One Step

Looking at myself in the mirror, I see myself all wrong,
Causing me to doubt the truth I had known for so long,
When left seems like right, surely something isn’t right,
Maybe it was the reflection, or perchance the angle of sight.

Confused and bewildered, I step out onto the street,
Looking forward to any person I could happily greet,
But the picture I saw, sent me into shock,
Perhaps the first time my smiles ran out of stock.

All I could see were hundreds of faces lined with worry,
Thinking of a thousand more ways to even faster hurry,
Clockwork, the next foot was up before the previous one could rest,
And I probably understood what they meant by ‘survival of the fittest’.

Everybody it seemed was busy running after time,
Regardless that their watch would run out sometime,
They know none who has caught up, but it doesn’t matter,
They care not for the logic, embedded in such a matter.

They seem to believe that the heart is out of the question,
And therefore talk through their minds, talk sans emotion,
When the words escape, finding their way past the filter,
Consideration and propriety are forced to run for shelter.

So what if it made the other person feel hurt,
Couldn’t they see, their own heart was anyway hurt,
They thought others would understand the pain from this lesson,
Alas, the others, they too had filters, and saw only the agression.

If only they took one step towards those walking away,
They would find atleast one person coming their way,
Even if nobody turned around, it would be worth the effort,
For them to know, there’s somebody trying to heal their hurt.

This one definitely belongs to Mirror(though I have doubts it probably also falls into Gazebo, am having a lot of these overlapping ones nowadays). It all started out on my last day in Bangalore(for that period of time). I had by then become convinced of my opinion that BMTC conductors were the nastiest people on earth, and that they seemed to derive a sadistic joy from uttering the most disgusting things and behaving in the rudest manner possible. On that fateful day everything changed(or atleast everything about the opinion changed on 2nd May 2008).

There was this bearded middle-aged conductor in the bus while I was getting off at Vasanth Nagar, and he had the most congenial attitude I had seen in anybody in a long long long time. He greeted every single person in the most courteous way, and I must admit he was probably chivalrous to the core when it came to the ladies. Right from a student to the old lady unable to walk up quickly enough to the bus. I could see the happiness manifest itself suddenly on all their faces. It was probably that moment that I felt if only everyone everywhere could be like him.

While I understand that being Government employees and lower-level employees upon that, people like conductors carry a lot of angst with them. An angst that comes from long hours of consistently bad work environment, thankless irate customers lack of recognition and a pitiful pay to boot. This however doesn’t give them the excuse to pass off all of that pent-up fury on customers, most of whom have no other viable option and have to therefore bear all of it with a closed mouth. These conductors were appointed to be the customer-end face of the organisation, and if not for general well-being of the society, they should atleast behave considerately for the sake of the organisation that pays them to treat theh customers with respect. They seem to neither care for the organisation or for humanity in general, simply because nobody seems to care for them.

And it is not just the conductors, if every passsenger spoke gently and considerately to every conductor, they would feel like reciprocating and vice versa. Why are we always waiting for somebody else to smile first, somebody else to greet us affectionately first. If everybody shouted at everybody simply because the other person was also shouting, the world would be the biggest cacophonic fishmarket of the universe. Every time you smile and reply to somebody instead of answering with a grim face, you are unconsciously improving that person’s morale, uplifting that person’s spirit. This poem is dedicated to that Conductor of Route No. 290, who made my day. Wish everybody would follow suit. Change begins at an individual level.

Advertisements

Midnight Sun

Gathering the last bit of energy, I reached the bus-stop,
Whatever else did, the fatigue never did stop,
Broken in the body, slowly breaking in the mind,
I wonder why I put up with this daily grind.

The cars, the trucks, they whiz past, oblivious of me,
Being troubled not, to see me sulking at me,
Trying to work up a straight face at those around,
A really difficult thing, silly though it may sound.

There she was, walking, no, ambling across the street,
Almost blending in, but never really fully discreet,
Wouldn’t have noticed her, had it not been for the feet,
They weren’t kicking the earth, rather gliding over the street.

A smile on her lips, and a song on her mind,
A twinkle in her eye, the joy I never could find,
And her contagious laughter as she passed by,
Enforcing itself on the faces of every passerby.

I never knew a day to end, in such a happy manner,
That a day could even end in chuckles and lively banter,
I reached home and scrambled onto my bed,
But the laughter refused to go, leave my head.

I still stop at the bus-stop everyday, searching for her,
Trying to spot her, to try and befriend her and ask her,
The source of her happiness, the secret of her smile,
Like most things in life, I guess, its going to be a long while.

Wish I could wake up again, to a day that ends with a smile ,
Even if only once more, it would make my life worthwhile,
Walking down the street, without bothering to count the paces,
Because every single one brings back the smile on a lot of faces.

I usually pride myself on being very happy, jovial, and always being ready with a smile. However on one particular day, I happened to run out of my last smile, late in the night as I was waiting in the bus-stop waiting impatiently to get home and make the cursed day end.

As if in answer to my grumble of a prayer, a girl crossed the street, and past me and then across to the other side of the road again, as if parading before me. She was sporting the widest smile I had seen for many many days, almost like the ones Aparna used to sport. Talking on the phone to somebody, who could hear her laughter above the traffic din that I couldn’t.

But that wasn’t the most important part of it, what was material to me, was what the smile did to me. It caught me off-guard, my frowning grousing face a mile short of a smile. Though only a week back, am yet to find a frown search hard though I did. Seems to have melted into the air, just like her.

%d bloggers like this: