Last rites of Sunlight were in progress. Sun was preparing itself for the beginning of another day in the western earth. While, on the eastern side, a busy road in New Delhi was buzzing with exhausted vehicles, which intended to reach their respective shelters along with their occupants. In one of those polluted stretches, I too was returning to my loved ones. Indifference, fatigue and cynicism were my co-riders like those of the most users of the jammed road.
During this hour, on metropolitan roads, one rarely found anyone happy. Only smile that usually occurs is when the red light turns green.
As I was manoeuvring my car amongst the ‘proficients’ and the ‘novices’, I looked at the rear-view mirror. I saw a young man on an even younger bike whizzing through the traffic. It reminded me of the famous Maradona goal in 1986 soccer world cup. “Must be one of those spoilt ‘Riches’,” I thought. He was expertly riding the bike and within a few seconds rushed past my tired old sedan.
What kind of generation would be succeeding ours? I was apprehensive about the future, especially of my own off springs. How would they deal with these kinds of rogues? What do their parents even teach them? I thought. Nothing- was the only palpable answer. Had they ever cared for their children, this would not have been the result. He was apparently in a hurry. Not managing to get hold of a helmet even. What would happen if anything untoward should happen? He just could not care less.
I was about a hundred meters behind the Maradona, when a traffic signal coerced the young dynamite to eventually come at par with us ‘condemnables’ and stop his bike. I kept on watching him. A poor boy of about seven years was approaching him. “What a waste of effort,” I thought. However, his subsequent action was so incomprehensible that I did not move even after the traffic light allowed for the same and other vehicles vehemently informed me by incessant honking.
The young man had quickly reached his wallet, parted with a hundred rupees note, ruffled the boy’s hair and jumped the red light almost nonchalantly.