Saturday, December 4, 2010
MY HERO OF THE YEAR 2010!
A year on the wane- and I sat looking back at the gone days- thinking about that an incident that had an impact on me this year. It gave me my Hero of the year 2010!
Traveling by bus is something that had I learned to enjoy with much difficulty. If I can avoid it, I would. Fact however remains that I had aspired to become a 'Bus Conductor' in my 1st standard (Trust me- I did not know then that Rajnikanth was a Bus Conductor before he became an actor!). I felt and still do feel that it's almost Magical- for at times- a conductor of a crowded bus almost defies gravity and still manages to cut the bus fares! His 'Balancing Act' is that something that attracts me the most! The second thing that attracted me about the Bus Conductors was the Bag- Full of money!!! The clink and clank of coins, the rolls of paper currency held in his hand like a Japanese Hand Fan and bright colored ticket papers! I used to think that Bus Conductors are the richest people around to have got so much money!
But then- as I was growing up, I found that my views about the entire 'Bus Travel' had changed. This happened- to me precise, my 12th standard. I usually avoid crowded buses. But one day- it was very late and I probably had some test or something (else I could have done a “suffering from fever”, of course!) And I boarded this extremely crowded bus at 8:30 AM in the morning. No one would budge and I was hanging out on the foot board of the bus- with only the people hanging behind me to support me! Until then, I who had always admired the heroics of Kamal Hassan in a tamil song- 'Valai Osai' from movie 'Satya' (where he hangs on the steps with the heroine) felt that he should seriously consider a romance inside the bus! Safety first (no pun intended)! I was terrified. I had almost fallen off, whenever the driver felt like pressing the brakes. I got down almost two stops before my bus stop, and walked all the way the school from there, only to stand outside the class for the next 45 minutes for coming late. And, I had missed my test!
As the years rolled on- I had had further unpleasant bus experiences where I had to stand for almost 2 hours when I had to take the public buses to get to my college. And even worse were the exam days- when I actually stood in a crowded bus trying to study a year's worth syllabus in 45 minutes! I had lost my liking for buses since then.
This incident, where I found my Hero happened about a few months back- in a bus. Under unavoidable conditions, I get home by bus. That evening the crowd was unbearable. A group of college students boarded the bus. Almost all of them were trying out various heroics typical to their age. One of them- who looked very determined, did a Kamal Hassan in 'Satya'- paying no heed to the conductor who kept shouting at the top of his voice, asking these guys to get inside the bus. He kept throwing wise-cracks at his friends, holding the bar with just one hand and all the other circus stuff. Suddenly, there was a trouble on the road and the driver applied brake. This clown had lost all his balance and fell right in the middle of the road, amidst the traffic! The Rickshaw-walas and two-wheeler drivers abusing him had absolutely 'no effect' on his thick skull and he boarded the bus once again, now a complete Hero, with all his dumb friends cheering for him!
There was this lady. Sitting in the seat adjacent to the door- fat, dark and her hair tied up high into a thick bun. Her Bindi covered almost her entire forehead. Nobody saw her rising from her seat- and she slapped him real hard on his back with such a force that the fellow was thrown off balance once again! Now looking totally confused and speechless, he silently moved into the crowd and became invisible throughout the rest of the journey!
Kudos to her! I felt like getting her autograph!
It's never too late to tell these 'Roadside Romeos' that heroism is not risking your life! A Hero is someone who values his life! If a Hero has no idea about the value of his life, how can we expect him to value another's? It's a feeling that almost most of us have deep down- to give a good thrashing to these guys, make them behave better for their own good. She had the guts and the heart to do it. She did it. And I am sure- almost everyone who had been on the bus on that day with me would agree- that she is my HERO of the year 2010!