The ‘High’ Wise Man on the Circus Ride
It was 5 PM, on a dull day. The roads were empty with only the occasional passerby, though there were a few people on a sunday shopping spree. The monsoon was in its full glory all over, but here there hadn’t been a drop of water for weeks. Today it was particularly drab, hot and cloudy. Dont know why, but everything around me seemed cheerless. The white-and-gray buildings looked spartan against the stark gray sky. A signboard displayed emergency numbers for Fire, Police or a Heart Attack. Every once-in-a-while, the wailing siren of an ambulance reminded me that everything was not cool. The world around me seemed to be really sad and negative.
I, following the everyday routine, had been to the cafe. Mom was home today, so I did not have to bother myself with any of the chores. That somehow made me feel very lazy though.As usual, today too Amit was with me. After spending a few slow hours in the cafe, we started to leave. The admission procedure starts tomorrow, so asked him if he would come with me to the college. No, he said, he did not want to. The reason being he has KTs in two subjects, and he felt ashamed to go there. Or that is what I figured from his manner….
Was trudging back then, to get a rick. To my surprise, it had started to drizzle a bit. But my mood was low. Got a rick, and was the only passenger. Was waiting for the other passengers, when the rickwalla had a fight with a ruffian. Dont know what had happened. As I got down, I could only see both of them hitting one another, while each took a turn to glorify the others’ mother and sister. The rickwalla even head-butted the ruffian and broke his tooth.
I got back to the rick, with a sullen mood. Just then, another passenger got in. He said something while getting in, but as I was too preoccupied with my thoughts, I couldn’t hear him. I glanced at him, and saw that he was staring at me. Then he smiled, and said, “Kya hua bhai, tension mein dikh rahe ho“, i.e, what was I worried about. I was too bored, so just needed to talk to someone. Told him that I was worried about my admissions.
That again made him smile. He seemed good natured, and had an honest smile. From his clothing and physique, he looked like a worker, strong and sinewy. But later I discovered that he was a cloth merchant from Rajasthan.The first thing he said to me was to beleive in God. In the world, he said, if you are on the right path, then God will always help you. I was a bit shocked with this sudden burst of wisdom from him, and concluded that he was drunk. He cleared my doubt, when he himself with a smile admitted it. Whatever he was saying was the truth, he added.
Life is strange, said he, and the ‘uparwala’, God, is always playing games with us, and we never realize that we are a part of it. I am not a relgious guy, so did not make any points. But something did strike me as the truth.
He covered a wide spectrum, for sure. Friends are useless he said, they are with you in your good times, and leave you in the bad. There is only one entity that is to be beleived, and that is God. I was listening to him, and in the meanwhile the rickwalla had got all the passengers. We started off, and this guy was still going on with his gospel truth. It was entertaining, to say the least.
He lit a beedie then, and enjoyed the smoke in silence all the way to my stop. Before getting down, he again told me not to worry, that God will put everything right. Just beleive in him. You are a nice man, he said, and God will help you. He shook my hand then, and patted me on my back.
When I got down, I dont know what had got over me. I found myself walking swiftly, with a smile on my face and enjoying the light rain. The 10 min conversation with an unknown drunk guy had really lifted my spirits!