Thursday, April 14, 2005

the ties that bind

this is something that happened to my friend amit. I hardly have a clue if he will put it up in his blog. But I am putting it up in mine. I hope somebody reads it. I really hope somebody does

A typical tiring day at office. Deadline is dancing on my head and I am slogging to come over it. I left office around 9 p.m. and am still writing the report in my thoughts. I am not very sure that was report I was thinking about, I stressed myself to quite an extent to figure out what I was thinking and was lost in, but nothing helped. Did not realize when did I reach Victoria, got into the right platform, got down at Stockwell and then was standing at the right platform waiting for the tube. I wonder how was I doing things right, which I seldom do when I am to my senses.

I almost lost my balance by a wind gust and then I woke up and realized that the tube has arrived. The door opened with the same regular voice and I saw the door blocked by some n number of luggage items. Being sure, I searched for an Indian around and saw a beautiful young Punjabi girl standing at the back of the pile of luggage items. I somehow made my way jumping over the luggage items and managed to get into the tube. She smiled. I passed a baffled smile back. I saw an old lady and another middle aged lady sitting inside and trying to avoid the spilling of the stuff from polybags they had. I felt pity and the old lady passed a meek smile. Only seat empty was the one next to middle aged lady and I captured that without any hitch.

The youngest and the oldest were talking in Punjabi/Hindi and I could hear some filmy dialogues going on. Some maa-beti scene was going on probably. I could barely make out what the issue is and the middle aged lady next to me puked !!! Right on her feet, inside the almost air-tight, underground tube and immediately all white skinned left their seats and went to the other side. Before my reaction time could made me respond, my side of tube was empty and I did not know what to do? The lady puked more and more and that seemed endless. The damsel seemed to have a faster reaction time than me and I do not know when but she put in lot of tissue papers on the floor and almost cleaned everything. I grabbed my wits and finally offered some help. I asked if they have any medicine for her and she asked the same in return. I said I have just the pain killer which might not work here. "Jo bhi goli ho de do" and just in a fraction of second the young lady offered the pain killer and medicine to the patient. I guess she belongs to the school of thought that any medicine can cure any illness. Whatever, the sick lady looked up with watered red eyes and denied to take the medicine and sat back in terrible pain.

The real story starts now. We came to talking terms and oldie told me that they are coming from the Heathrow airport and are going to Tooting Broadway. I asked how will you go with so much of luggage, is anyone coming to pick you people up. She looked up with dried eyes, raised her hand to join the palms in air and said "Upper wala he kuch karega ab to". Humm .. situation was pretty filmy and before I could turn to the younger one, Tooting came. The youngest and the oldest started pushing the luggage out of the tube to the platform and I said, "Mein aapki madad ker deta hoon" and did the same. Finally the bold and the beautiful took the command and we pulled everything thru the escalators to the ground floor. I proudly used my Oyster card and came out of platform barricades and she got struck as probably she did not know the same travel card cannot be used again at the same station. A cop came and helped her with that and somehow we all finally came outside with all the luggage. I asked "London pahli baar aaye ho" ..and she replied ..."nahin ..mein to pichle 17 saal se yahi rahti hoon ...tooting mein". I got stunned. To this the old lady came to me .. took my hands in her hands and with motherly voice she said "bahut bahut meherbaani beta ... upper wala aapko bahut barkat de" ... The beautiful also looked at me with praising eyes and the whole filmy scenario pushed filmy dialogue from my mouth "nahin nahin aunty, ek hindustani he ek hindustani ke kaam aata hai" ....and the oldie replied with a glitter in her eyes with no break "beta hum to pakistani hain".