Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mr Smith

Posted by at 6:09 PM On to the Previous Post
The flight landed amidst a foggy runway. Everybody peered out, waiting to leave the plane. Mr Smith checked his watch. 10 minutes early. 'Great, I can catch some lunch on the way.' he thought.

In the next few minutes, the passengers started getting off. Mr Smith decided to wait. He hated commotion of any kind. He was a man for the skies. He traveled almost 9 months in a year , and his fly miles became something worth bragging about. Slowly he moved as the last passenger left the flight , and he found himself waiting for a cab in few minutes.

A driver was standing with the name 'Mr Smith'  near the exit gate. It was a particularly busy day as large arrays of people waiting with placards could be seen. Mr Smith sighed and smiled , redirected himself towards the driver, and in no time they were outbound for their destination in this plush Mercedes of choice.

He reminded the driver to stop by the famous Maharaja Chat stall before they proceeded towards his hotel. The driver looked at him, slightly surprised,but nodded. He must be wondering, what would this man in his seemingly expensive outfit would do in a commoner's place like the chat stall. Mr Smith sensed this, and he smiled an amusing smile.

They reached the chat stall. Mr Smith got down, his eyes gleaming like that of a college goer. "Memories". he said to himself. He spent about 5-10 minutes, didn't eat anything but just scaled the area, before he came back inside the car, asking the driver to drive.

Once on the road, Mr Smith saw a seemingly ordinary flowershop to right, a little bit rusted but full of rose display outside. "Driver! Please stop near that flowershop." he yelled almost excitedly, for once forgetting that he was to maintain a level of composure like a top corporate executive. The driver stopped the Merc , and Mr Smith got down , ran towards the flowershop , and once again, he just roamed about without buying anything. He came back and soon they were on their way on the road.

The same way they made multiple stops, every time at a trivial place like a bookstore, a parlor , a laundry shop et al. Mr Smith was beaming , but he also sensed the driver was getting irritated with every passing minute. Finally they came by a field. Before the driver could revolt on a possibility of another detour, Mr Smith said "Let me drive."

The driver looked surprised. Here he was driving for a CEO of one of the top IT firms of the world, and that same man was offering to drive for him. Before he could react, Mr Smith came by the driver's seat, and nudged him to move. He obeyed. And they drove off.

Soon they were running through, making tracks on the huge barren land, seemingly used to play football and cricket by local boys. The sun was going behind the clouds, slowly , and soon it seemed like it would rain. Mr Smith was driving as if he got behind the wheel after a really long time, as if he seemed to crave this joy.  He made a great final drag and got the car to a halt.

The driver was looking at him with mixed emotions. Mr Smith said, 'You know, I have been craving to drive like this for months now. I have never felt so great!' he chuckled like a kid. 'I was traveling this morning when I saw a co-passenger in my flight struggle with writing using his pen. Though when he was typing on his computer, his hand did not shake a bit.' he said. The driver seemed interested. Mr Smith realized this and continued. 'I asked him if he needed any help, but the man refused, smiling helplessly. I couldn't understand at first, but then I looked closely- he was struggling to hold the pen, as if, as if he never used it before in his life. It was the same look he had that a child has when he tries to tie a tie, or iron his shirt properly.' he paused.
'You see, that's when I had an epiphany. I can always grow upwards, learn new , sophisticated style of living, but I can never forgive myself if I forget what I had learnt in my life before. It was not just about how to use a pen, my friend was struggling to remember , I am sure, when was the last time he carried himself like another regular person. You can call me thinking too much into this, but then, a slightest of observation is required to realize what you are missing in life, sometimes.' he concluded.

The driver smiled. He had never seen a man of Mr Smith's stature to speak with him so jovially. He blurted out 'are you hungry , Sir?'
Mr Smith was quick to respond ' Oh I am famished!'
The driver 'Well then let me take you to this great dhaba that I know of! They serve amazing Hyderabadi Biriyani!'
Mr Smith 'Wow I would love to!'
'But I have one condition'
'Well what's that?'
'You will have to drive!'
And that's when Mr Smith realized how it felt to be the regular guy again. He had found a friend in his driver. 


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