There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception — Aldous Huxley
It all started when I was coming home back from work. Those days I used to by my company bus. My right hand had ligament tear and I was not able to drive by myself. Walking distance from bus stop to home was about few hundred meters i.e. 9-10 minutes in time dimension. Road leading to home was heavily loaded by vehicles with no footpath for walkers like me. Some one has to make their own way from narrow bridge which follows a river beneath. All the way lush green trees accompany you. I truly loved this journey.
One fine day as usual I was walking nearing closer to my society; something was going in my mind; don’t know exactly what; “time kya hua hain” – those words broke my thought process. I looked up, an elderly man, almost of the age of my grandfather; wearing white Shirt and white pajama was asking me time. At first I did not understood what he was saying. He asked again “Time..time kya hua hain” – coming out of trans I checked mobile and said its “6” and continued my walk.
It was a routine for me during those days (get down at stop to walk to home); one more thing got added in this routine is to tell time to uncle. Initially I did not give much attention to this but it was happening every day. He knew that I pass by around 6, still everyday he used to ask me the same question without fail. This continued for quite few days…he used to ask time – I used to tell and walk by. I got annoyed when he went ahead and started conversing and was curious on knowing about me more and more. I was clueless on what he wants and why he wants to know all this.
“Human mind” – all negative thoughts started haunting me. And my master mind made a plan to avoid Uncle ji.
As usual I was walking by with all preparations. I saw uncle far from where he used to do his job of watchman, he was standing near the backside gate of society. While passing by I pretended to be busy on mobile. I heard the voice “time kya hua hain” from back but I just ignored it. I was overjoyed on mission possible. I felt so relaxed that day. But my happiness did not lasts long-not even 24 hrs, again I heard the same question. Tried few formulas, few trial n errors, god was not in favor with me-nothing worked.
“Reverse Theory”-this thought blew up my mind. I was damn sure on this that it is going to work fully. Day arrived when I was going to implement the theory of reverse engineering. My plan was to talk to uncle before he asks me anything and ran away as soon as possible.
“Mind blowing”- is the only word I can think of for my sheer talent. Uncle was waiting, smiles got exchanged and I shoot up all the questions before he can understand anything. “Bad luck don’t leave you so easily”- someone has said it correctly, my plan went in all vein and.. all reverse engineering got applied on me reversely. Yeah, he became friendlier.
My second plan, which I had already started implementing is to avoid. I started walking from other side of the road. This helped me in avoiding him. This plan was really working for me. One day while passing by gate, I realize that I have not seen uncle past few days. I should feel happy but that was not the case. Few days past, everyday I used to check if he is there standing near the gate; and not finding him there made me think in all direction, few unrealistic thoughts passed by my mind.
I saw him walking in exactly opposite to my direction, he might be going home back from work same like me. Smile, this is the first thing you will notice about him. Innocence, love, care makes it even fresh. I smiled back, may be that came naturally after seeing him after so long. He asked “Beta, where were you so many days”. I couldn’t answer, I just smiled. It was a chilly winter day; I am allergic to winters, so coughing a lot. That day he asked me to have “Haldiwala Milk” and advised to take off for few days to take rest.
That night I could not sleep, so many things were going in my mind. Why we always think in other way about anyone. I could have thought of him positively since the day he first asked me about time. But I always took him as intruder. Uncle has assigned a job at the gate which is at backside of society where hardly anyone comes. When he saw me he might have found someone to talk to, share his smile. He might not have any wrong intentions. I felt so bad about myself.
Now, we exchanged smiles every day. I inquire about his health without fail. I even know where he stays and about his family. His sparkling eyes always bestowed with blessings.
My ligament injury has recovered now, a year passed. I am ready to fly again on roads by my own. I have started commuting by personal vehicle. We did not meet now, but whenever I pass by gate I never miss a chance to get a glimpse of my “Ghadi wale baba”.