“Hey brother, just move fast.” Said an elderly cleric (maulavi) standing back in the line.
“Yes, brother, senior citizens and the disabled counter had never ever such a crowd.” I also added to further their feelings. I was standing a little ahead of Maulavi.
This was the scene of almost four o’clock in the afternoon at New Delhi railway station senior citizens and the disabled’s platform ticket counter.
A senior elderly man standing just ahead of me was of good physical built up. His physique was such that he must be either Dronacharya (trainer) of wrestling sport or must have retired from the Army.
He said, “It is counter reserved for the elderly or senior citizens. Those who are not in this category or are physically challenged please come out of the line.”
His appeal was in a way an instruction to those non-senior citizens who had accidentally or intentionally entered into the line for senior citizens.
He was standing next to me. He told me, “You keep my place in this line. I’ll just weed out intentional intruders in this line.”
That many people standing in line behind me encouraged him and said, “Yes, brother, please go and just look. Line is not moving at all.”
People were expecting that someone will come out and the problem might be resolved quickly so that the line would become smaller than what it was. They had just found a new avatar (incarnation) in him who had just appeared for their rescue. People were desperate to send him in the battle field.
People are always in the search of a new avatar or Christ like figure who can be made to sacrifice his life on the altar for their vested interests.
He stood in front of two – three athletically built young men and said, “Why are you standing in this line? It is the line of the senior citizens and the disabled. None of you are either a senior citizen or disabled. It would be in the interest of your well-being if you come out of this line. ”
He turned towards the ticket counter lady and said, “Madam, please do not give tickets to these guys from this counter.”
One or two of them had left the counter out of shame. But one of them was a little insolent. He was adamant on standing in the line ignoring his appeal.
Keeping his hand affectionately on his shoulder, he said, “Should I make special arrangement for you. Did you not hear my words?”
That young guy making a mockery of his appeal said in challenging tone, “Uncle, what a difference would be created if I take the ticket. The heaven will not fall.”
Till now that elderly person was fighting alone. Almost all the elders standing in the line got angry at the guy’s audacity. Voices started coming from all sides, “You step out of line. We don’t want to hear anything. Is that clear to you? Enough.”
Seeing the unity of all these old men he had to accept defeat. He left the line as a defeated soldier. This group of seniors infused a new consciousness. The elderly were filled with a renewed vigor.
Another elderly who were so excited, saw a guy standing at the counter, grabbed the young man’s shoulder, “You move out, everyone of false identity displaying himself as senior citizen has moved out, yet you are standing at the counter.”
Exerting extra force he started trying to remove him from the counter.
That young boy, with patience, and without any displeasure turned towards that old man with folded hands not deviating even slightly on his insulting behavior, “Baba, this counter is not just yours. It is for me also.”
When he looked at that young man he saw the swinging arm of his shirt.
Then he realized that he had made the biggest mistake out of over-enthusiasm.
To clear his chagrin, he said, “you’re at the counter and it was becoming too late. So I became a little impatient. I am very sorry, Very very sorry. ”
He said, “Madam on the counter demanded document showing me as physically challenged, it was a little late while I had to show the document. Sorry to all, from me.”
His behavior had a specific effect on all the seniors.
To that old man’s enthusiasm was supposed to be a huge mistake. He still was just able to salvage from that mistake.
–Brjendra Nath Mishra