Sunday, 14 October 2012

The scene at a busy junction

It was already 2:30 pm when I and my friends after having much trouble locating places in the busy streets, reached to a mall just around the corner of the road which lead to a four way junction. The day was sunny and hot, beads of sweat formed on my forehead even as I travelled in an auto (which usually isn't very comfortable when it is five people sitting in one). My friends had some shopping to do while I chose to be left outside as I feel more comfortable being outside those tall buildings rather than feeling lost in those big rooms full of commercial materials. With my earphones in my ears and a Bhutanese music playing on full volume, I decided to look around as it would be sometime, when my friends will be done with their shopping.
As I stood there watching, people rich and poor, old and young, huge and small, were busy doing one thing or the other and some were rushing to their own destinations. Everybody seemed to be engaged in their own work and the street was too noisy as usual with the hooting and tooting of the vehicles trying to find their own way through the crowded traffic on the road (roads usually wide but so many vehicles on it) and in the midst of all those noise, the traffic and the people my eyes landed on a thin frail man dressed in a brown khaki pant and white collared shirt (which had turned almost grey owing to the dust and the sweat he shed due to the burning sun and the rising temperature) with a dark pair of shades resting on his nose, protecting his eyes from the bright sunlight and a mouth mask (that too white in color, which had turned grey) covering half of his face.
The man would not be given a second thought by most of the people who had passed that junction from where they passed safely. As I stood watching him, I saw his lunch box lying on the small chair under the small canopy like structure, where he is meant to rest while his fellow mate took over the responsibility of guiding the traffic so as to avoid collision (as it is the work of the traffic police), the sun had already slanted towards the west and his lunch box was still unopened. He was giving his best to provide his best service to both the pedestrians and the drivers running to and fro. People seemed in a hurry and so they rather blew the horn than patiently waiting for the other vehicles to pass by. I was watching him showing signs to the drivers indicating them to stop and to move along with his hands, when many thoughts popped up into my mind. I wondered how well he was respected at home by his children owing to his petty job? Questions like, how his children would react if they happened to pass that junction? What comment would a ruthless relative pass onto him? What would happen to the whole traffic if he went missing all of a sudden? And would the government help his family if something happened to him there? Kept coming into my mind no matter how I tried to avoid looking at him.
As I was trying to figure out the answers to my questions my friends came out of the mall, as they were done with their shopping we decided to go around. While we got into an auto again and started our journey to yet another place he was still doing his job.  With the happy chattering of my friends over the excitement of branded things they just purchased the scene of the policeman slowly vanished from my mind but the questions always remained stuck in there.

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