Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Gentle Reminder

It was late night and I was returning home from work on my avenger.  Its the middle of the winter and the weather was pretty cold.  After a sharp turn, I spotted a guy asking for a ride.  He was lean and was probably the same age as me.  Stopping for a hitchhiker in the middle of the night is probably not a smart thing to do but sometimes I do it.  It was the usual spot for hitchhikers and they usually ask for a ride to the nearest bus stop.  So, I gave him a ride.

Its usually pretty windy at the speeds that I ride but still, this guy tried to start a conversation with me.  I'm not a fan of casual chit-chat, especially with strangers and so, I was just giving him one word replies.  Suddenly, he started narrating his life story.  His father was a car driver and he died a few months ago.  For whatever reason, he didn't finish 12th and was now looking for a job.  He had done his 10th in a government school even though he had studied in an English medium private school till 8th.

He had been trying to find a job for months now (he had even tried the building where I work) but hadn't found one yet.  Chennai was his hometown and he had two younger sisters whom he needed to take care of.  In less than an hour, it was the birthday of one of his sisters.  He passed a quick comment about life and didn't talk for a minute after that.  Then he said he had to walk to Guindy from wherever I drop him and from where I eventually dropped him, it was a good 4 kilometer walk.  His eventual destination for the night was home, which was in Porur (quite a distance from Guindy).

He is my age, from my city and yet, his life is so different and so much harder.  Sometimes, we forget what we've got.  We are so caught up in our daily life that we lose focus of the bigger picture.  Sometimes, we need a stranger to remind us that we are very lucky; that there are many people out there, dreaming of being in a position as comfortable as ours.

I didn't ask for his name and I didn't even get a good look at his face but I hope I don't forget what he reminded me of.