The auto driver dropped Shrikant just at the other side of the road so that he can cross the road to reach office. Today is the first day for Shrikant at this new office, and Bangalore is a new city for him. Coming from a small town, where traffic meant you can see 20 vehicles at a time on the street going in the same direction. Bangalore exposed him to a new flavor of traffic. If he had chosen to be dropped at the office gate, he would have to travel for another 15 minutes via auto as the autorickshaw would have to take a U-turn. He was already late for the first day as he did not anticipate the traffic hence he chose to cross the road.
He attempted to cross the road, and he could see thousands of vehicles lined up, and all are trying to rush as they find some gap. He tried moving forward a couple of times but had to retract as he found himself trapped in a dangerous situation. It’s life which is at stake. He was stuck for 5 minutes despite several attempts. He was now frustrated and did not know what to do. He even thought of walking all the way to a signal which was one kilometer away and then crossing the road, but that would have taken him 20 more minutes. Thought of taking an autorickshaw to just drop at other side of the road but no autorickshaw driver would agree for such a short trip.
Suddenly he found one guy came from nowhere held his right arm and dragged him along with him helped cross the road. Before he could understand what’s going on, he was on the other end of the road. He was dumbfounded by this strangers action. Before he could ask a question, thank the person or say anything this individual had already crossed the road back to where they had started from.
In next couple of occasions where he had to cross the road, he waited for enough people to gather so that a small crowd can cross the road together which would make the entire traffic to stop.
As he was gradually getting familiar with the traffic and the road crossing phycology, he could attempt and succeed in crossing the road himself without the help of the crowd or stranger, but it remained a struggle for him every time.
After 3 months he met the same guy standing sipping tea near a tea stall. He was happy to find him as he can say ‘Thank you’ for the help that he provided on the first day.
He introduced himself and expressed his gratitude. Stranger acknowledged in return and asked him a question.
“So in these many days what did you learn?”
Shrikant had never thought that he was part of any learning exercise here. He was not sure how to answer that question.
Stranger responded, “Crossing road full of traffic teaches you an important lesson. Just imagine that this road is the barrier between your current state and your dream life situation. Until you cross this street, you can not reach your goal. What would you do?
We mostly wait for a crowd to form who are also willing to cross the path. This makes us feel safe and secure. Else we try attempting to cross the barrier but hurdles on our way push us back.
If we wait for the crowd to gather so that we can cross the hurdles, then the success you get would be mediocre. You will be one among them.
If you pull back several times facing the hurdles, then you will get disappointed and give up.”
Shrikant was listening to him, but all these made no sense. He said, “What do you want me to do? Just jump into the traffic and die or be on the other side of the road if my luck is good. And let me tell you my luck has never given me anything till date so if you want me to suicide I can’t”.
Stranger laughed loudly at Shrikant’s reaction. He asked, “When you cross the road, what you focus on?”
Shrikant immediately responded, “I focus on the vehicle that is rushing towards me if it slows down I proceed but if it increases speed or maintains the same speed then run back.”
Stranger responded, “So this is the problem. We look at situations and problems and try to see the best possible situation where the problems are lesser, and we are still motivated to achieve the dream that we want to realize then we make our move, but you never know next problem might push us back or get us stuck in the middle of the road.
I would suggest let’s try to cross the road but focus not only at the vehicle but also at the driver.”, he pulled Shrikant to cross the road.
They both crossed the road finding the right time when the driver of the vehicle made an eye contact or gave us go ahead. It was much easier and relaxing experience.
After crossing the road, the stranger said, “Similarly look at the driver of your life problems and attend them or face them. Once you take care of the drivers, the problems will no longer bother you.”. He quickly crossed the road again and went to the other side.
It left Shrikant in a thoughtful mood.
– Stray Dog