I stared at the numbers. I was unable to comprehend their meaning and how they were computed. Accountancy is a logical subject with only two broad components Debit or Credit. My tutor went on and on to explain the class what was going on and I kept sitting there blankly. That was largely because of two reasons, my two nostrils kept draining mucus and nosy (Indianized version of mucus) and also that I didn’t posses a napkin. I looked left and then right, no one was looking at me, not even my partner. Sir turned his back to the class and wrote on the board. The moment was perfect. I squeezed my nose, collected the mucus and rubbed it off on my pants. Relief and disgust. I hate my nose, my life and the horrid Air conditioner that was making matters worse.
Thankfully the class got over. One and a half hours of complete pain and suffering. The world conspires to trouble me. I got out of the tuition center and looked around. It was all messy and humid. It had rained heavily and it was still drizzling. I went towards the main road repeating in my mind how I hated to study so much; how some weird test was coming near; how my Sunday was going to get ruined finishing some exercise from some hefty math book. I looked around. Everyone was smiling and happy. They were armed with heavy cash and equipped with shopping bags. If only I was rich and influential, life would be so easy.
I went to the Auto Stand to hail one so that I could return home. I spoke to the driver.
“Pain-tees rupiye” he replied. (Thirty-Five rupees)
“Pachis thek hain bhaiya. Rooz tution aata jaata hoon” (Twenty-five is fine. I come for tuition everyday.)
He shook his head. Bad luck is stuck to me, I thought. I kept walking drenching myself in the rain that had begun to intensify. Why does this always happen to me? Why me? I continued in the endless search for an ideal auto. I was now at the red light. I had by now stopped three drivers, but all in vain. Finally I ran across to the other side of the road and asked another one. The same questions repeated.
“Chaliye.” (Let’s go) said the Generous auto driver. Finally my ass got some rest. The benches of the tuition center aren’t very great you see.
“I was looking at these shops. My daughter’s birthday is on the 12th. I was wondering what to gift her,” said the auto-wallah (auto-owner).
Oh Crap! When all the things are starting to look good, something spoils everything. Talkative drivers- a complete pet peeve. Why cant they just do their job and be done away with it? Why do they have to share their views, opinions and ideas with a complete stranger? Firstly I am slightly hard of hearing, secondly there is so much noise in the auto and finally I don’t care to listen to what they are speaking and comprehend and reply accordingly. Since I heard him, I had to reply.
The signal changed. Thank God. Now he would keep quiet.
“So in what college are you in?” asked the gossip king.
“ I am in 12th,” I replied disinteresting-ly.
“Acha. So what stream do you have?” he asked.
What does he know about streams?
“I have commerce.”
“Ok. Good Good. But nowadays the science people are in demand. They earn handsomely.”
“Ya. But you have to study a lot and besides I didn’t ever get science,” I tried to defend the commerce community and my choice.
He then went on to narrate an incident, which involved dropping a science student for an entrance exam in heavy rains like these. I didn’t get most of it so I omit writing it here. Let’s narrate the good part.
“Okay,” I said after he said something.
“You should have taken science. People like you should become doctors,” he said.
“Aisa Kyun?” I asked why so?
“You would look nice as a doctor. You are so handsome and beautiful. Smart people like you end up as fantastic doctors. You are definitely of the likes of a doctor.”
I burst out laughing. I had never heard such a thing. He started laughing too. The laughter subsided but the effect lasted long.
“So what do you plan to do after college?” he asked curiously.
“I’ll study at DU,” I told him.
“You’ll have to study a lot.” God this guy knows a lot.
We were just about to reach my home and he said, “I just paid my Auto installment.” He took out a yellow paper and I saw it from my seat.
In my lane there is a huge banner of Sri Sai Baba. Who put it up I don’t know but it was regarding some event organized in his name. Seeing it he said, “There is increasing belief in Sai Baba these days. At an event, I saw a hallucination that I saw him. I told a friend of mine and he said that it was fantastic that I had seen Sri Sai Baba.” Sakshat Darshan- meeting the God.
I smiled. He couldn’t see it but I guess he knew I was. I told him to stop in front of my house. I paid him and said Thanks. He thanked me as well.
This was one of my best auto rides. I can’t believe I would be so engrossed in a conversation and then transform it into a blog entry as well. But I guess that since so many people are part of our lives and we of so many, that even a small meeting can bring a great effect. If I am not mistaken, differentiation is all about this only.
As I was entering home, I was smiling a lot, more than usual. But as I said, I hate my life and among good things come bad ones; a negative thought crossed my mind. Did the driver trick me into all this, that in my happiness I would give him extra money? Did he try to fool me? I might sound insecure, but I don’t know. I brushed that thought away. I am now of the view that my life is horrible but it has it’s own “great smile” moments. Doesn’t everyone’s life have these? What am I fussing about?