It was a typical busy morning in the bustling city of Mumbai. People focussed on grabbing a transport – trains, buses, autos or cars; to get to their destination and start their daily chores, mundane or otherwise; vehicles running helter-skelter shipping them; the various street food vendors trying to appease the burgeoning crowds; and a set of people showcasing their graffiti skills with their paan [betel leaves] stuffed mouths!
It was yet another day in office for the IT employee in me, up at 9am, took to the street at 945am after having my usual share of vada pavs. Then came along a bus that would unexpectedly teach me something that I would try to emulate for long. It was horrendously crowded with people hanging on the foot-boards as with any bus at that time of the day. I managed to wriggle into it somehow and hang on for dear life. As I saw the conductor at a distance, I observed that he was murmuring something that I could not quite hear. I also saw that some people were smiling at him and some others were giving him a puzzled look.
Battling the crowd and dispensing tickets; as he approached me, he said with a smile – “Shuboday, kahan?”, meaning “Good morning, where (do you want to go)?” I returned a smile and said “Shuboday, Vikhroli” and thanked him after he gave me a ticket for 10 rupees.
The attitude of this conductor made me think. I crib about commuting in a crowded bus everyday. Here is this person whose job is to move in the worst of crowds and ensure that everyone buys a ticket from him, so that the government doesn’t lose its revenue. Not only is he doing his job well, but he is also making sure that people get a good start to their day; by doing whatever little he can – a simple good morning with a smile on his face, in all its genuinety.
Irrespective of whether we like our jobs or not, we need to do it right and make sure that we contribute a little something to make our peers’ day better. The energy levels and the enthusiasm of that conductor has elevated him to a status more than that of any ordinary professional in my perception.