Sunday, July 8, 2012

an odyssey of a office goer


A routine drive to and from work is rather filled with interesting moments. I discovered it  and decided to  track all that crossed my mind on one particular day. All while I was concentrating on driving with no one else inside the car and keeping hands off the mobile.

The first few moments of the journey are quite hectic for the brain. Adjusting to the inertia of motion is one and deciding on the indoor temperature, FM station and moving objects does the rest. The news is usually irrelevant and fails to impact the day to day existence and most of the time makes you sad with news of death and destructions! The music on the other hand has the power to rekindle sweet memories and sometimes not so sweet ones.

Drifting in such thoughts I noticed a few sparrows feeding in the grass outside. The temperature in the morning was already above 40 degree Celsius but I guess food comes first. I remembered my early school days when I used to believe that sighting of one Common Mynah was a sign of bad luck. A day then was pretty much decided by the following rhyme:

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for letters &
Four for toys

I was weak and superstitious and it went on to torment me spoiling the childhood bliss. Remembered the day I told myself that I am no longer going to let the silly birds to dictate my happiness or sorrow. These days they make me smile.

A car with a sign “Baby on board” passed by. This is quite a common sight particularly with a very high percentage of young population and moreover they love to have children. But this one was quite old and I thought that the baby to whom it belonged is probably now old enough to drive the car.

Soon after that a new car drove past with a brand new yellow sign and a closer look revealed the text. It read “Civil Engineer on Board”. I was completely clueless as to what was expected of me or my fellow drivers. Were we supposed to keep distance or go and hit him…… a mystery remains to be answered!

Usually it is quite common in the mornings to see a few women drivers hastily wearing their make-up on their way to work every time they had to stop their car. The men however like to have their sandwiches or coffee or cigarette on the go. But that particular morning there were none of them. But for the first time I saw a woman driving a car with her dog sitting on her lap. I thought of clicking a pictures but it stopped a bit far from me. You could be fined if you were caught driving with your child on the lap, I wondered if there was a law that forbid one from having a dog!

While I waited at a signal, I saw a man cross the road. He had a file folder in one hand and a plastic carry bag in the other. He looked up and met my gaze for a moment and moved on. His face had a mixed expression of frustration, shame and failure. The eyes seem to searching for answer to why is this happening to me. In a city where very few walks on the streets he must be going through a phase which nobody wants to but most of us can’t escape. He had come thousands of miles away from home with dreams and promises which at this point in time looks very distant.

When I was returning home after work, the person from the car beside mine waved at me at the traffic signal. He gave a beaming smile and lowered window and I returned his gesture. He called out my name and said “how are you? Do you remember me, we worked together?” Too embarrassed to say no, I replied “yes off course! I do remember you.” Even to date it is a painful reminder that old age is catching up with me and I keep digging into my memory cells looking for a name for his face.

The car in front then was determined not to let me exceed the speed limit even by a fraction. He would neither accelerate nor give way. So the momentary road guardian bought me to a safe stop allowing enough time for the light to change from amber to red. The guy behind me thought otherwise. He overtook us from the side squeaking and screeching almost flew over the intersection in his Land Cruiser.

Some people live life as if there will be no tomorrow. The owner of that car seems to believe …… Drive your car as if the traffic light would never turn green again”!