copyright ©pushkar prabhat, 2014
He said “Thank you so much. I put you through a lot of trouble.”
Well, he was a humble old man. He need not had to thank me. But then, I had helped him at my own will, so a ‘thank you’ was deserved courtesy.
Actually, what happened was that I had reached the train station two hours before my train’s scheduled departure and I was hungry. So I went to the food court at the station and joined the queue for coupons. And there he was, in front of me, an 85 something lean and old man carrying a trolley an airbag. At first, I took no notice of him. I was busy with my mobile. Until, a guard told him to first keep his belongings elsewhere and then join the line again because he was slowing down the queue and also since the passage beside was narrow, his bags were creating a nuisance.
He struggled with his bags, trying to move them to the other side. But the guard was persistent. At this point, I had stopped listening. But their argument (well, the old man was very polite and the guard was being a guard) revealed the fact that he was all alone and so could not leave the bags elsewhere. The guard then left, but this got my attention. I looked at his bags, they seemed heavy. I could clearly see that this argument had not only made him the center of attraction but had bothered the peace of his mind. I can’t testify for tears but his face was all sweaty and red. Just then the queue before him moved ahead. Already overwhelmed, he was again struggling with his bags. I decided to help and lifted both his trolley and the airbag while he moved forward. They were though not heavy for me but for him, I don’t suppose they were any lighter.
But as he was a sensitive and humble person, he decided to end my ‘misery’. He walked out of the line took his bags from my hands and went to an outlet assuming it did not require coupons. He was asked for the coupon which he did not have. Aware of this outcome I signaled him to stay there and asked for his order. I bought coupons for him and myself and then took him to the appropriate counter. He was telling me to leave now, but I knew he only had two hands for his two bags and none for his food. So I stuck with him. We got his order then I carried his bags to the eating area upstairs, while he carried his food. I sat him down and then just before I left he said “Thank you so much. I put you through a lot of trouble.”
I said “it’s alright” and then feeling so much happy and proud, I went on to take my order.
Since then, I have had much time to think and reflect, and now when my train has left the station I could only think of one thing- shouldn’t I have helped him board his train? How would he have managed to board his train, carrying those bags?
No, I am not raising any question on how come and why he had to travel alone. I am raising no question on the social aspect of this sad and unfortunate situation.
No, the only question eating on my conscience as I move towards my destination is that, while I could and should have also helped him board his train, did I really deserve his thank you?
An old one, but i hope you liked it. Please leave comments………
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