Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Good Samaritan under Trial

Happened some years ago.

The Ashoka bus sped off just as my second foot left the ground. Tightly clutching the handle bar, I had to swing around a couple of times to finally feel like I wasn’t going to die after all. I found my balance on the footboard and tried to make it to the interior without letting cetrifugal force take over. The driver was accelerating so much that I wondered if he was conducting a particle projectile research for NASA. I felt privileged to be a part of this exciting breakthrough of a project. Soon we saw a bus similar to this one in an accident, overturned on the highway (a common occurrence in Mangalore). Our driver slowed down for a bit as if to pay homage and then the tragedy was all forgotten. I was again hurled to the other side of the bus and found myself sitting on a goat, right under someone’s underarms; coz it was stinking real bad. Was to later find that it wasn't a goat, but a basket of fish. Conductor shrugged apologetically and walked over for tickets. I sighed and looked for my purse amidst the pushing and shoving. No purse! Either it was my absentmindedness or someone stole it this time.

Talks of the next stop being a great place to get off had started. Also mention of freeloaders and ancestors came up. Mr. Conductor didn’t care less if I was a regular customer on this roller coaster. Even if he was willing to cut me the slack, people sneered and predicted that the conductor would succumb to my charms (I used to have some spare). He ought to throw me off the bus, if he was to preserve his manliness- they bickered. Bloody hypocrites! Freak shows!

I panicked. I knew the driver wouldn't take too kindly to any rude interruption to his experiments. Getting out of the bus was one thing I had no practice of. Usually when I did get off near my work place, it was the final destination. I could be assured that the bus wouldn’t take off with half of me dangling. Secondly, walking back home would take me half a day from the middle of a freaking forested highway.

One kind young man came up to the scene and offered to pay my fare. The proud person that I used to be, I would have normally turned it down. This would give me enough leverage to prove to all those cynical people in the bus that I was not the kind of woman to take favors. But this was not the time to prove a silly point; I gladly took the money from Mr. Nice Guy and thanked him profusely. I spent the next hour talking to this guy out of sheer obligation. He turned out to be quite interesting. I asked him for his address in order to return the ten bucks. He vehemently declined my offer to repay him, but did mention that he was a lecturer of Mathematics at St Aloysius College (a college I was familiar with) and asked me to stop by anytime for coffee. He was a decent bloke who even offered some cash for my return journey. I politely refused knowing very well that I could force some cash from my colleagues.

I reached office in one piece, with dignity intact, thanks to an archaic thing called chivalry. It wasn't like he saved my life or anything, but it was truly appreciated. I had full intentions of returning the money with a note of thanks and maybe take him out to a coffee shop.

I thought about it. My mind rewound to every Hindi movie I had watched. Same message. I feared Mr. Nice Guy must have had an interest in me and hence the effusiveness. I assumed that going out with him meant succumbing to his overtures, and maybe giving him false hopes that I might be attracted to him too. I took it for granted that I would land myself into a situation where I might have to say ‘no’ to a marriage proposal.

My mind could have been on an overdrive or maybe I was right in thinking so. But I was never to find out, which I regret. I am awfully guilty for not having returned his gracious favor even though it was a matter of a paltry sum. If I wasn’t right about him, I just hope he’d still go ahead and be as helpful to another and not feel that he made a mistake before.

If I was right...why !?
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Rhyncus does it again and answers my question too. Check out the shocking thriller, the back end to my meek story.

40 comments:

Patrix said...

Pi must be thanking his stars that you didn't return the favor :)

alpha said...

sigh! what would my life have been as a biwi to a math prof? Proof reading?

Parna said...

you were right cause he saw you as a 'nubile young thing' who would touch-charan of his mother waiting for her beta to bring the dulhan home. naturally all this would have happened after - while returning the ten bucks he accidentally brushed his hands against yours and then both of you went for a walk in the park outside the college (am assuming there was one) which somehow led to you two doing a song-and-dance jig.

you would be the light of his life - the solution to the most difficult mathematical quiz.

and you let go of it all......?

alpha said...

parna!!! LOL! Why are you making my heart regret?..all this while only my mind was doing the repenting part. kya kahani mein twist..oh sorry jig! Oh btw, at that time i was so anal..i might have used tongs to return the cash.

:-) said...

alpha: A true story :-) )))) Nice one. :-) I read the last sentence several times but couldnt get it. :-))) Pardon me but (LOL) couldnt resist from quoting "at that time i was so anal..i might have used tongs" from your comment. Ho ho ho.

alpha said...

:-) last question meant..why does it have to be like that...if I was right? Gotcha? In otherwords, would-he-have-helped-that-fisherwoman?

phatichar said...

I think he was just being a nice guy. If the guy's a math teacher, he pro'lly knows all about the equations of life.. :)

GratisGab said...

Oye Queen! Maybe he was just being nice, give a man a break sometimes...!!!

Imagine, you could have lived your life in mangalore mania..:)

alpha said...

phatichar, gabby: you guys are so naive..
Gabby is a known heart breaker..so what does she care? All guys are nice..including second cousins. where as some people have purana ethics against unwarranted trysts that might lead to 'chod do aanchal zamana kya kahega'. I used to overanalyse. I think my parents had hypnotized me or something. Could never have fun!

alpha said...

siggggh! not even a foot massage!

Mustang said...

On a serious note: There are many occassions in life when u need to retrospect and jst leave it there! Ther r no rights and wrongs.

On a not-so-serious-but-turned-out-serious note: How can you be so sure that he was a bachelor? Well I guess u must have asked him this in your obligatory one hour chat. Okay if he was a bachelor and a nice guy, you shud've tried to repay his money and gone out for coffee with him. Who know today you might have been a lecturer in Psychology at St Aloysius and traveling in the same bus with ur hubby-Prof Mathematica... have u ever calculated how much interest you owe on the principal of Rs. 10 over these many years? Prof. Mathematica must be torturing his students every year by putting this problem in exam paper?

alpha said...

Musty: If you say so, I just take it that I did a very neutral thing by not paying back.

Lol at the exam paper problem. You didn't specify the rate of interest. He was a bachelor alright. That is the first thing I asked before winking and before slipping a love note in his pant pocket.

anantha said...

Alpha: "Gabby is a known heart breaker.."

So what are you? :p

The poor Math professor bakra...I am sure you must have batted your eyelashes a few times before taking the ticket money from him ;) lol...

But seriously, thats what makes every Ramu a Somu, atleast in the onlooker's eyes - assumptions, that is.. Never assume and never judge without looking at evidence. :)

:-) said...

Ok I get it now. Helping a fisherwoman? Bah! He wouldnt have. I wouldnt have. I would have helped you if I were there. Not just with the money but also with a foot massage.

Twilight Fairy said...

Alpha, there are subtle ways in which to communicate thanks or return the favour and at the same time avoid any further interaction keeping in mind your estimations about him :p :)

And then how could you forget your 'dear bhaiya' ploy that you are already an expert at? :p

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JW said...

Good Q and an interesting anecdote. Liked the Mangalore post too, never lived there but have visited it often.

VC said...

Alpha - looks like u need a refresher course on 'Men 101'.
Yes. He was being nice. (Rule#1 - Be nice.)
Yes. He was hitting on you. (Rule#2 - Hit on women.)
Yes. He would have helped the fisherwoman also. (Rule#3 - Explore all possible options).

anantha said...

VC: ROTFL! You sure there isn't an addendum to rule 1 (Rule#1a - Make sure you are being nice to a single lady)?

alpha said...

vc: haha!! Trust you to come up with something like this! Suddenly have started wondering about your 37 amorous years.

jw: thanks. now i am wondering why so many people have visited mangalore.

iranianteacher: teach me what a 'link exchange' is. Sounds too hi-tech.

anti: somu is a crook? You never told me!!!!
heartbreaker? only if I am delusional.

fairy: 'bhaiya' works only if i have no interest on the other party. never close options like that.

smiley: bhaiya!!!!!

VC said...

anti: slight modifications to #1 & #2.
#1 - Be nice to ALL women (akka, thangachchi, friends etc. irukkalaam, illiyaa :)).
#2 - Hit on SINGLE women. Of course, this contradicts #3, slightly. ;)

alpha: all a means to an end, and that end was reached 9 years back.

alpha said...

dhool kazhapifications! I have understood all I need to understand about men. Anti thambi, koncham thalli nillu.
errata for # 3- Single Fisherwomen only.

AmitL said...

LOL..Twin,that's reward for chivalry from you..you didn't even meet the poor guy after that?I can imagine him throwing away his good deed book,I am sure..:)BTW,just a reminder...another blog bday coming up....any plans???

JW said...

..open-ended options, philanthropic professors, benevolent bhaiyas, friendly fisherwomen....one could think of myriad reasons @ 'wonder why so many people have visited Mangalore' :D!

:-) said...

Fairy: Do you have to cut short all my chances? Always? Why did you teach her the bhaiyya stuff?

Rhyncus said...

You sorely tempt me, alpha, you really do.

alpha said...

Rhncs! Please do...I am dying to know what name you'll come up with for our prof.

jw: haha! surre!

amitL: :) I dont know man..I'll let you carry on the celebrations, while I watch.

anumita said...

You could have sent the money back through someone...

anantha said...

dhool kazhapifications ???

Appadina? Oh.. you mean "dhool kalapifications"? something like "dhool kalapings of india"?

Alpha, did you study in one of those englipish medium convents in Chennai?

lol...

alpha said...

anumita: read Rhyncus's story and you'll be thankful I didn't send 'someone'

Anit: poda! lol...i tried to get the 'll' pronounciation...no da..no convent and all. 'patikaddu pallikoodams of india' only!

Rhyncus said...

Thanks, alpha for the link. I hope you are reassured now. :)

Zoheb said...

Methinks the lecturer was the guy who stole your purse. You should have asked him to empty his pockets before you got off.

alpha said...

Rhyncus: I am shaking like hell. I just called the cops when a guy offered to hold the door for me today.

Zoheb: It's cheating to come up with these ideas after reading Rhyncus's story.

Zoheb said...

Chailaaa, I haven't read Rhyncus'. 100% original I am.

Rhyncus said...

Guys offer to hold the door for you? That still happens? Hold on, was he trying to hold it open for you or was trying to hold it shut against you?
Ah, zoheb, humare khayal kitne milte hain. :)

alpha said...

Zo: Jhoot nahin!

Rhyncie: Dont you dare! There is an inherent difference between 'guy' and 'guys'. BTW, chivalry still prevails in the US and stops at holding doors.

vs said...

ohhhhhhmegod....was this the original version???
rhyncus' imagination needs to come off the steroids!! :)

alpha said...

vs: i know..such an innocent lamb-like story story turned into Silence of the Lambs! we need to stop the supply from nigeria.

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