The old man who left a message

I am happy today. I know why. Some more know it too. And those who don't, need not. So what does one do when one is happy. One blogs? Well, I do! :)

This is about an old man. He looked like a labour kinda guy when I first saw him. He was wearing some ancient, worn out and not-so-clean clothes that hid his slim frame. He was not clean, had white hairs on head as well on face, and was sitting. He was sitting in a crowded bus. It was the Chennai city bus. I saw him when I entered the crowded bus which would bring me to IIT from Chennai Central. There was no vaccant seat. None! It was difficult for passengers to even stand properly. I had three bags with me. I had just returned from home. I was in this crowded bus. I saw the old man. He saw me.

While travelling in crowded buses, what I usually do is to go stand close to some seat so that whenever it gets empty I can let my ass rest for the remaining ride. I went near where the old man was sitting. I stood there. Few seconds had passed when he spoke in Tamil. I do not understand Tamil much, but I guess he meant to ask if I wanted to sit. I nodded. He left his seat. I presumed he would be leaving at the next stop. Afterall, in a jam-packed bus like this he would like to leave his seat a li'l earlier, so that he can reach the door cutting his way through the crowd. I sat down.

I was sitting. He stood there. The old man. He stood there without trying to reach for the door. A bus stop came soon. The bus stopped. Some boarded in, some stepped out. He remained there; standing effortlessly. The old man. This made me feel bad. I was a young guy who should be standing while he was the one who should be seated. How could someone be so nice to a stranger? I looked at him. He was looking somewhere else. He was not even bothered.

Next stop came. He still didn't leave. I started getting restless. I felt too bad. This world is all a race, isn't it? It's all about who can grab the seat first. And here this old poor and (I guess) illeterate chap had left his seat even without me asking for it. For whom? I had never done that for anyone.

Another stop came. He remained there. Standing. It was too much to take. I decided that if he didn't leave by the next stop, I wouldn't sit anymore. After about twenty minutes since he had offered me his seat, another stop came and he left. Finally!

The old man who had white hairs had left but he made me realize that this world is not just about the survival of fittest, not just about some race. This world is also about compassion for fellow human beings. I will remember this bus ride always. Our life is like a bus ride. People come and they leave. And some find a special place in your heart. Because you know, they were good to you even when they would get nothing in return.


  1. dhruv said...
    Exactly, this is what I keep harping about all the times to my friends! In this age of cut throat competition they look at me as if I'm insane. Compassion for a fellow human being is the purest emotions of them all. People make fun of me, some even think I am a fool when I help my competitors! Is it so wrong? They're in need of help so what if I help them? Will they get ahead of me? Maybe. But so what? I will always enjoy the happiness to help someone out! For there is no joy better than this :)

    In this age, everyone is just so caught up trying to get ahead of each other that they don't realize that life is just passing by them... By the time they realize it, its just too late!


    amrit said...
    Hey Dhruv,

    The very same people who make fun of you, will one day realize who was wrong. I am happy to know someone like you who doesn't blush away from showing compassion to those in need.

    There is no joy better than this. Exactly!
    ankit said...
    budha thoda sanki hoga,..ya sure nahi hoga ki uska stop kaun sa hai..isley utha...

    i dont think there was any "so called" compassion for a fellow human beinng, in him atleast !
    amrit said...
    @Ankit, Shubham


    Reality doesn't matter. Perception matters.

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