Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On riding with lizards and smiling at strangers

I was riding to work as usual this morning. And I was letting thoughts run through my head as well. And I was running a bit late as I was running my scooter after 4 long days of not riding it and letting it get wet in the rain. Hence, the starting trouble and stalling at the signal and all…


Anyways, that is not the point of my story. So, while I was riding my scooter and running a bit behind schedule, I had to stop at yet another signal when these two blokes on a bike rushed to the empty spot next to my bike and said, "There's a lizard on your helmet. Don't remove it fast. Unbuckle it slowly, and remove it gently." And I did. And they took the helmet from me and sort of jerked the lizard away! And it wasn't a small one.


While I am not afraid of lizard, I cannot say that they are on my 'favorite animals' list either. In fact, they take a place in my 'yucky creatures' list.


And I was amazed that this creature had to sit on my helmet riding with me, and from what one of the other guys at the signal said, it had been riding with me for about a kilometer or two! I clearly remembered my helmet sans the lizard when I wore it this morning. Anyways, the point of the story is kindness of strangers.


After all said and done, I definitely love my country. I love the people. While there are some jerks*, there are also some kind people. And it is easy to laugh, and share a moment of one's life with them, even if it is for just a brief while like waiting at the signal.


Yesterday, when I was taking a train to work, I was stuck without Rs. 4 in change. I had only a Rs. 20 currency note. The person at the ticket counter asked me to wait till someone gave change. While I was waiting, there was this lady that came by and asked me up to where I had to go. I told her and she bought me a ticket.


The train journey wasn't exactly what I would have preferred. Well, what can I expect if I were travelling the wrong direction at the wrong time? I understood the meaning of 'sardines in a tin.' But, it was amazing the camaraderie that emerged among people in that situation. In fact, another person that got out at the same station as I walked with me a bit and we were talking to each other till we had to part ways.


I did not exchange numbers with any of these people. I did not ask for any of their names (well, except for the person that walked with me). I don't think I will even remember their faces. But for a brief moment our lives intersected and we shared a smile.


* Subjects of entirely different posts...

12 comments:

Ryan said...

I remember being at a purity camp. sitting in a circle with a bunch of pre-teen boys talking. A lizard dropped on my shoulder...

I am not fond of lizards either... but I let the one behind my bookshelf stay.

Nancy said...

Remember God sometimes says hello though the use of people like the ones you met that day. Remember to do the same to your fellow man.

SandyCarlson said...

YOU MADE MY MORNING, BUNGI! This is a heartwarming post, to say the least. On top of everything else this post says, it is a wonderful reminder that countries are full of human beings, and the vast majority are very good. Thanks for sharing this.

And thanks for the book recommendation for my daughter. I remember reading it when I was younger; I'll go to the library and get it today!

Deeps said...

I loved your post, Bungi. I travelled by local train last month after a gap of about seven to eight years. Nayantara was with me and hugely excited by the whole experience. I was so touched by the way complete strangers made room for us to sit simply because I was carrying a child. And Naina, who for some peevish reason wanted to sit cross-legged, could do so because the lady sitting next to her insisted that she wasn't offended or remotely bothered by Naina's shoes touching her. She even held her feet and 'chellamed' her!

I was also struck by how deeply American culture has penetrated our society thanks to TV. (I guess since we don't have a TV, I'm probably the only person in India to still be startled by this fact!) A lady came by selling hankies and Naina shouted, 'Dora!' I paid a measly Rs 10 for four Dora hankies while the woman next to me, gray-haired, cotton sari-clad and plastic lunch basket-toting, commented smilingly in Tamil, 'Indha Dara, ellarth mele vandirichhi. Hankies mele, towels mele, t-shirt mele...' (Excuse the Tamil :)) I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that she knew Dora, but I was!

Julie Layne said...

We have lizards that live all over our house in Texas in the hot summers. NOT on my list of favorite animals, either!! They poop all over the walls in the garage :-O and make us scared to walk barefoot! They are usually pretty tiny, maybe 4 inches including tails at their largest.

It never hurts to be kind, does it?

jen said...

it's the small kindnesses that end up meaning so much.

chriz said...

where did the lizard come from?

Jean said...

:) How kind of you to give the lizard a ride! LOL

Gayatri said...

i cant stand lizards either! i run around with a broom in my hand and chase them all over my room till they decide to crawl away. *squirms* :|

and as for kind strangers, yess! i totally agree!

2 years back i had this horrific bike accident. within a blink of an eye, i was lifted away to a hospital, my parents were called and my bike was parked in the hospital bike stand.

to date, i have no idea, who those people were. i didn't say thank you even. =)

--xh-- said...

poor thing must have hitched a hike :-)
as a biker, i ahve had the taste of the kindness of strangers a lot - and i try to give it back whenever i get a chance...

Sophia Emmanuel said...

I love lizards. And I love you too. So I think the two of you are a great combination :)

channesh said...

Bungi,

I've been immersed so much in the negativity around me with everything from people to media/papers running stories of people getting mugged and stuff. I kept looking into the half empty portion of the glass and forgot about the half filled portion! Things like your posts are an eye-opener... helps me remind myself : The Worldz not so bad after all!
Good one!

cheers :+)
Chaz