab, waiting for bus, but no one really could get anywhere....I wanted to know if there is any major problem lest I get caught in the maze and find it difficult to get home. I was still closer to office and could take a refuge in the office portals instead of struggling on the road.... I approached another girl who seemed to have given up on the crowd and the non availability of a vehicle to get to where ever she wanted to.. So asked her "What's happening?, Any idea.....?" From her report, I learnt that there was some function in a nearby church and that there is a complete traffic block. There would be no autos or buses plying to most places in Bangalore for at least a few hours from then.

Fantastic.. That was the right piece of information you need when you need to rush home, and the sky is deciding between drizzle, rain and heavy downpour. I had to get home to take the most needed rest as my brain's charge was running out. Needed to recharge my mind with a good night's sleep. While I was still deciding my next move, I involuntarily looked at my watch.. It said, 7:15.P.M, which meant I had been struggling for the last half an hour and the dusk had long turned into dark... :)

Further down the road, I saw a bus stop with lesser crowd.. So thought I'd move closer to it. There was another girl, much younger than I waiting for a bus. She came over and told me that there would not be buses from where we were standing. I didn't quite understand what she was doing there till I noticed that she was expecting a baby in a month or two and did not want to take a risk getting caught in the crowd. I got concerned about her getting back home and asked her where she wanted to go. Her place happened to be closer to mine and so we decided to take an auto rickshaw when we find one. We chose to walk to the nearest junction to board an auto.

Only when we started walking, I realised the foolishness.. It was rainy and dark. The roads were slippery and I was kind of worried about the girl walking beside me. I prayed that we get to spot an auto at the earliest, so I do not have to take the tension of this girl struggling in the walk way, as much as me.. her struggle being more than mine and my mind's tensed state more than hers.

In a minute's time, I remembered that I had bought cream biscuits that evening. Now, I was unsure if she can have them and if there existed a rule of some sort that pregnant women cannot have cream biscuits.... She was very hungry and she decided to break rules. She took one biscuit while I finished almost the rest of the pack..

We saw a restless auto on one of the traffic signals... It seemed to me like the times when we have all hated to obey the teacher, but still bound by some unseen rope, we all eventually have listened to the teacher... The auto driver looked like one of them. The passenger got tired of waiting at the signal and hopped out of the auto. We managed to get into the auto paying a little extra than it usually takes for us to reach...Still, the extra money didn't really matter as we were too glad to have got a vehicle to go home...

It was 9:15 when the auto dropped her off on the way to my house and as we waved each other bye, I began to wonder... "Is she a stranger or savior? "

Am still wondering .... Were we Strangers to each other or Saviors? If you know Bangalore and what it means to struggle on a dark, rainy evening without a vehicle, without connectivity on your mobile, without knowing the language , you would find yourself wondering too.... :) Strangers or Saviors......... :) :) or probably " A Strange Savior..... " :) God bless her... :)

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