The lesson I learnt yesterday

Sometimes life can be really cruel to you. It hurts more when you have been trying to be nice.

Yesterday, it was raining when I left home to reach office in time. I have been using Rekha`s TVS Scooty ever since we came back after marriage. And mind you, she still has a big ‘L` board on her vehicle.

The riding was difficult. The waterlogged roads were epitomes of bottlenecks and the traffic was equally bad. Yet there was no dearth of hitchhikers. Through my wet glasses, which one of these days will be fitted with a pair of wipers, I could see a middle-aged man signal frantically for somebody to stop and give him a lift.

It was raining and here was a fellow human being left with no transport but a pair of legs to traverse the potholes ridden Velachery Road. My heart went out to him. I stopped next to him and shouted to be heard: “Hop on, will drop you on the main road.”

He walked a few steps towards me, and then stood still on his tracks. Despite it being just rain, he froze. And then said: “That`s fine, you go ahead. I will manage.”

I was taken aback. I did not understand.

“Why? What happened? I though you wanted a lift and now you refusing?”

“No sir, that`s fine. You go ahead. I will manage.”

I could hold it no longer. He was testing my patience in pouring rain, and that I can tell you is a difficult test to pass.

“But why?”, I enquired indignantly.

By now, the man had managed to wave down another two-wheeler and was in a hurry to finish the conversation. Even as I sat on Rekha`s TVS Scooty, in pouring rain wondering what went wrong, he would say… “Saar, neengale orru ‘L` Board*” …before vanishing behind a sheet of rain.

*In English it means: “You still carry the ‘L` Board tag.”

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