I woke up just like every other working day. With 10 minutes to catch my bus. A teeth-brushing, a bath, a dress-up, no breakfast and I was right on time. Reaching my gate, the inevitable happened. I forgot something. By the time I got it and rushed back, zoom, the white bus flew past me. It seemed to be having a laugh; leaving a prospective passenger behind! I almost felt sure it somehow had a tongue it was sticking out at me!
I took an autorickshaw to reach the next bus stop. And just as I was about to reach the destination, it came to me. I had about 5 bucks in my purse and the trip would cost me three times that. Being always bright in Maths, I found that I might need a bit more to pay him. I started thinking. I was good at that too you know – thinking. Maybe I could jump out of the autorickshaw and the driver wouldnt notice there was no passenger anymore. Maybe I could convince him to be kind to the needy. And needy, I was. I called my fellow bus-taker. No answer. I was doomed. I reached the stop. The bus was not there yet. I had to make the auto wait till then. The driver asked me “Are we waiting for the bus”. And I said “Yes”. I dont like lying but well part of it was true. I was waiting for the bus; only I wasnt making him wait for the bus. Infact I had a pretty good idea it wasnt his favorite passtime to wait for buses every morning with some lady passenger who had no clue what she was doing; especially if it was a lady passenger who didnt have money!
I didnt have to jump out. I didnt have to play dead. I didnt have to act sick. My fellow bus-taker appeared! And it wasnt just a fellow bus-taker. It was a fellow bus-taker who had every look of owning 10 bucks ni this world! I felt so good. I felt I landed in a huge fishing net after drowning for hours.
I stepped out happily and presented my case.
Then came the biggest blow.
“I forgot my wallet today”
I was back to drowning! And this time I didnt see a huge net coming my way!
I had nothing to do so I blinked. My brains stopped thinking. I was stuck!
I was going to be arrested! They would put me in jail! I would be in prison for years! (Alright so my brains didnt completely stop thinking – it just took a pessimistic version of things)
I wanted to cry but that would give me away. I had to remain cool.
I started looking up at the sky expecting to see the doors of heaven somewhere near the clouds. For I felt sure I was going to enter those gates in the near future. “Oh great grandmothers and grandfathers here I come”
I dont know how it happened. But I was lying down on the road with the autorickshaw on top of me the next minute. Something must have made it fall over me (smart thoughts were back again). Somewhere near my legs, I felt a huge pain. So I told myself I was still far away from those heaven-gates. This was good old earth with its good old pain. My fellow bus-taker and autorickshaw driver decided to take me to a hospital.
I must have been standing in an awkward position for the auto to have fallen over me like that! Quite natural given the circumstances. I was under hypertension!
I had a fracture. A bandage. One week of bed rest adviced.
You havent heard the best part yet. The autorickshaw driver forgot all about the ten bucks. If I remember it right, he even offered me to pay for the medicines.
What kind people are the autorickshaw drivers. I was all for them. I decided I will never buy a car. I should always take an auto. They are the best ever.
No jail, no prison.
Happy ending? No! They wouldnt let me stay at cloud 9 forever. I had to face the realities!
My mother said “Why didnt you just come back home when you realised you didnt have the money”
My friend who came in my bus said “Why didnt you phone me to bring the money to you when the bus reached that stop”
And I said “Oops”. And my brain agreed with me. “A slight miscalculation from our part” I told my brain and my brain said “Could happen to anyone”