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When I get time, I listen to music, or read books. If any is left, I blog!

Friday, 12 February 2021

A Day In A Double Fast

Those were the days, when time and train waited for no one.  With a 'Vada-Paav' in the mouth, and a briefcase in the other, a commuter scrambling through the crowded platform was a familiar sight.  The compartments meant to carry 2000 passengers, accommodated thrice that number.  Those inside, huffed and puffed to redefine the concept of space!  Like 3 million odd daily commuters, I too survived this ordeal for years. 

So, when I had to travel to the city recently, like a seasoned commuter I reached the station well past the rush hour.  The platforms were still crowded, and the trains jam-packed.  My intent was to board a compartment and move right inside, to avoid getting caught in the crosscurrent of commuters desperate to exit and eager to board at the next station.

As I stood taking stock of the situation, a pleasant surprise appeared in the form of a good old co-commuter.  We talked for 30 minutes or so, before managing to get on to a 'Double Fast' train and find space to stand between two rows of seats.  That was where one could find some comfort, and grab a seat as soon as it fell vacant.

“Remember?” my friend whispered: “We used to offer our seats midway to the standees.  Nobody asked us. but we did it out of courtesy.  Times have changed; with it manners too.  Look at these college students.  People as old as their fathers and grandfathers are standing.  Is anyone bothered?”  I pacified him: “Don't be judgemental”.  My friend quipped: “Yeah yeah... You've always been like this.  Indifferent and unconcerned!”

At the next station, a passenger got up to disembark.  Since my friend declined, I occupied the seat.  However, among the new entrants, was a frail old gentleman.  I offered my seat to him.  My friend couldn't hold his tongue: “Wow.. I am impressed, Sir!''  As if on cue, a student got up: “Uncle, please sit here”.  Three other youngsters followed suit.

I turned to my friend: “The new generation grows up observing us, just as we did in our younger days.  Be fair to them!''

 Elders who wonder where the younger generation is going 
should remember where it came from."

Sam Ewing -

Friday, 22 January 2021

Man Proposes, God Disposes

When I reminisce, I feel having what P G Wodehouse called, “the look of one who had drunk the cup of life and found a dead beetle at the bottom”.  Don't gloss over it with a casual laugh, because life to every one, is a see-saw battle between expectations and disappointments.

We all started our journey of life on a tiny boat of hopes, not knowing where we are bound.  Caught in the winds and tides, and threatening to capsize at times, the boat kept sailing, at least until now..., and hopefully for some more time!

Without hopes, life has no desire, direction or drive.  No wonder, we find idioms like 'sky’s the limit', 'chase our dreams', 'hit the jackpot' etc. so luring.  They elevate our hopes into expectations.  That most of them are unrealistic or unachievable, seldom cross our minds.

To hope is not a crime; but expecting every single hope to materialise, is.  Not convinced?  Look at relationships.  We enter into them and nurture them with hopes.  But somewhere along the way, these hopes turn into expectations, expectations into demands, and demands into entitlements.  Naturally, when things don't happen as expected, we get upset, angry and hurt.

“Tone down your expectations”, the wise would advise, “to avoid disappointments”.  I haven't succeeded.  For me, every single hope has had an extension.  Yet, disappointing experiences one after the other, have given me the disposition to stay calm.  Whoever coined the saying: “Man proposes, God disposes”, needs to introspect.  Why blame God, for one's own weakness?

Catherine Pulsifer author of 'Inspirational Words of Wisdom' said once, “If you put in little effort and expect big returns, you will be disappointed”.  She went on to add:

 You don't get apples by planting lemon seeds."

Catherine Pulsifer -