I remember those times when I has an innocent teenager. I had not been allowed to venture out for long distance because my parents were extra protective of me. Could not blame them, after all they just wished well for me. They are all who i have to wish me well any way. Do you remember those days when you would be travelling in the local bus or train or metro, where you would see an old man or a lady walk by without a place to sit and you would be the sweet person to be so thoughtful and offer them your seat without expecting anything in return (which brings out the disparity between noble you and rest of the public?). Unfortunately, I recently realised that this nature of us tends to fade up and I have found out why too. Maybe it applies to you as well.
Remember these three posts from 2016, the story of the bus driver? One, two and three. I remember myself being skeptical to help someone to avoid being taken advantage of and then eventually having learnt my lesson. It was the first time that something like that had happened. It has been 5 years and I have had various experiences since then. In these 5 years, I have changed my job, shifted to so many places, met so many new people and have been trained in various aspects of life. Do you remember how it felt when you learnt driving for the first time? I remember my life, when I got license for the first time, it was in 2012. But i never got to drive on a regular basis until 2017 ( two wheeler). So, whenever I was on road, I would be a friendly driver, give way for people, not over speed in crowded roads, smile at people on the opposite road. Life was vanilla.
The reason I started taking my scooter to work in 2017 was that I had gotten too tired of the public transport. I had to take the bus to the railway station and then use the metro to a certain place and then use the shared auto to go the workplace. It used to take an average of 50 mins to 1 hour in a light traffic day. But the worst part, me being 185 cm tall, am generally over the heads of the common public in a public transport. So my nose was always above the oily head of the rest of the population in the compartment in train or the bus. The scent was unbearable. The oil, ufff!!!!!!! vanilla became pungent that day. Ha ha. Jokes apart, the other main reason for why shifted my mode of transport was that one day, when I was sitting in the bus ( on my more than 100th day of commutation from work to home), I saw an old lady stand in that crowded bus, getting crushed between people and sweat dripping from her chin. Her saree was wet by the her sweat and the sweat of fellow passengers squeezing her. I sat there in the bus, observing this scene and relaxing from the heavy struggle I had put up with the rest of the people in securing that not so comfortable seat for myself. (What a struggle it was? Phew!!!)
I sat there, Scooting my arse left and right to feel comfortable on that small seat, thinking if I should give my seat to that old lady. I was thinking that I would have done it if it had been few months ago. I still sat there, only imagining how nice of me would it be to offer her the seat and be the hero there in the bus, but i never got up. I never even dared to call her towards me. Somehow, I just sat there.
After going home that day, I realised that I had travelled too much in the bus and i had also become the very public that used the transport and there was nothing so innocent or noble about me, anymore. I was no more that sweet natured teenager. I had become selfish. So, I in a desperate attempt to preserve my innocence and nature, i bought a scooter and started to commute to work in that. My conscience was satisfied, I had successfully preserved my innocence in the public transport. Now whenever I travel in bus or train ( which is very rare), I give seat to people. All problems solved? Is life vanilla again? nope.
Now that I had started using the road more by myself. I started to race to work. I would cuss at the traffic lights and the guy who had a Learner’s board on the car and ahead of me in traffic. What a mess!!! If a fellow biker would come and ever so slightly titch on my scooter, all hell broke loose. From the guy who used to help blind people cross road and be late for school, I had become the guy who would rush at the orange light in the signal and not care for the passive walkers to cross the road. Again, this took me some 6 months to realise. In an effort to save my innocence in public transport, I had somewhere lost the tenderness in my nature. I am not even sure if innocence is the right word.
This self realisation broke my heart. I quit my job in 2018 December and went to do something else. I have not needed to use a public transport often or a private vehicle for the last 2 years due to my training and life. But 6 months ago, I bought a car, when the need arose. All this feeling came rushing in to my head. I was unaware of what i would become eventually. So i did something different this time. I got a plant and named him TRAVEL (click if you want to see him). This way, TRAVEL would live in my car and he would make sure that I would stop the car every time i notice someone who wants to cross the road in a busy traffic area, calm me down, not to cuss, drive slow. Sure, there would be lot of traffic and horns behind me when I would just slow down and stop the car as such to let the walkers cross, I did not feel bad about it.
I have been able to preserve my good nature by getting a travel buddy for myself. The hardest part was selling the car when I had to move again (1 week ago). But this time, at least I did not feel that I have lost any of my sweet nature ( I think it to be sweet, just my opinion).
Though the humility was buried deep inside the earth every time I overdid something in my life and later realised what had happened, I was able to unearth it and not feel so shitty about myself. (So, if you think this has happened to you too, a conscious decision is all you need to change your life back to vanilla or lavender. It is all it takes.) Please share with me if you have a story too. Remember, a lavender or vanilla life is so better than a shitty conscience. Isn’t it??