Woman's Era - - Contents - – Ra­manand Sharma, Ben­galuru.

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.

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