Is it that one can take the woman out of sawantwadi, but not sawantwadi out of the woman? Or is it, as i like to think, that I wear a gaia-like, Mother nature-ish aura? whatever the reason, there is something about me that makes Delhi-ites think 'village'.
And I dont mean this in a bad way. On the contrary, these interactions have left me with a warm and fuzzy glow of content.
The last time I visited Delhi, I was wandering through various government offices trying to get them to cough up data (hah!). At the Krishi Bhavan, the chaps behind the desk suggested that I visit PUSA. Well, I would be glad to, but where is it?
"Ah, you are not from here?"
"No, I have come here from Dehradun."
"are you alone? have you come with someone?"
After this, they proceeded to give me detailed instructions of how to get there. And what I loved is that the instructions included tips on using the Metro.
"The station is underground, but you will see stairs and a sign. The metro is like a train and you need to buy tickets for that. Don't be scared, it is well signposted, and if you get lost, ask someone. People will be happy to help."
I did not disillusion the man, and thanked him for his help. And I was grateful- for the spirit behind the instructions, rather than the actual help they were.
This time around too, I had a similar country-bumpkin experience. I received help, was grateful for the help, the spirit that moved it, and the utter grace with which it was given.
I took the bus to Defence colony and needed to cross the Ring road to get where I wanted. And that seemed close to impossible. While I was standing by the side, being buffeted by the slip streams of the vehicles, I was joined by two construction workers, probably Bihari from the accent. Is there a pedestrian crossing, I asked them. "Nahin, behenji."
I resigned myself to standing there for all eternity when the man I spoke with moved around me so that he was now on the traffic side. While his friend zipped across, he waited till there was an appreciable gap and then crossed. I of course, crossed with him. On the divider, he moved around so that he was again on the traffic side and waited till I could safely cross. Once we were on the other side, he smiled shyly at my 'dhanyawaad' and went his own way. I thanked him, of course, but I couldn't thank him enough.
Like the autowallah I had mentioned earlier, the utter elegance with which help was given is something worth learning, is it not?
An Easter Resurrection
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