For me Mondays are always pink, yellow, green and mulberry but no blue. So like every other day, I woke up exactly at seven thirty in the morning on the buzz of my mobile phone alarm. Thanks to the mobile revolution for the inbuilt alarm features. I don’t need an alarm clock to wake me up.
Waiting at Office Gate
Getting ready in time is a bit of a tedious process for me. Somehow I manage it in about an hour and a half. I finish my breakfast pretty quick. It takes me only four minutes to reach my office; not on foot but by auto rickshaw. I reached Gate 1 of my office- one of the largest new economy campuses in India. A truly global campus!
I search for a ten rupee note and three coins to pay the auto-rickshaw driver. “Oh I am sorry I don’t have thirteen rupees but only eleven rupees and a five hundred note?” I tell the rickshaw driver in a sorry state. It was morning and a time for his ‘bohni’ (first customer of the day) he could not let go even two rupees at this time of the day. For the first time, I realized that even a five hundred rupee had no worth in front of the tiny coins.
I moved my eye balls around to find any known face among the colleagues rushing to office. I could see none. ‘Great Idea’ I said to myself on spotting the security person on the Gate. I asked the driver to wait and ran toward the security at the gate. The security person stopped me. He was tall with long bushy moustache, broad shoulders and muscular chest. I felt my voice choke and experienced goose bumps in my body. For some unknown reason, I felt it’s against the rule to borrow money from security personnel. So, it took me almost a minute to ask the security person on the gate for help. Giving me a fierce look wondering whether I was from the same planet as his, the security person asked me about the amount I required. Hesitatingly, I replied ‘two rupees’ (only) pulling out my ID card to show him that I belong to the same world! He digged his hand inside his pocket and pulled out a hundred rupee note. ‘The needle is mightier than the sword’ is a saying I learnt in my primary school, I could see its application now. “I am sorry but I need only two rupees as the driver is has no change”, I said to the security person. He asked his security brigade but none of them had ‘just two rupees’.
‘When it rains it pours’ is a popular idiom which continuously blocked my thinking process. Suddenly, I felt like being in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. I had said my morning prayers and I believe that every day is a good day then why do I feel so devastated today. “I am the most miserable man living”, said by Abraham Lincoln became the most dominating thought on mind. I closed my eyes and felt it was a time when I really needed an angel to help me get out of this terrible situation.
Stranger Comes To Rescue
“Excuse me!” comes a voice from my right side. I opened my eyes to see the person. She was one of the colleagues who I was seeing for the first time.
“Is that rickshaw outside the gate waiting for you?” she asked me. I nodded and she was quick to ask me the amount I needed to pay the driver. I replied ‘two rupees’. She could not believe to what I said so she confirmed by asking “Are you sure its two rupees?”
She made me think that there is a positive energy that binds people from different walks of profession and different regions together at this true blue techie campus.
She immediately pulled out a two rupee coin and handed it to me. I saw the two rupees coin. I felt the weight of the coin, the engraved number two; it definitely felt like the world in my hand.
I hurriedly rushed to the rickshaw driver and handed him his eleven plus two rupee coin. I came back to the gate, flashed my employee ID card took a right and moved fast toward the office building. I had never attempted a brisk morning walk. In exactly three minutes from Gate 1, I punched my ID card at the tripod at the office building.
In The Comfort Zone At Last!
A sigh of relief followed. It occurred to me later that I forgot to thank the lady who helped me. I did not know her, nor her department. ‘Oh Lord!’ how could I be so discourteous? I want to find her and thank her. She is the messiah of goodness. She is the Mother Teresa of this generation. She will always remain in my memory. A sweet memory. A memory to cherish.
Later when I came to my desk, I opened my bag to take out the debit card and withdraw some cash. I was in utter surprise to find a twenty rupees note and a two rupee coin.
PS: I am still looking forward to meeting the gracious lady who was kind enough to help me at the critical moment. I request her to contact me after reading this.