It is a lazy
evening. I and my friend are on the bike, hunting for houses for rent in Indira
Nagar area… Bangalore
“Dude, we have been roaming since morning. Let’s go home. Will come back again tomorrow.” My friend moaned. Riding in
traffic is not an easy task. Bangalore
“I have gotta go to office tomorrow, bro” I said through clenched teeth. The anger was at our lack of luck in finding a house.
We stopped at the traffic signal. He removed his helmet and turned around to face me.
“This is no way to spend Independence Day!” He mumbled.
“Oh yeah? How do you wanna spend it then?”
“Let’s go party!!!” His eyes light up.
I laughed out loud. “That’s your idea on how to celebrate Independence Day?”
“Why? What is wrong? Let’s grab a few beers and cool off!”
“Anna Hazare is going on a fast yet again for us. Why don’t you join him if you wanna celebrate Independence Day?”
He blew a raspberry at me and wore his helmet as the signal changed to green. Cars behind us were already honking.
As we came forward, we saw a man standing on the middle of the road. Vehicles were speeding from both his sides. Some even shouted abuses at him.
As we passed him I saw tears streaming down his eyes.
“Dude…” I put a hand on my friend’s shoulder.
He braked. The vehicles behind us started shouting.
“Something is wrong, bro. Go check what happened.” My friend said.
I got off the bike and ran towards him.
It took me a few moments to realize that the man was blind.
I took him by the shoulder and brought him to the sidewalk.
“What happened?” I tried asking him in what little Kannada I knew.
He started speaking, but was sobbing uncontrollably. I could not understand what he was trying to say. His whole body was shaking. I just held him, looking around for help.
My friend parked his bike and was running towards us now. Another biker, probably younger than me, pulled up seeing the commotion. He talked to the man, and this is what he found out.
The man lost the cane that helps him walk around without the help of others. He cannot remember where he lost it or how he got to the middle of the road.
I quickly offered whatever money I had to him. He said, “Beda Sir. Paisa Beda.” (No Sir, I do not want money!)
He said that he works in a well known company and earns enough to support his family. He just wants to go home where he has a spare cane.
I quickly tried to stop a rickshaw, when the other guy said. “It is ok, I will take him home.”
We helped him climb on to the guy’s bike when the man put his hands out and touched my face. “Thank you, Sir” he said.
I could not speak. My whole body was shivering as I watched them ride off.
“God bless that guy for helping the poor man” I said.
“Wipe your tears, dude!” My friend said as we were walking back to our bike.
That’s when I realized that my eyes had filled up.
Day” I said, as I wiped my face. Independence
We did not speak to each other after that. We just rode home.
What the hell is Independence? Does it mean not having to depend on each other? So many vehicles passed the man. The only people who stopped were all below 28 years of age. And people have the guts to say that young Indians do not have any values. I say that this generation understands patriotism and human values more than you people ever did.