Tuesday, May 30, 2006

To lift or not to lift

On my way back from college yesterday evening I saw this very old man on the road asking for a lift. The guy on scooter in front of me wanted to stop but by the time he pulled over (it was a busy hour) he had already gone very far, so he again sped up and left. Now the old man waved at me. I had a moment of hesitation; I have never given lift to anyone. And by the time I decided to oblige him I myself had gone quite a distance and turning back in that traffic was unthinkable. I continued driving.

I wish I had pulled over immediately.

Getting nostalgic about Eliot's "Prufrock"

In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse

By the way that's not all!

Today as I drove back from sector 22 and reached the T-point from where I was to take right to come home, I had to stop at the traffic signal. As I slowed down another old man, though not as old as the one I mentioned above, walked upto me and asked for a lift till the traffic lights in sector 17. I told him that I wasn't going that way and would take a left from the round-about to go to 15. He said, "Today you can take a different route to 15." I was a bit surprised by his audacity. Anyway, I said, Ok, come. As soon as he ensconsed himself next to me he said,"Why aren't you running the AC?" Now I was zapped. I said, "It seems you have walked a lot today, had a strenous day." I still hadn't switched on the AC. I was trying to hint that such a demand is not very polite. "No it's just too hot today," he said,"I went to these small shops in 22, they are so suffocating." And in the same breath he said, "Aren't you putting the AC on?" When he mentioned it the second time I was actually amused. So guess what? I did put the AC on for him. As I drove him upto the traffic lights I was wondering if he would ask for any more favour. He didn't and got down at the lights.

Morals of the story:

  1. Your indecision almost always confounds you.
  2. When someone else makes a decision for you it may not be that bothersome after all.

(PS: Morals to this story are tentative and are subject to change)

8 comments:

Ashwin said...

Hey Ashish,
I am sure it might have been an interesting experience. All my life I have been riding cycle, and there were times when people asked me for lift. I always said no because I never had the strength to pedal with a person behind. No wonder why Mayuri won't recommend me a gym for passtime.
Talking about hitch hiking it seems to be quite common abroad. But atleast people may be more courteous, unlike the fellow you came in touch. Why don't you try giving pretty girls a lift than old men? Probably, it will be a nicer experience and I want to see a write up of it in your blog (If it becomes too personal you don't have to!!)

ashish said...

I still don't know what to think of that person. Was he imposing himself on me? or was he showing confidence in latent human sympathy? He might even be thinking -"This guy owes it to me because of my age." After all youth must respect the aged in our culture.

So this is how I would sum up the experience:

Old age claimed it's rightful place to which the youth dutyfully complied

As for the pretty girls ... I will wait till my old age to ruminate on those memories. That's a better thing to do than go out asking for lifts at that stage of life.

Anonymous said...

Indecision not only stuns but also stunts! Meandering from the morals of your story, another message mischievously pops up (the credit of its subtlety goes to your word wizardry): “Is decision making obligatory or an obligation mostly against decision?”
In both the cases, it’s choice that suffers. And suffocates because you have made it yourself. Someone else doing the needful at least saves from the asphyxiation bit though it fractures own senses while crashing in via external push. And stunted sensitivity is what time (the minute) waits for to play a joke! Prufrock is
p(r)aying for that inadequacy of choice, emotion, time and longing to keep the image etherized.

soyra said...

ashish
It is so interesting to read your daily experinece and see you being zapped, hahaha.
I also feel the embarrassment from the old man. Sometimes I even wonder if there is a different world to the seniors. I am sometimes offended by the attitude of the seniors demanding something explicitly with weapon of their age.

By the way....to think it simply in our religion, embrace them with love and generousity. If the demand is not out of your control, practicing to love neighbors in a daily life gives you the wealth of mind.

So, in a way...I am happy to see the old man had a good guy who offered the convenience.

Don't worry...somehow what you gave will return to you. :-)

mayuri said...

My moral as I see it:

God knows how to compensate for missed opportunities to bless others. I think the very fact you felt bad about not stopping for the old guy the first time, you got another chance not just to exercise a helping hand but also extending your patience and love towards the one whom you stopped to help (irrespective of that fact if the beneficiary is deserving or audaciously undeserving:-)

ashish said...

...and hey Soyra ... glad to see your comment ... you actually surprised me ... hope you are doing well ... i have been thinking to write a blog on Korea ... very soon I will!

ashish said...

casey ho!
i liked the way you put the whole thing ... it sounds much better now :-)

and yeah ... the beauty of this planet is precisely this ... here you do get a chance to redeem yourself ...

Anonymous said...

Your are Nice. And so is your site! Maybe you need some more pictures. Will return in the near future.
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