Fiction: About what we can do!


Well, yet again, I blame it on my work schedules for being so “regularly” inconsistent here. But I am happy that I am finally here after two long weeks. And I will be here for good!

My post follows….

A loud burst of laughter! Was that what my answer should have evoked? I still have no answer. Did Ameya and Ashwin actually laugh at me? I do not know it, for, my comprehension was already usurped by my pensive mind. Should I have given a more practical answer? Afterall, what they asked me was whom I missed, the most, all these years being away from my home.

I have never stared at anything so long in my life till now, or so I felt.

“It was a terrible sight”, Ashwin patted me on my shoulder, “but we couldn’t stop it, afterall they cut the tree for a good cause”.

“But we couldn’t stop!” These were the words that alarmed me. Can we really not stop? Don’t we really have any power? And the “good cause” was to lay a damn road full of pot holes. And what did I lose? My best friend from years! I played under that tree and I have my memories associated to it. And now I see it withered and broken infront of me. It is a history now!

                                                                          ****

It was a wonderful evening for me after years! It was just me, Mom and Dad strolling in a park.
Mom was telling how she preferred white paint on the kitchen walls. Dad wanted them to be painted with light blue.
Something caught my attention and I turned back and looked the grass beneath. A half-eaten potato chips bag was lying there. A few yards away I saw two polythene bags fluttering from inside the sand.An empty trash bin with its open mouth was sarcastically staring at me.

“Dad, why do people lack civic sense?”, I was irritated, “Why the heck do we have trash bins then”?
I picked the bags and threw them in the trash bin.
“If you start cleaning the park like this, you would end up toiling the whole day”, Dad thought he cracked a joke.
“Dad, you sound as if you support all those fools who shrugg off from the basic responsibilities towards our surroundings”, I made a point.
“You picked those three bags and threw them into the trash”, he brushed my hair, “but honey! the whole town is full of irresponsible people”, he continued, “What can we do with all of them?”

He made a point. A very good one infact. Another “What can we do”!!

                                                                                 ****

It was raining heavily when I came out of my office. I looked at my watch. Three more minutes for the bust to come and the bus stop was three blocks away. I cursed myself for not carrying a jacket. I ran as fast as I could. Two blocks away from the bus stop! I waited there gasping for the pedestrain signal to turn on so that I would rush towards my bus stop. I saw an old blind lady trying to cross the road. I held her palm and told her that the signal was not yet on.

As the signals came on I took the old lady along with me. The old lady stumbled on the middle of the road. My bad, I thought! I was walking so hastily as I would miss the bus.I slowed down, caught her by her shoulder and left her at the sidewalk on the other side of the road. I was running towards the bus stop unaware of the fact that I would end up remembering that day for my life time.

“Beta”, the old woman called me, “Would you please take me back to the other side from where we crossed?”, she asked.

“But you wanted to cross to this side, right?”, I was impatient as I could see my bus at a distance.

“Yes Beta”, she sounded compassionate, “but I stumbled upon a big stone on the middle of the road”, she continued, “if you could help me, I would want to take the stone off the road”.

I took her to the traffic island on the middle of the road and she did what she said. I stared,yet gain for a long time, at her, until I lost sight of her.

I saw my bus leaving. But it didn’t matter, for I got a point that day. I got an answer to THE question. I marched towards the bus stop with triumph. I could then tell Dad, Ashwin and Ameya on “what we, actually, can do”!

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14 Comments

  1. vishesh said,

    September 23, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    we can,if we will 😀

  2. Lively said,

    September 24, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Where there is will there is a way!! and I seem to have inspired myself for the day!! hey that rhymed as well 🙂

  3. Poonam said,

    September 24, 2008 at 12:46 am

    When I was a gangly 17-year-old teenager, newly admitted in a Delhi college, I once made a mistake of throwing kurkure packet on road. My fellow classmate promptly picked it up on road, berating me for dirtying the city.

    Since then I have been careful about I throw what where. People may laugh at my efforts to carry refuse along with me till I find a trash bin. It does not sadden me taht they laugh but that they have no care for the civic sense.

    MCD is also equally responsible as there are not enough dustbins in the city too.

    And yes, I can understand that incident with the lady on the road will be memorable. It is another sad sight to see senior citizens struggling to cross a traffic jam-packed road. I guess most of us have found us helping them sometime or other.

  4. sakhi said,

    September 24, 2008 at 4:14 am

    a very good post… indeed! we can make the difference and we should if everybody thinks what can a single person do than nothing will be achieved… I am sure one day people like us will make the difference that INDIA needs!!

  5. Sameera said,

    September 24, 2008 at 5:21 am

    That was so heart-warming!If everyone does their li’l bit,what more is needed?

    Welcome back 🙂

  6. Sekhar said,

    September 24, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Three equally beautiful thought-provoking articles.
    You really made a point here 🙂
    Lets see we can make a difference.

  7. Reema said,

    September 24, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Good post….charity or rather good deeds begin at home. Each single drop i.e. deed counts in the sea of goodness and making a difference overall. Change comes gradually with consistent and persevering effort of each and everyone.

  8. xylene said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:06 am

    very good post.
    You are right about ‘What we can do’

  9. Amit said,

    September 27, 2008 at 2:52 am

    By saying lines like “what can we do”, we forget a very simple fact that this line has been repeated by millions of people and that’s why the change which was supposed to come, never came. If all of us would have said – “We can do it”, the world would have been a better place to live.
    Yesterday, I was coming back home in the office cab and was drinking orange juice. After finishing it, I didn’t throw the packet out of the window but kept it with me. The driver was time and again looking at the packet and was wondering that why the hell is this guy not throwing the packet out. It was funny. 🙂

  10. arvind said,

    September 30, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    man awesome ..
    maza agaya ..
    the theme behind the post make to so beautiful …

    to be frank we Indians are lazy and i guess we must be one of the worst countries when it comes to the civic sense…

  11. Manasa said,

    October 10, 2008 at 6:36 am

    They should bring tough rules as in S’pore n Japan where citizens are fined or barred behind for throwing the garbage on the road/path.

  12. Suda said,

    November 4, 2008 at 1:33 am

    I wish more and more people pick up this mindset, one day we will be able to cross the road without stumbling or pass the garbage bins without fainting 😀

  13. Suda said,

    November 4, 2008 at 1:35 am

    I wish more and more people pick up this mindset, one day we will be able to cross the road without stumbling or pass the garbage bins without fainting 😀


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