An evening in Pune. Looking to park my car, I slowed down. The traffic wasn't heavy, but was messy as usual. Well, what else would you expect in this 'happening' city? Three vehicles out of every four on the road are two-wheelers. If you move around on foot, better be on your guard too, for you wouldn't know when a bike would swish past menacingly.The 'road-race' in front of me was a spectacle of tolerance-deficit! On either side, stood pedestrians, eagerly waiting to cross over. Among them, were an elderly couple, returning home from the park nearby. Hand in hand they stood, looking for a safe passage to the other side. Several times, sensing an opportunity they would put one step forward, but pull back just in time. They were beginning to run out of patience.Involuntarily, I walked over to them and asked, “May I help you?' The husband looked at me, hesitated, and then extended a hand. Cautioning the riders, I took them across. Throughout the ordeal, he had his right hand protectively around the wife.Once we reached the other side, he gently squeezed my palm, and mumbled, 'Let this not happen to you, friend.'Three years... Even today, those words haunt me. Why did he say so? Was he thinking about his children? Was he disenchanted with life? Or was it a premonition of what was in store for at least a few of us?
"… as the evening twilight fades away,
the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day."
- H W Longfellow