I am standing here since last 15 minutes to cross the road. Vehicles are going very fast and I am not able to see things clearly too. I am trying hard to see if any vehicle coming or not. I found there is a good gap between the vehicle just left and the other one is far away and coming slowly. I walked towards the road slowly. As soon as I reached the middle of the road, the vehicle whose speed I had underestimated came and stopped very close to my right leg. I was flat on road, just because I was scared and all my belongings were scattered. Many people gathered around me and were asking “Why are you crossing the road here, not in Zebra crossing? If you people do not follow the rules, how do you expect the youngsters to follow”. But at the same time they helped me getting up. They collected my belongings scattered on the road and gave it to me. I do not trust these people on road, so I carefully counted stuffs and opened each bag to check if everything is intact. There were no valuables but then at this age everything is valuable. I was carrying some gifts for my grandson’s 10th birthday. Yes, you guessed it right. It is Navneel’s son. He is now studying in Pancham Shreni (5th Standard as we used to say). They say it is a very good government school and state of art facilities but I can not believe it. In our days, government schools used to be the last resorts.These rules have become very tough now a days. I am not allowed to cross the road at my will . They have senior citizen rides available but who will wait in the queue. But those are free rides that Vadodara city transport is providing. I always hated queues and this distance is not that far so I am walking.
Went to Navneel’s home, he was standing on the main gate waiting for me. He wanted to come and pick me up but I said “No’” to him. His son’s birthday today, he must be so busy, why should he waste time in picking me up. As soon as he saw me, came running to help me in carrying the belongings. Then he noticed that my leg was bleeding. He asked “How this happened?” I told him the entire episode but I was also not sure, how my leg started bleeding. He immediately took me to the Kaviraj (Ayurvedic doctor) in his neighborhood and that man applied some paste on the wound. I asked him after coming out of the clinic, “You do not go to one allopathic doctor?”. He laughed and said “Baba, these are medicines practiced since last several thousand years.I trust these more than the recent ones”. I told him, “In our age we used to call these old fashioned but it looks like ‘Old’ is the new ‘new’”.
Then went to his home. He has constructed a beautiful house recently. Now a days city commissioner and collector review design for each new construction. Every house has to be Vastu compliant as per government rules and people follow that religiously. You won’t believe when I was buying my flat way back in 2003 then my friend asked to get that reviewed by a Vastu consultant and we friends laughed so much at him. I had told him, all these are immaterial. Now if I say this to any of the youngsters including Navneel, They will show me a digital presentation to prove why it is needed. Hey do you know, now a days they do not need to carry laptops or cell phones, something they do using their hand in air and then you will see a screen from nowhere and it will vanish when they are done. They do video calling always and there,too, screen comes from nowhere. I remember when Video calling came when I was in my 30s. There were so much of controversy regarding license allocation. I do not hear much of corruption now a days.But I do not believe corruption is not there anymore. It must be there. But laws are strictly enforced, that is a good thing.
Now I feel scared to say I was a software engineer. I do not understand what these software engineers talk These guys call software engineers and ‘Mantra Yantri’. They say software as Mantra and hardware as Yantra.
Navneel is earning so much of money but does not have a car of his own. He travels by public transport. He says “I do not want to add to pollution”. But I say “There is something called social status” but he does not believe in this.These guys have the same mentality as my grandfather used to have.
– Stray Dog