Friday, February 17, 2017


The auto rickshaw in which I was returning home, last evening, was caught up in a bad traffic. The driver was an aged man with slow reflexes. At one point, our auto mildly kissed the auto in front when the traffic had come to a halt. The young driver of the auto in front, got off, checked if any damage had happened (not even a scratch except the mild sound that the something had touched his auto from behind) and, started abusing the elderly auto-driver. Our driver calmly explained to him saying that the ‘touching’ was not intentional and, hence, no fuss had to be made about it… But, the young autowala was still furious… By now, the honking from behind had turned incessant… A hefty man on a motorbike, finally, got the young autowala drop the issue and move on… Here, our autowala continued to murmur saying that the young driver was a Smart Alec simply trying to make a mountain out of mole hill through his drama in public…

All this while, I did not get provoked… And, that was strange. I found myself, completely detached… not taking anyone’s side… not trying to be judgmental at all… By the time I reached my complex, the matter was forgotten… Not a single drop of energy was wasted by getting involved in a cause which was not of my making…

At hindsight, I feel good about myself… yes, for not wasting my time and energy!

But, I was not so lucky – or wise – this morning when I had been to a nationalized bank where I have an account. I am an old-fashioned bank customer and still visit the branch for small matters. In today’s world, one doesn’t have to move an inch from his seat to get anything done from a bank… Yes, whatever need I had today, I could have done online. But, as I said, being old-fashioned in many ways, I had not familiarized myself in many banking-related matters…

I had been to the bank, today, for the second time with my request. The lady staff on the table was new and did not know me. When, today, for the second time, she was not willing to go a little of that ‘extra-mile to help a three-decade-old customer (I even have my wife’s and son’s account there), I did tell the lady how I felt. She asked me to see the lady Manager, who, too, was new. My work just needed a simple willingness to help a customer… So, with gentleness and a bit of disappointment, I did place my request before this Manager. I didn’t find any sensitivity… With that, I lost my head and let her know how I had felt… as I walked out of her cabin!

On the way back to my office, I bumped into a dear friend of mine, who, too, had an account in the same branch. “I ‘lost’ my head with this bank Manager,” I tried to find a sympathizer, narrating to him the whole episode…

“You have not ‘lost’ your head,” my friend beamed, “you have ‘found’ your head… Thank the bank Manager!”

My friend took me to his house which was barely twenty foot-steps away from that place. In ten minutes flat, my friend taught me several things which will make me think ten times before I declare, here onward: “I am an old-fashioned bank customer.”

Many of my mental blocks have dissolved through some timely ‘jolts’ like this. New ways of living life… new ways of solving our problems… and, even,  new ways of finding our inner peace… yes, all these have been possible to mankind only through some ‘jolts’… which, they call ‘the rude awakenings’!

True, the best way to ‘find ‘one’s head is by ‘losing’ it… along with saying a ‘Thank-you’!


Pic.: Niyothi Lobo

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