Waiting at the bus stop can bore you out of your mind if you don’t have company. Having procured a seat, I took out my earphones and started with the usual musical routine ranging from an instrumental to a bunch of guys screaming. Half way through the song, an old man, dressed in a ‘veshti satta’ with the typical black umbrella as his walking cane, sat beside me. The popular ‘Manja Pai’ was produced as he promptly took out a Tamil magazine from it. Wiping his forehead with the towel draped on one shoulder, he went on with his magazine as I returned to my music.
He tapped me on the shoulder, offering me a smile. Quickly pulling out the earphones, I smiled back. He asked me “Which is the hottest place on earth?” and I was a little taken aback with the sudden question. Having taken geography seriously during school, I replied it might be the Sahara Desert or the Atacama Desert. He seemed convinced and asked if India had such hot places. I nodded a polite yes and told him that it might be near Rajasthan as it had the Thar Desert. He told that it could not be possible because our country has been bestowed with an equatorial climate. He quickly shuffled the pages of the magazine and showed me an article which also stated a place somewhere near the outskirts of Rajasthan. Overjoyed that my answer was approximately right I pointed out to him that I was right. The poor man couldn’t understand how a hot place can be found in this country. I told him that’s how nature works; because that’s the best intelligent answer I could come up with. He then showed me an article which he quite enjoyed reading which was apparently about the advertising of movies in today’s scenario. Having laughed along with him for a while and talking about delayed bus services, the conversation continued.
Out of the blue, he handed me a paper and asked me to go through it. It happened to be a photocopy of an article from the papers. He cheekily voiced out, “Nowadays people like to share information through texts but I prefer handing out photocopies. Old habits die hard.” It was about the Mudras, symbolic gestures facilitating flow of energy, using only fingers. He also added that all of them work and that he practices them himself. He made me take a picture of it since he didn’t have an extra copy to spare. Deeply humbled by his gesture, I thanked him. He also wanted me to do it as per the procedure or I might have to face some complications. It so happens that his son-in-law did it wrong and was forced to stay in the loo for the rest of the day.
The old man bid me good bye as the bus he waited for came in sight. Waving him back, I smiled to myself of the eventful morning I had.