by Rajesh Sharma ‘Lalit’
There was a long queue at the metro station. People were waiting for their turn to get into the metro. It was a festive season after a long Corona Virus Crisis. Diwali, Bhai Dooj was at hand and everyone was in a hurry to exchange gifts. This is also an occasion when one can meet relatives and friends. The frequency of the metro was not as it used to be. So the queue was lengthening as the time passed. Every metro was full to its capacity. After an hour Akash entered the metro.
There was a great rush in the metro on the festive occasion. It was getting difficult for people to manage themselves even to stand. Akash was lucky enough to get a seat on the very next station as a man nearby got up and a seat was available for him. He was relieved as he had to go to the last station.
After three stations again a gush of crowd stormed into the compartment. A woman with a baby in her lap entered the compartment. The baby got bewildered on seeing so many people. He started crying. Everyone was attracted to his weeping. They tried to console the little soul but in vain. After some time Akash asked his co-passenger to create a little space for the lady with the child. They asked the lady to come and adjust herself between them. The lady had an expression of thankfulness on her face. She sat and the baby kept quiet for a while but started crying again. It was rush, humidity, and exertion which was making traveling difficult even for the adults what was the fault of the little one.
The lady kept the child feeding. When the child had his stomach full. He stopped feeding and started weeping again. The lady started whispering a bit loud so that we could listen. ‘People have no moral values. They have forgotten their culture. They don’t respect women–and so on. Akash was a modern boy, he listened for a while but replied in a harsh tone. “It’s your fault that you took the little one in a house full metro. You might have asked your husband to take care of you so that you would have gone easily wherever you wanted to go. The lady burst back on Akash, “You don’t have manners to how to talk to a lady in trouble. Instead of sympathy, you’re giving me a lecture on my family. My husband works in a factory. If he takes leave, he will not get the wages for that day. So what if I am traveling alone with my little baby. Adjusting the seat means that you have done the greatest job of your life. You think you’re a genius and gentleman who is ready to help the helpless. “She stood up immediately and won the sympathy of passengers. All around the people were staring at him. He became a villain the very moment. He left his seat and said,” I am sorry, you took the matter in your way. If you feel bad about it I feel sorry again. Please have this seat.”
The lady won the seat. She occupied it and reached her destination happily.
About the Author:
Rajesh Sharma is a poet and author and has published in various journals and newspapers such as Punjab Kesari, Sahityapedia, and Sahityakunj. He lives in Delhi.