Monday, March 21, 2011
A Small Story About A Brave Sardarni
Almost twenty-months ago I met a brave Sardarni who taught me something about honour, I never thought of telling her story till I met her again, today.
The event goes back to a July monsoon morning in Mumbai.
Without an umbrella, rain soaked, I was waiting in a long cue, trying to find a taxi to my workplace from the Cotton Green suburban station. Anyone who knows the station must know how difficult it is to find a cab in rainy season.
There were fewer taxis and at a time everyone in the cue got a cab, except me and a tall, fair young woman in pink Patiala trousers and green cotton kurti and well covered under the spread of a white umbrella. After waiting for about 15 minutes in the rain, came a taxi which zipped past me, though I was ahead in the line, and asked for the lady to get in. I, despite my belief in chivalry was furious for a moment but sustained my calm.
The taxi moves for about fifty meters and takes a reverse course and stops next to me. The lady says,” sir if you are going to Lower Parel, then please get in and in case you are going in some other direction then you take this taxi as legally it is yours.” I will wait for another, she added.
I was stunned and couldn’t speak a word immediately. After a momentary pause I said I will join you to Lower Parel. I was soaked in rain and she offered me a clean white hand towel to wipe up, and I gently turn down the offer. But, my sense of gratitude was weighing on me, and was nudging to say thanks.
But I realised a thanks will be obvious, so it is better to ask the reason for her kindness. And I did ask to which she replied with her calm eyes and slow moving lips,”sir I am a Sardarni and I will never let anything corrupt me. The events that happened a while ago was a breach of rules. If I would have let them happen I would have never felt like a Sardarni. Besides I know how painful it is to stand drenched in rain.“
I had no words, except utter respect for her beliefs. She dropped me at my office in Peninsula Corporate Park and headed for hers. I gently thanked her and blessed her from my heart.
Today I met her again while she was feeding kids at the Vashi station. We recognised each other. She still was as bright and graceful. She called out,”sir, hope you remember me,” with an open smile on her lips. I said off course you always remain as a positive thought with me. We spoke a while about why she is here and where do we work and stay. We shared pleasantries and parted our ways.
While walking in the opposite direction I turned back for a while and discovered she was walking unusually slow. After a close watch I discovered one of her legs is Polio stricken. Our eyes met again she gave me a bigger smile and in her convincing eyes probably said,” don’t worry for me I know what is happiness.” She stunned me again, but this time saddened. Yet, I know she will remain as a positive thought with me forever.
We indeed meet wonderful people every day in life, but mostly fail to recognise them.
(Picture courtesy: From Romanticism Era)