Last Sunday while I was waiting at T.Nagar bus stop for my bus, an elderly gentleman, crisply dressed, with oiled and neatly combed silver hair, casually asked me what the time was, and I replied him. Then he continued the conversation…
Elder Gentleman: Iniku edhavdhu exam iruka? (Is there any exam today?)
Me: Na exam’ku pola. Enaku class iruku (I’m not going for an exam. I have a class)
EG: Ille, iniku naraya students’eh pathen. Exam irukumo’nu nenachen (I saw many students today. I thought if there was exam going on today)
The bus I was waiting for, came and I got in. The bus was fairly empty, but all the seats on the ‘gents’ side were full. And on the ladies side, only 3-4 seats were occupied by ladies, and the rest empty with some occupied by some men. I bought the ticket and turned about to see the same gentleman with whom I had a short conversation, sitting in the ‘ladies’ side. He saw me, and called to sit next to him. I just sat.
In the meantime, the bus reached the next stop – C.I.T.Nagar, which is fairly close to T.Nagar. Then he said, “Today being Sunday, not many ladies would get in. So we need not get up now.”
And he continued, “Are you studying B.E?”
“No, I’m working”
“That’s great! Are you 21?”
“Give me your hand. Great that you are having a job”, and we had an handshake.
“So where do you work?”
I said the company where I work.
“Good, good. I have 3 granddaughters. All of them work in IT companies. There is nothing like IT is down now, right?”
“Ya, nothing like that. But whatever it is, we should work well. In that case we won’t have any problems”
“Of course yes. We’ll work well, but our senior may not think so. We think we are working well, but that guy would say something else”
A smile from my side
And again his turn, “Are you the eldest son in your family?”
“Good, good. You face shows that you are very responsible. So it means you the eldest in your family. See, I said it correctly. Seeing someone’s face, I’d tell anything correctly”
Smile again from me.
“I’m 84. I was working in a reputed company and retired from it. I still have a job and regarding that only i’m going to Adyar now. You should equip yourself to be strong in any situation. Your life is in your hands”
Nodding and smiling at him again.
And our conversation continued for some more time, and by then I reached my destination. I wished him goodbye.
“You’ll have a good future. All the best”
“Thank you so much”, I said him and got down from the bus and started walking, with a smile, a very happy and content smile.
P.S. Our conversation was in Tamil, and I really hate to type ‘one language in another language’. So in English here, except for the small ‘prequel’