It’s funny how you can never plan anything in life. I started the day with a heavy head & zero work pressure. Parents were leaving for Dubai in the afternoon, and hence, last night was spent with them over an extended dinner & few close friends. The only agenda for the today was to drop them to the airport & then meet a sweet couple for lunch.
Morning was nothing special, it mostly involved Father & I talking about cricket and the weather as Mother & my wife were busy making some delicious breakfast.
“Aaj toh zaroor baarish hogi”
These words from my father were enough for Mother to start her mandatory pre-travel ranting.
“Aaj hi honi thi baarish? Pura sheher paani mein doob jaega. Hamari flight toh pakka cancel ho jaegi.”
“Lo… shuru ho gayee Ram katha.” said Father, as he walked towards the bathroom.
Last minute packing was over. Breakfast was had. Goodbyes to the neighbors were said. It was time to fight the traffic and reach the airport on time. As a custom, we left an hour and half before time ‘cause, well, my father would rather reach his destination with few hours in advance than sit at home and relax. Works for him like a charm, I find it bloody frustrating.
We reach the airport just about on time, heavy traffic made sure that father was correct with his suggestion & we had yet another reason for me to enjoy the walk of shame. Final goodbyes were said with moist eyes, Mother & my wife shared their special moment. Father gave me a firm handshake. We were all smiles again & just then father realized that he brought two printouts of Mother’s ticket & none for his own. It’s funny how you can never plan anything in life. A retired commissioner, who is known for his meticulousness, had forgotten his own ticket. Life was beautiful again. Hehe
Few quick calls and they were set to fly off. And they did. I miss them already 😦
We came out of the airport, wife went on to finish her work & I was on my way to meet my friends.
A quick message “Hello, what’s special for lunch? See you in 20” was sent as I lit my first cigarette of the day. Few traffic signals, light drizzle & another later cigarette later, I received a reply: “Some work came up, can’t do lunch today. Sorry.” And just like that, the plan was canceled & I was left with an empty, growling stomach. It’s funny how you can never plan anything in life. Home was still an hour away & I had no intentions of heading to office, it was my ‘off’ day. It was futile to call any friend as everyone would have been busy with their usual routine ie. Abusing their boss while they work like a donkey!
Just when I was about to take a U-turn & head home, a car blocked my way – it was a friend who I hadn’t met for many years. It’s funny how you can never plan anything in life. The weather was too good to be wasted sitting at home & we had a lot of catching up to do. Also, my carnivorous stomach was getting louder by the moment. Simple solution for all the above, we went for lunch. Couple of hours, few beers & long chats later we bid adieu to each other with a promise to keep in touch. One problem, we didn’t exchange numbers. Hehe
The climate was now way too delicious & I had a long drive in mind. Unfortunately, the flooded roads took the thought away from me rather quickly. It’s funny how you can never plan anything in life. There was no traffic but there was enough water on the road to mess up a smooth ride. A mere 10 minute rain had caused many auto-rickshaws to stop working in the middle of the road, trucks were now shitting out devil’s smoke & the all vehicles were going slower than the Indian economy.
“I got the deal. Get a cake if you can. Love you :)” – Wife’s message brought a smile to my face. I was happy again.
Rain wasn’t so heavy close to home, it was slightly more than a drizzle. I entered my favorite bakery with a mouth full of saliva ready to run down, waiting for a bite of the gorgeous cakes displayed in front of me. I ordered two cakes, ‘cause you know, the more the merrier. As I walked towards my car, I saw a woman sitting right in front of my car.
There wasn’t enough room to get the car out and I was getting too impatient to wait. I repeatedly asked her to move but she didn’t respond. Maybe she was deaf. I didn’t know. I didn’t care. I couldn’t really understand what she was doing sitting on the road, getting soaked in this light but steady drizzle. I stopped talking once I saw her face. Infact, I am pretty sure I stood there for couple of minutes without even moving a muscle. I honestly did not know what to do. It’s funny how you can never plan anything in life.
She was an old lady, easily in her 70s. Dressed fairly decently, including well braided and oiled hair. Sadly, she was crying. She was crying because the polythene bag she was carrying broke and everything she had recently bought was on the ground. She was trying to pick everything up and put it in another bag. Here is the problem, amongst other things; she was trying to pick sugar, wheat & rice. Her trembling hands didn’t help much either. I tried to talk to her but she was too busy picking up the now-wasted grains.
“vahu ne gusso aav se” (Daughter in law will get angry) is all she kept mumbling. It broke my heart, and I am pretty sure that if I had a soul, it would have cried as well. Knowing that no amount of convincing would make any difference to her, I did what I thought was right. I sat with her and helped her collect each & every piece from the ground – now mixed with rain water, mud & other road filth.
Once everything was safely in the bag, she stood up straight. Tears had stopped; the pain was still visible on her face. We had a small conversation where neither of us understood a word the other one said. I asked her where she stayed or if I could drop her someplace. She just nodded and walked away in a tiny lane next to the bakery. I stood there for a while. I was numb. I don’t quite remember how I drove home.
“What the hell happened to you? Did you fall? Are you okay?”
I didn’t have any answer to my wife’s questions. And to make matters worse, I had forgotten the delicious cakes on the road.
It’s funny how you can never plan anything in life. Ever.