For the many thoughts that come and go unannounced and the ones which refuse to budge out of my head…

Posts tagged ‘lessons’

Auto Diaries (Part II)-Don’t judge a book by its cover.

This one’s not about travelling in the auto. Not even about the auto itself. But just about the universal fact, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ reinforced.

My friend V and I were travelling in my car to The American Centre near CP. As, we both are condemned to be forever ‘directionally-challenged’ we had no clue where to go when we were half way through, floating around the road to Janpath (Geography may not have been one of our best for the both of us in school). A lost and confused bunch that we were (Me, V and the driver), we were asking for directions helter-skelter. None of which, really helped as such.

It finally took us ten minutes to find a helpful auto-driver by the road, who looked like he could make sense of our whereabouts to us. At once I made the driver stop, and rolled down my window. I made a gesture as if I were calling out to him, and said, “Bhaia, American centre kaise jaana hai?” (How do we get to American Centre?). The auto driver stepped out of the auto, and came up to our car.

After he reached the co-driver seat window, he said, “Would you like to go in my Rickshaw, or do you need directions?” (mind you, he said all this in pure, grammatically correct English with perfect diction!!). This was one of those times me and V felt our  jaw drop spontaneously. There was a pause for a few seconds before I mentally shook myself after what I had just heard. And finally when I did get out of the miniature trance, I meekly said, “Can we please have just the directions?”

At once he promptly replied, “Now see, you have to go straight till you spot the first signal, and then from there…” when I interrupted (still in the lingering state of miniature trance), and pointing towards my driver, I said, “Umm.. Can you please explain it to him in Hindi?”.

It took me some time to carry out that interruption as well. Me and V were still giving each other the dumbfounded looks, with the embarrassed smile.

He finished explaining to my driver and I finally, truly and wholeheartedly, said thank you and smiled till it reached my ear. To which, I received a spontaneous, “My pleasure!” from him.

As we drove passed, V and I couldn’t avoid thinking about it. We still couldn’t believe what had just hit us. It’s amazing how we’re so quick to judge and place people in these little brackets known as ‘stereotypes’. Thinking about it further, if it weren’t for that little monster known as stereotype, the auto driver talking in English would have just been, though uncommon, but such a normal thing, and instead of getting temporary mental paralysis, we would’ve acted like civilized human beings and been normal. Because of the mental picture we had in mind about them, we could never imagine it even being an actuality.

This day today taught me, (and very well at that) that under absolutely no circumstances, should we ever judge a book by its covers. And we, as petty human beings have no right whatsoever to put others into brackets that ‘society’ apparently laid out for them.


Happy Teacher’s day to Everyone (and not just Teachers).

Since today is teacher’s day I’d like to dedicate this to the people in my life (all of them, not necessarily teachers) who have taught me (some even unknowingly) things which I can never forget. So here goes. Following no particular order of importance:
~Ms. V in kindergarten, who taught me how to tie my shoelaces.
~The sweetheart K, who taught me how to look confident and aware in an interview.
~One of my drivers, who taught me how to patiently release the clutch on first gear.
~Mrs. A in school, who taught me how to correctly pronounce ‘develop’, and the right places to put commas.
~My dad’s helper, who taught me how to hammer a nail into the wall.
~Another helper who taught me how to screw a light bulb.
~K’s mom, who taught me how to how to carry off high heels.
~My six year old cousin, M, who taught me how not to have any qualms about speaking your mind and dancing like no one’s watching you.
~My four year old cousin, D, who’s alergic to sugar, who taught me to be happy with the things you have and not mope about your misfortunes.
~Ms. J in school, who taught me to tell the truth and how to catch a liar.
~My best friend A, who taught me that even some of my, otherwise meaningless, theories make sense. And also, how to appreciate the occult and the unknown.
~K again, who taught me how to keep an upright posture and eat healthy.
~My aunt G, who taught me how to bargain and haggle till the shopkeeper gives in.
~My aunt G again, who taught me how to be simple and yet be powerful and very successful.
~My friend, D, who taught me how to type an SMS.
~My best friend A in college, who taught me how to be street-smart, be mean to people who deserve it, and how to use library cards.
~My best friend V in college, who taught me how to ride a bus and public transport in general.
~My dad’s friend’s son, who has cancer, and mom’s friend who was paralized torso-down, who taught me how to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment.
~My cousin T, who taught me the basics of Buddhism as a way of life.
~My friend M, who taught me the basics of baking.
~My aunt M, who taught me how to come up with the wittiest comebacks.
~My bestest friend, T, who passed away last month, who taught me to be strong and brave and cherish every memory.
~My bestest friend T, again, who taught me how to be optimistic, to be nice to everyone alike and how to start a blog.
~My friend AA, in school, who taught me how to be sarcastic.
~My friend S, in school, who taught me how to vent out my frustrations in the right directions and be the perfect agony aunt.
~My dog, B, who taught me how to love unconditionally and not have an ego.
~My friend AB, in school, who taught me how not to be a fashion victim and create your own style statement.
~My college friend P, who taught me how to be efficient in work and stick to deadlines. To be a patient person and tolerate people even when they get really difficult, and just to be a friend in need.
~Ms. C, in college, who taught me how to be aware and proffessionally competent.
~Ms. S, in school, who gave me my first lessons in feminism.
~Ms. A, in College, who took the feminism lesson to another level.
~My friend D, who taught me how to wear lenses.
~T’s mom, who just lost her daughter, who taught me how to be positive in life and be so very brave.
And last, but definitely not the least;
~Both my mom and dad, who have and will continue to teach me things in life, right from walking and talking, to greeting elders, to wearing a sari, to doing push-ups, to folding clothes, and so many more countless things… the list is endless and I’ll never find enough space to write all of it.
A big thank you to all of you for playing an essential role in my life… 🙂
So, if you want to thank those special people who have inadvertently taught you something in life, I think today is the perfect day to do so. 🙂