04/05/2011 by Siddiqui Fayesal
Working under a Chartered Accountant sure has its share of positivity. And I’m not talking about the kind of money one can “potentially” make. I’m talking about the travel involved. The travelling is long and uneventful. It helps one to concentrate on those things that usually no one does. At least that’s what it does to me. Things run in your mind like a guinea pig runs its wheel. How was this urchin blinded? How much money must the driver be making? Does he do this occasionally or is it his vocation?
It also makes me do a quick review of my beliefs and measure truisms against my own experiences. I had always considered myself a do good-er. I had always thought of myself as a self righteous person. I prided myself for being the first to talk about wrong versus right. A friend once told me that I was an idealist. I took pride in that too. I was a good person. Maybe not.
How we love to point out flaws, when it’s not ourselves who’s at wrong. How we love to make sure that the person across the aisle dare not put a toe across the line. The line that we so lovingly say demarcates the right and the wrong. It is this human nature which rises to every occasion when one sees a fellow human make a blunder that we ourselves make, probably more than anyone else. But, oh! The satisfaction of hurling abuses!
This very obvious fact was brought to my notice when I was on my way back home for lunch on a hot sunny afternoon. I witnessed a “minor” accident. Maybe I say minor because I wasn’t at the receiving end. If I was it must’ve suddenly been a “near death experience” or what not! A motorist, riding with wild abandon, jumped a signal; making cars squeal brakes and making me mouth a few abuses (maybe because I didn’t jump the signal).
It also made a cyclist lose his balance and fall down. The motorist hadn’t even nudged the cyclist but due to the kind of luggage (some sort of spongy packing material; three times his size in volume) the cyclist was carrying, the sudden swerve the motorist took made the luggage tumble down which resulted in him losing balance. The motorist, without a backward glance, sped off. I muttered something to the effect of saying “inhuman idiot” and decided to play the wise guy.
I revved my bike to life and followed him. As soon as I reached him I shouted out to my fellow brethren, “The least you could’ve done was to say sorry. Forget about helping him. The poor guy fell down”. The man in question swung his head in my direction and asked innocently, “Did he? Oh! God”.
By this time we had reached a fork in the road. I took the left, while him, the right. And it was then that something hit me. And it hit me hard. I realized with growing shame that maybe the motorist wasn’t just “pretending” and that he really did not witness the guy take a fall. I, on the other hand, had a full nice view of him falling and his luggage being dislodged from his bicycle carrier. But, I, instead of doing some good decided to play Almighty and directed myself at abusing, albeit figuratively, at the biker. I could’ve really done some good that day by being “actively” human but I, rather naively, chose to be a “passive” do gooder.
Why is it that we humans excel in pointing out everyone’s fault? Why is that we do not only NOT see our short comings but we out right ignore them? Instead of reaching out a helping hand to people who might need it we gnash our teeth and throw fingers and hurl abuses to those who don’t extend THEIR hands. After all we don’t want to dirty our own!
The happiness which my act was supposed to provide me extinguished itself in the wallowing shame. I began pitying the poor cyclist. But I stopped short before I did so. I was in need of pity that day. And no one around to shower me with some!