Directing humanity

Old, could be bracketed under the “economically challenged section of society”, regular [in his duty], and someone who’d cheer you up with his “gut [good] morning” and the salute that goes with it. ……..

Old, could be bracketed under the “economically challenged section of society”, regular [in his duty], and someone who’d cheer you up with his “gut [good] morning” and the salute that goes with it.

I know it seems a little vague. I’m talking about a person who faithfully stands “Every” morning at this small junction that sees the most congestion in the Benson Town area, and directs the traffic snarl there. Now for those familiar with that part of town, and not with this place in particular, it’s the one near the under-bridge, it’s a small road that runs parallel to the road that leads to the under-bridge, as an elevation. Guess I’ll put up a pic soon, so it makes things easier.

Now two years since I pass the same road, almost everyday en route to college, and almost every single of those mornings, I find this same man, with his bag, shaggy clothing, standing there, as early as 7:45, and be the non-official traffic cop there. Now, I really don’t know how he came there, why he does it, and answers for the other 4 W’s. But, what I notice is the freeness in his spirit, a sense to help or contribute in some way to society.

I’ve often asked myself why I haven’t asked him about it anything, but thus it stays. Some things are best left unsaid I suppose. One thing that strikes about him is the way he greets EACH and EVERYONE. His salute is so typical, and if I’m real down and out, and riding past that side, the greet just lightens me up, and the very thought that someone I don’t even know greeting me makes the moment special. Ah well, also times when am in a joyous mood, and his wave “gut morning” with ishtyle just adds to it!

Though there are times when he isn’t there, and someone else stands in for him. I really don’t know what drives these people to help in such a way…albeit such a selfless work. it’s like, you go that side, and you’re just hoping to see this old man/one of them standing there… overlooking the traffic.

It’s strange to think, how the educated or economically powerful class would hardly even think of serving as a traffic director, and that too every morning! Why even myself! But these people are the real winners, who contribute in the best way they can to make our lives a little easier. Isn’t that the way a capitalistic society ignores those who are the real force behind an organisation?

Whatever it takes, this is one person who will remain etched it the mind forever. Only I wish I was on a position of importance to honour him rightly, than those ten rupee notes I give the “reluctant to accept any monetary reward” him. Humility? The spirit of humanity? Humaneness? Fade out into time… people as such teach you, teach one to be not self centred, and serve he community in as little a way as possible. Inspiring.

[The post must have been a “sappy” read, but guess it’s only when I write such, about people who are greater than film stars or any popular personality, that I consider myself human. A little known or talked about person in my city.]

5 Comments so far

  1. Sudhakar (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 6:08 pm

    Why don’t you be a traffic director for a day. It will be fun.

  2. ada-paavi (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

    i second sudhakar, become traffic cop in ur spare time and ul also feel like uve done something useful

  3. ramses (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

    >>>RE:Sudhakar, and Paavi,

    I have been done it when in school…

    ippo romba busy with life…so can’t…u see

    ippo me more interested in directing traffic to this metro blog,. and making ppl read abt other unknown traffic directors.

  4. ramses (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 6:20 pm

    I have done it*


  5. rubic_cube (unregistered) on March 29th, 2006 @ 7:07 pm

    mmm.. fun apart… I too have seen these kinda people doing their bit to this wide weird world. I have seen more such examples. One old man used to regularly take a group of school children to school in the mornings and back home in the afternoon. School distance was about 1.5 kms. So, walking that distance was an ok option. Occasionally, he used to lift smaller children on his arms and walk the distance. All this for nothing. Just because he liked spending time with children.

    Like Ramses mentions, I have also directed traffic as a 2 hours assignment during school days. But it was in assistance to the traffic inspector.

    On other hand – being a Traffic Inspector can be one of the most thankless jobs…the requirement to stand there under the hot sun, pouring rain etc and direct mindless drivers who inevitably break the rules and the pollution, dust and grime all around you. Not to forget all the choicest expletives that they bear at the hands of the drivers sitting in plush cars with air conditioners and having few lakhs as pay packets.

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