Monday, August 11, 2008


“Ajeeb dastan hai yeh …” a gush of wind ruffles your hair as you sit by the window seat of the bus watching the mundane activities of people busy in their placid lives. You watch two-wheelers making their way in between the seemingly unending rows of cars and buses, like a stream downhill that changes its course at every obstacle, only; they lack its vitality and purpose…….”Kahan shuru kahan khatam…..” .The words keep moving in your head as you try to find the one missing thing in your life that will make it different from theirs-“Yeh manzilen hain kaun si.. na wo samajh sake na hum…. Papa Bomanahalli kab ayega..?”…

Ah! You look around for the source of this disturbance that has pulled you out of your oblivion ending your thought process. There it was..a girl of about 9 or10 holding the hand of a man (whom you assume to be the aforesaid papa) and the handle of your seat in the other. She seemed tired from the effort of holding her forte (the space in this case) against the never-ending influx and efflux of people in the jam-packed bus. “ You should give her your seat “, someone suggested.


“But she is a small girl…and she is tired…”


“You have been taught since childhood to give your seat to women and old…”

“Why should I give my seat to women, they want equality in every field.. I support..have it here also..stand. As for old, you can never be old enough to admit that you are old and when you do admit it, you wouldn’t probably need to travel. Moreover there are no old people around…”

“ But she is just a tired little girl.. and surely you have no clauses against children..”

“No, but someone else can also give their seat to her. I still have more than half an hour of journey left, what if she doesn’t get down before that..”

“It’s funny you know, you know what is the right thing to do in this situation but you are convincing yourself against it, because no one else is doing it and you are too afraid to change although that is what you want. You wonder whether the person sitting next is also undergoing the same mental process and what will his actions be, but you yourself are not ready to act according to what you think is right .You wonder about social reforms and changes all the time but you yourself cannot perform a very small morally correct gesture”

“What if my gesture goes unnoticed and without any effect .”

“Then you will at least know the one thing that makes you different from those around you..”

Suddenly the bus screeches to a halt waking you up from your reverie. You look around for the girl but she is not there. You see her getting out from the door… you look out from the window, across rows of traffic passing by…” Ajeeb dastan hai yeh…….”

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