Features THE INCIDENT I CANNOT FORGET
Right bus, wrong route
Recently, while travelling in a local public transport bus, a man boarded the bus midway and sat beside me. He appeared jovial and talkative and soon introduced himself as Ramesh Kumar from Jabalpur having travelled interior south and a newcomer to the city on the last leg of his tour to visit places of interest in and around the city of Hyderabad. While we were engaged in intense conversation, he mentioned that he is on his way to visit the historic Charminar. Flabbergast, I told him that though the route number of the bus is correct out. However he got into a bus going in the opposite direction from Charminar to Secunderabad railway station. Hearing my reply he was very upset. He then stood up to alight at the next stop. Immediately, I pacified him and asked him to sit and relax. I then told him that as we are nearing Secunderabad station, he can continue the journey and reach Charminar within an hour’s time. He was greatly relieved and as the bus began to move, he profusely thanked me for guiding him properly. Both of us smiled and waved to each other. – R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad.
The coat to cover his poverty
He was an accountant in a midsized company. He was always serious and would concentrate on his work alone. He was always seen in a simple dress and would always wear a coat regardless of weather, occasion etc. He would always walk down the road to his residence. Seeing him in a coat always, his colleagues would always tease him, pull his legs and ridicule both in front and his back.
One day this tamasha crossed all the limits and someone pulled his off coat and forcibly removed it. To their horror, they saw a torn and soiled shirt and they understood from him that, to cover this, he would wear coat every day. Tears rolling down his cheeks, he told his colleagues... “Bed- ridden parents, unemployed brother, sister still studying, exorbitant rent, ever- increasing house- hold expenditure and stagnant salary – let alone buying a new shirt, cannot even dream a new shirt”. On hearing this, his colleagues apologised to him. Later they took up the matter with the company management and helped him. This is the tip off an iceberg of the day- to- day plight of the working class in unorganised sector in the country.