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Time-bound: in Ahmadabad


Ahmadabad is the largest city of a western province Gujarat in India. It should not be an exaggeration if I say that Diwali is the most important festival in this part on the world. The business community celebrates a week long (or even longer!) holiday post Diwali. That means, most shops don’t open for a week or so. The streets look deserted even during the day. And that also means that if someone like me who is new to the city is going there post Diwali, it is a challenge to locate someone to ask directions! My time-bound visit to the city last weekend left me with two memorable experiences that exposed hidden traits of humanity to me.


“Could you please guide me to...”, polite as always I am, was not prepared for an uncivil reply. I managed to reach my destination but my mind kept exploring what could be the origin of the ‘uncivil reply’ which was pelted to me. Maybe the man was already frustrated with his job or his wife. After all, his outlook did not indicate that he could be so time-bound that he lacked time to help me...

Just to mention, that in this city, the shared auto rickshaws are called as shuttle and the hired ones are referred to as special. As I hired an auto rickshaw to Shivranjani, I noticed two people riding bikes side by side to me. Both had women riding pillion and the two women were trying to talk. It did not seem to me as a very safe and recommended method of communication especially on a busy road. One of the bike rider had a young girl wearing jeans and seated comfortably with a child and the other bike rider had an old lady wearing sari and trying to accommodate herself on the bike.

The two ladies were continuously making attempts to talk and they used to break into laughter every time they failed in such attempts. I could not hear what they were saying but all I could understand that even they are not able to hear each other. Probably ladies smile more than other creatures in this world. Their smiles began to infect me.

Soon, we three stopped at a traffic signal. The girl came quickly to the lady and took away her purse. I was astonished! Then the girl garlanded the purse in the neck of the lady and said “Aunty, now both your hands are free, so you balance yourself properly and sit comfortably. Do not bother about falling from the bike...”

The pretty girl just offered an unsolicited help to the old lady! She spared her time at a crucial traffic signal to help a stranger. They followed different directions after that signal. I think, the girl offered help because she might have identified the lady with her mother or aunt. The man did not help me because he could not identify me with his brother or anyone of importance to him. Right people do help, whether it is Ahmadabad or...

2 comments:

{ SprigBlossoms } at: December 10, 2011 said...

Very eye-opening experiences :) I really like your thoughts at the end. Cheers!

{ kunjmann } at: December 11, 2011 said...

@SprigBlossoms Thank you very much for noticing and appreciating. It was just another attempt to understand the people around me...

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