This had to go on the wall.
It was a hot summer afternoon; I was in an extra hurry to reach home. Given the short distance; I chose to travel in an auto-rickshaw. Whilst the journey I was accompanied by a family who seemed to be in a jolly good mood. I was least bothered and I indulged my own train of thought.
The family of four had a typical gruff father, overly empathetic mother and two pubescent kids carrying (in) their own frivolous banter.
The auto ‘walas’ had a penchant for bass. Their music systems were altered to enhance bass which always irritated me. This youngest one amongst them, hardly 8 years old, was jumping and singing to the tune, I felt quite embarrassed, if it was for my child I would disclaim and abandon him immediately. I have nothing against kids but I don’t carry sweet spot for ‘em either. He changed the atmosphere of the vehicle, despite my distaste, he had a soothing voice, his elder brother tried to emulate but later understood his crass voice was of no match, the father joined the kid at the chorus and the driver immediately. I was befuddled by everything. It was like a school picnic trip. I was asked to sing (too), given the searing hot sun, the chaotic bass system and my irate mood then, I politely denied and said I don’t speak the language (which is a big fat lie), but again, I didn’t want to be a spoilt sport so I started clapping.
The driver tried small talk, to which the kid replied that he was done with his exams. They were all singing in a jolly good mood and here I was with a shell shocked expression. Nestled between the kid and the father I was hoping this ordeal would end soon.
Finally the guys got down and appreciated each other, BELIEVE ME you don’t appreciate nor get appreciated by an auto ‘wala’, EVER! He did charge them for the trip. It happened so fast it took me time to get a hang of it. He tried to talk to me in Hindi, he was poor at it. I wasn’t up for criticism. We both agreed to the potential the kid carried. He added some sob story of his cousins losing one of those myriad singing competitions. I emphasized and got down at my spot.
Walking down my street I could feel that experience grow on me. It must be for that kid because all I could see around was happy faces. People greeting other? Thanking a shop keeper?? It is highly unlikely of me to care about my surroundings; I couldn’t help but notice a guy helping a handicapped beggar find some shade. It was moving. I was aware that my subconscious was somehow tampered with. It was an unusual day and beyond my scope of understanding. I doubt it will ever happen again.
Be that as it may, the kid had a beautiful voice.
All suggestions are welcome