The beautiful pottery road passes the left side of my current house in Bengaluru. The road is visible to me from my balcony all the time. It’s been more than a month, I noticed one strange thing on pottery road. All open drain slabs were recently repaired and cemented by the workers but this one slab was kept open just behind this huge tree with full of a green canopy. Almost every time, I click a picture of this tree whenever I see it. Every day I notice a few people coming and just getting down into the open slab and filling water in different sizes of the pot. I believe these people live in a nearby slum area.
Whenever I saw it, it compelled me to think about the people who don’t have water for daily use and fill it from this somehow unusual drain water lane. This thing brought two kinds of emotions: the first one-I felt sad that even till today people in our country don’t have access to water and the second feeling was about the Indianness way of dealing things that is also called juggad. How did someone get to know that there is water source just below that one slab, how did those people decide not to cement that particular slab, how everyone in the slum area got to know about this water source and they started coming and filling water from there? And how come no one from the road administration department didn’t care to know why one slab of this drain water lane is still open?
Whatever is the reason, this open slab of drain water lane is acting as a ray of hope for people leaving in nearby area and also pottery road finally living up to its name.
A very unusual incident happened to me this Friday(9th August 2019). As an everyday routine, I booked the uber for home but the driver canceled it twice. I got irritated more as I already had a bad mood due to some other reason. Later I realized, sometimes things happen for good. Then I booked the cab again and it was showing a longer duration so this time I canceled it. Finally, I started asking auto-wallas for a ride. One auto stopped and agreed to go towards Sohna Road as many others refused because of huge traffic on Sohna Road.
It was a normal auto ride. I have the habit of talking to auto/cab drivers. I was talking to this auto driver also addressing him “bhaiya” again and again. When we are almost about to reach my society and there was huge traffic from all sides and so much was going into mind, suddenly the auto driver tells me something. I couldn’t understand what he is saying. I asked him again. He was trying to tell me that he belongs to those people who come to everyone’s home whenever a new baby is born in a family. Suddenly I realized what this person is trying to say. This moment was so different. I forgot everything whatever I was thinking. I realized that this person is trying to tell me their identity. I started noticing his expression and I realized that though he was totally dressed up as a man, he was actually different. This person was transgender. Her name was Rani. She started telling me about her family. Then I told her sorry that I addressed him ‘bhaiya’ as I didn’t realize because of her attire. She said, she dresses like a man as other auto drivers trouble her because of her identity. She also does not drive late in the night as she is a little scared. I told her to take care and gave her the fare. I wanted to take her picture but I could not gather courage to ask her. I saw her leaving society gate.
Since Friday, this incident did not leave my mind. I was constantly thinking about it. Then I thought let me put it down and share it with the world. It taught me so many things. We are so engaged in our life that we never think about the people around us. What are they thinking? What are they feeling? What problems are they going through? How relevant is one’s own identity? How does it impact everyday interactions with others? It makes me realize that even after SC’s declaring section 377 unconstitutional, how much of it is still left?
Once I was traveling from Delhi to gurgaon by auto rickshaw. I was talking to auto driver and asking him about his life. After talking to him, I got so much insights of life that I can never find these things in my any books which are always my best friend. Let’s come to the story as narrated by the auto wala. The way he was talking, it seems that he knows so many things, switching between his life and the problems prevailing in the society.
Before starting his story, he says, his life is no more. I was little bewildered when he said this. Then he told me that his wife is no more and he spend all his money as well as sold his house for bearing the expenses of her health and finally he and his wife lost the battle against the nasty disease of cancer. Now he is alone living with his son in a rented house and trying hard to make his life. But still, his resilience and never dying spirit is there to make me feel that it is not about hurdles in life but about facing and moving ahead in life.
The most touching thing for me is that he equates his life with his wife, if his wife is not there, his life has no meaning. Selfless love indeed. I don’t remember his name, auto’s number or anything else but I remember his story. In my opinion , he is living his life full satisfaction and he is a nice person. These small stories are a great example of beauty of life.