Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blessing in Disguise

Okay! I admit it! I am a slave to the pleasures of having your own car. I have been denying it to the world, stating my minimalistic ideals in life. Always claimed that 'the car' was only a tool to help me survive the many roles I play....

Well, all that came crashing down when my car broke down, in a very martyrdom fashion, right outside my gate late one evening, just when all I could think of was a shower and sleep. Needless to say, my world got sucked into the black hole of "How do I"s..... And the fact that all the answers had to come from the already exhausted cells in my brain, did not reduce my misery.

Thus began my road to rediscovery! I had to plan the next day frantically, and had to leave earlier than usual, because I know I usually drive a little past the speed limits...... and today no such feat was going to happen!

In my part of the world, we have this unbelievable carrier called the cycle rikshaw (or 'rikshaaaaaa...' as Delhizens like to call it). Unbelievable because the driver is a fine line between heroic and suicidal - the way he pulls the rickshaw through the rogue traffic. Being in the passenger seat is no less thrilling than a barefoot walk on hot coals. I had to take one of these to reach a place where I would find a motorised version of the same - an auto rikshaw!

The cycle rikshaw guy was a weird fellow who sang loudly, and sang louder to get passers by to move out of his way. And I really didn't like the glances that came my way. But my 2 year old certainly was enjoying himself, bobbing up and down with every pothole on the road, and shaking his head to every change in the singer's pitch!

Finally, I told him to turn the volume down. The guy turns around to look at me, and stops singing. I am sure he was disappointed that I didn't appreciate his nasal rendition of the latest chart buster! He still looked sullen when i paid him and said thank you... But he did smile back at my son who gave him a winning smile and a bye-bye wave to match.

After dropping my son off, I had the next phase of my journey - the auto ride of about 40 minutes. I was dreading the ride - the heat, the dust, the pollution, and did I mention the heat...? I finally found one auto with a driver who looked less likely to fight out a bargain, and parked myself into the metallic sauna. It seemed to be music day because this guy blares his crackling radio to its capacity. Again, I told a sulky guy to tone down the volume.

After a few minutes, the wind blowing into the auto, and the traffic looking less dismal than usual, one could actually see green trees and some birds too. The buildings too, looked much better and I saw some details I had somehow, managed to miss on my daily commute to work. Kids in uniform, running to reach school..... Grandparents with kids holding on to their finger while walking.... Young go-getters rushing to reach there faster ..... Mothers waiting at the roadside with their kids for the school bus ...all kinds of pleasant distractions. Roadside vendors sprucing up their shops ..... there seemed to be some kind of cheerfulness I usually missed on my everyday hurried clutch-brake-gear-accelerator routine..... and I discovered I was now tapping my foot to the music and smiling - just like that!

After a little while, it felt like floating .... thinking about nothing in particular, and yet about so much happening all around me. It suddenly dawned on me, I was in the passenger seat - not driving, not able to really do much except be carried to a destination. Much like life itself, really. Would life be as simple if one realised that one can only do so much and that the rest has to be left to a higher power? Are the dilemmas and uncertainties of our lives that we find so disturbing, actually a blessing from the heavens? My car break down certainly was!


  1. wow, thats defnitely looking through life in a diff perspective. Very well put. If only we can see just a little beyond....we can see the real beauty there. If Beauty realley was in the eye of the beholder....he should keep checking his "eyes" what to look out for.

    Very well put Meena, thank you

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. very well written.lucid and beautiful.

    your last paragraph resembles teaching of a qualified spiritual guru. No thoughts and accepting the happenings as it is (or living in the present moment), is bliss.

    And I think the name lafemeenirvana is also meaningful in this context.

  4. @Andrew... knew i could count on you for that pep talk!! are finally reading the bog!yaaaay!!

    @Rejesh... how do i interpret the smiley?

    @Manju..thnax , dear!

  5. "suddenly dawned on me, I was in the passenger seat - not driving, not able to really do much except be carried to a destination. Much like life itself, really."

    Really Nice Meena..

  6. nicely said...every dark cloud has a silver lining!

  7. @Varsha ... thanks... yeah! the silver lining helps during the tough times!