It was the second week back in the campus, I had to go home for a couple of days to attend my cousin's wedding. The day that I return to the campus was the day I had to submit my physics manual...so I had to finish my record work in great hurry and rush (with loads of luggage) to the campus gate to catch the 5:15 PM bus...I ended up waiting there for half an hour before the bus turned up. The campus to Secunderabad bus is always extremely crowded...and there's nothing I hate more than people bumping into each other in cramped places, so I was thanking my stars when I got in and found a seat. After 2 stops, the bus was totally packed...many people were standing and fidgeting uncomfortably while I was sitting aaram se in my seat listening to music.
In the third stop more people got in and among them was this young woman with a baby...it would be just too mean to watch a baby get cramped in with rest of the crowd...so I offered my seat to her and moved into the standing crowd. There were no free hand rests..so I held on to the railing around the seats as though for dear life, and whenever the bus would threaten to come to a stop I would say a silent prayer to save me from falling down.There was this big group of laborers who were surrounding me (not that I minded that)...but they were all talking(rather too loudly) to each other over my head. The bus conductor was gigantic, he would literally squeeze through the crowd every time he had to move around and he ended up stamping my feet twice and poking his elbow into my head once.By this time, all the excitement I had about attending the wedding and meeting my family was fast evaporating. I was again and again thinking of the first 10 minutes of the journey when i was seated comfortably.
Finally, when my stop was nearing, i got ready with my luggage to get down and then I happened to glance at the woman and the baby....I swear I'd never felt what I felt then ever before. The baby was tucked close to its mother's chest and it was in deep sleep.It had the most innocent and beautiful half smile on its lips. At that point, I knew that I had done the right thing and the crowd, the stamping, the discomfort, none of it mattered anymore!