It is quite unusual to sit undisturbed by anyone at Tilak Bridge railway station. On any given normal day, a man wants to borrow your newspaper or know about the book in your hand or talk about Modi mania, but today there was absolute zilch. It was me and my loneliness.
Though, it does not mean that I was wishing for somebody to disturb me. In reality, I was praying to be not disturbed as I was not able to come up with ideas for this post [the post you are reading, right now].
But I guess I was not that lucky or I was lucky enough to be disturbed by Mr. Sangram Singh.
Like his name which means the battle, Sangram Singh seems to fight many battles on the line of control. But to surprise, he never worked in the army or anywhere else in the armed forces. He used to work at the Delhi Development Authority and recently took volunteer retirement a year before his actual retirement as asthma started taking the toll on his body.
The old man sat on the seat next to me and asked, “Has the shuttle for New Delhi gone?” As the shuttle ran away in front of my eyes ten minutes ago without informing old man, I replied in positive by nodding my head upside down.
A bit irked with my reply, he asked, “Do you know when next shuttle will arrive?”
On which, I asked him to wait a minute, then took my smartphone out from my pocket, opened the NTES app and informed him that next shuttle will arrive in forty minutes.
To which, he showed no sign of excitement. Though, he was generous enough to thank me.
But it was also enough to start the conversation for him.
He asked me, why I am not wearing the earphones as these days young people have earphones plugged in their ears like some kind of hearing aid.
It tickled me and I asked him, “I believe, you have the hearing problem that’s why you are asking me.”
To which he replied, “No, Son. It’s my son who has.”
On which, we both burst into laughter.
We, then, talked about how elderly people find it difficult to use technology. How are crime rates going up in India? And finally, before my shuttle arrived, how the Earth and the Sun are only living gods?
Meanwhile, in between the talks of technology and the theosophical idea of treating Earth and Sun as living god, he told me a little bit about himself and his family. There was kind of frustration and dejection in his voice when he was talking about his family. I did not interrupt him, I just listened.
When my shuttle arrived and I stood up to catch it, he placed his hand on my head and gave me his blessings.
It was bit awkward and heart-touching at the same time.
I asked him, “for what.”
He replied, “for nothing.”
Finally, when we parted away, he asked, do you catch the shuttle at the same time.
I nodded in approval.
When I told the whole incident to my mother and asked her why he blessed me. She said that I was generous enough to listen to him, that’s why.