Saturday, November 5, 2011

90 Seconds

       When the cab stopped at my gate this morning, I was all sulky. The thought of having to spend a beautiful Saturday at work did not appeal to me at all. As I got in, I rolled down the window and settled in my seat, determined to make the most of the morning drizzle! My mind immediately drifted off to think about how cozy and nice it would be to snuggle up under my giant comforter at home, with the windows open! Huh, that did not help my mood at ALL L it was just so unfair that I should be out and about on a weekend morning!
      We reached the main road. At 8 in the morning on a drizzly Saturday, the roads were a little less busy than on the normal days. The signal turned red ….my cab driver stopped and immediately got on his phone to let the transport guy at office know that we were on our way. A traffic policeman in his raincoat was muttering something under his breath. A transvestite, dressed in all her glory, complete in a red sari and chocolate brown lipstick, was moving from vehicle to vehicle, clapping her hands and demanding alms. A little street kid, lurking on the footpath, caught my attention. She was standing there, holding a loop, something that looked like a hoola-hoop. The minute all the vehicles had stopped at the signal, she put her loop on the pavement and moved a few feet away. She then did a somersault and landed INTO the loop on the ground. Within the next half minute or so, she twisted and turned her young body in a million ways, contorting herself into numerous shapes WITHIN the loop! It was still drizzling outside. But she went about her business, trying her best to entertain people stuck at the signal. And then she looked at the timer of the traffic signal. She still had another minute. Immediately, she ran from one vehicle to the other, collecting the coins that people gave her.

       The transvestite had completed her round by then and waited on the pavement watching the child collect her alms. My driver was getting impatient. The traffic policeman could not hold his mutter down anymore. He started raining curses on a biker who was trying to jump the signal. Within the next few seconds, all eyes were on the timer.
     The driver, wishing it would tick faster.
    The transvestite, wishing the vehicles would start moving slowly, so that she could collect her due from a newer batch of vehicles.
    The street child, wishing the signal would stay red a little longer so that she could collect coins from all the vehicles stuck at the signal.
    The traffic policeman, keeping a keen eye on the timer to ensure he gets his hand signals out at the right time.
    And I, indifferent to the changing colors of the traffic signal, completely lost in the beauty of this morning, watching the driver, the policeman, the transvestite and the child judging their next move based upon the changing traffic lights.
   The signal finally turned green, the drizzle was now increasing in intensity…the rain drops were getting bigger….the driver started the cab, the policeman blew his whistle and waved his hand, the transvestite was already walking towards the other side of the road…the side where the lights had now turned red. The little girl was holding on to her loop and running towards the red light lane, grinning as the rain drops lashed against her almost bare back.
    As my cab moved forward, I turned to my left to catch a last glimpse of the characters of my 90 seconds movie.
  The transvestite was  clapping her hands again. The child was getting ready to do a cart wheel. The policeman was screaming at yet another wayward driver……And my driver was turning the radio on…
It was no longer drizzling. It was raining. The policeman ran into his traffic island shelter, the transvestite put her sari over her head. The child….the child continued to twist herself into the metal loop. In the pouring rain…Grinning from ear to ear…While the rain lashed against her bare back.....
   My mind drifted off again to think about my warm bed and my cozy comforter….And I felt blessed! Working on a Saturday did not seem so bad at all…The 90 seconds movie had done it's job....I said a silent prayer and thanked Him for having given me a life that did not depend on the changing lights of a traffic signal….
Its strange where life’s lessons come from….


  1. Thank you Vik :) Long time,no see ?! You have disappeared !

  2. Oh don't ask. FB hacked and slouched, then work, action in home, travel, patti in ICU - goes on. Good luck there.


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