It was 8.30 AM Sunday, I was returning home from a class. I was in deep thought, took the longer route home on an impulse. I was walking along the road,thinking. Somewhere in the middle of the road, I stopped. I was so engrossed that I was actually unaware I stopped in the middle of the road. The man behind me shoved me and moved ahead briskly. (Ah! It’s common in Bombay even on Sunday mornings!)
I was roughly pushed back into real the world. I looked ahead. A man carrying a small child was walking towards a roadside vendor selling sunglasses. Walking behind him were his wife and son. The Man was so happy at the prospect of buying his son a pair of sunglasses that his eyes were gleaming with a child like enthusiasm. I was watching them from the other side of the road. They were a not to well-to-do family, but were clearly enjoying trying out funky sunglasses, father and son trying the same pair, while the wife was watching them proudly. The father selected one, and evidently it was too highly priced. After some haggling, the father put that pair down and tried to go for something cheaper. After 10 minutes, the family dropped the idea and moved ahead. The kid was dragging his footsteps and while the father was looking around hopefully to buy him something else.
I could not help smiling. I moved ahead towards the bus stop.A woman and her daughter were passing by. The little girl slipped, and fell down. The girl was not hurt but it was the mother’s concern that again touched me. She was so worried about her daughter, fussing over her, dusting off imaginary specks of dust from her daughter’s clothes. All the time, the little girl and her mother were smiling broadly. I was smiling broadly now for such a nice morning.
I was in the bus now. Sunday morning, the bus was expectedly empty. The bus conductor came and I gave him Rs. 7 for the bus ticket.
“Arre bala, aajun 1 rupaye de. Paishe vaadle.” The conductor said. Please give one more rupee, the fare has been hiked.
I was in a quandary. I had tendered exact change, and a 500 Rupee note was the only currency I had apart from those 7 rupees. The conductor had already printed the ticket.
“Ekach note aahe, Paachshe chi!” I said. I have only a 500 Rupee note.
“Raahu de! Paachshe chi sutte nahi majha kade!” The conductor said. Leave it! I don’t have that much change anyway.
I was sheepish. It was only one rupee, but the conductor would be paying that from his pocket . It was only a rupee, but I was touched nonetheless.
A nice beginning to the day. Better things followed soon after. :D