Experienced a small but very defining incidence recently and hence sharing it:
Place: A Ganpati Pandal, right in the heart of a very crowded chowk (Nal Stop) in Pune.
Time: Peak Traffic Hours, 7.30PM. The traffic’s really bad at Nal stop at this time of the day.
Description: A healthy guy in his 30’s with Pan/Gutkha in his mouth, was playing very loud and irritating music at the Pandal. He looked very rowdy. I started hating him in first glance itself. Let’s call him Pandal manager.
So, I was waiting near that Pandal for a friend. We were supposed to meet at a restaurant close to the Pandal. I was in my own thoughts and had already started making judgments and heavy criticism about all the Hungama that people create in Ganesh festivals. My thoughts were interrupted by a loud ambulance siren. The signal at the chowk was Red. Huge PMTs were lined up. I felt helpless for the ambulance ‘coz there was barely any way it could make through. Vehicles were not moving. A bumper to bumper traffic situation. And to add to the misery, the noise levels at the Pandal were so high that I doubted whether vehicles upfront could listen to the siren and make some moves for the ambulance to pass. I started cursing the Pandal manager even more. I felt like going to that Pandal manager and ask him to stop the music. And to my surprise, he had already started lowering the volume. He infact stopped the music and quickly rushed towards ambulance. I could see there that if one or two vehicles could just shift towards their left, the ambulance could have made it. I thought I should go there and help to save the situation. By then, the Pandal manager had taken the control of traffic. He made 2-3 vehicles move and Bingo! The ambulance got its away. My sophisticated and restricted mindset felt pathetic. It needed more presence of mind to save the situation. I could not stop appreciating the Pandal manager that he was quick enough to act. Who knows his quick thinking and action probably saved a life!!! Kudos to the Pandal manager.
Well, this incidence is open to interpretations, opinions and comments. I don’t want to provide any conclusion. I don’t want to make any statement on humanity, presence of mind and blah, blah either. I’ll only share what I learned through this incidence that
“There’s so much to learn even from a person whom I don’t like apparently at the first glance. What I see in a person at the first glance is just the illusion. Instead of being judgmental, I should focus upon the fact that there’s so much of learning. Just because I’m qualified, well-educated and a white-collar job holder civilian, it does not mean that I’m superior. अहम् में, गुरूर में और नफरत में काफी दरवाज़े बंद हो जाते हैं. Stay Humble, Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!!! Let’s stop making judgments ‘coz nothing can be generalized!”
Thanks to my friend who was 5 min. late. Those 5 minutes certainly shook my beliefs to some extent.