Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Ten Rupee Tantrum

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

Have you seen people go nuts when their money goes missing? It is obvious that large sums of money end to cause problems when they disappear but it is absolutely hilarious when people raise a hue and cry for meagre amounts of money that they don’t care about any way. My mind, in its infinite wisdom scoffs at such people and I’m sure you too might have had such an occasion yourself.

I’m writing this post from the state transport ‘super deluxe’ bus because this is the scene of the event and I’m bringing it live to you ‘on the way’ to Ahmedabad. Now, we have these intercity ‘superfast’ buses that have a driver but no conductor (job cuts affect the public sector too). Before, one could just sit in the bus and buy the ticket on the way to the destination but not now! Now, you’ve got to buy the ticket before the bus leaves because the conductor gets off the bus.

Enter: The Woman.

The bus is about to leave and she is the last one to climb aboard just as the bus is about to leave.. the conductor climbs aboard for her and gives her a ticket. Since the bus is already late, the driver and conductor are both in a hurry. The conductor gives her ten rupees less in the change he hands back and leaves the bus as it it rolls on to the highway.

The Woman realizes ten seconds too late that she got ten rupees less and muttered round about ten swearwords at ten generations of the conductor’s family before asking the driver to stop the bus and get back her money. As if that was going to happen…

So halfway into the journey at the rest stop, she again asked the driver about her ten rupees and what he was going to do about it. The driver said he was going to do nothing about it, wore his killer shades and put the bus into first as we started for Ahmedabad again.

However, one or two other passengers either took an interest in her story or were making a fool out of her; they asked her about the issue. She, the poor victim, recited the whole story as it happened but very conveniently keeping the amount of money ambiguous so as not to give her new found sympathizers a chance to scoff at her ridiculousness like the driver and this funky guy with the laptop were doing. So, when her sympathizers thought that the conductor didn’t return fifty rupees, she didn’t even correct them, instead going with the flow and playing the hapless victim to perfection. By the end of the hour, she had lamented so much that she herself must have believed that she had been conned out of fifty rupees instead of ten.

But it isn’t nice to make fun of this woman. She probably needs attention from people around her.

Oh wait! A development!

The sympathizer turned out to be a driver himself and actually called up a conductor or two and found the ‘guilty one’. He made him aware of his mistake and actually reprimanded him on the phone. He then paid the woman fifty rupees that he believed she was owed and the woman took it! 

No reluctance, no shame, only forgiveness in her eyes as she looked right into sympathizer’s eyes and took the money.

I feel like clapping at her brilliant performance but I think silence is of more benefit since it offers a better view of the stage in this play.

Driver! That's my stop!