We are all Passengers

First of all, I apologize to all the readers and followers who have been disappointed by my absence in the blogging world for so long. I just have one excuse for this term of absence – Writer’s Block. I usually followed the daily prompts on WordPress and wrote something that related to the topics posted on the site. And then, one day, ideas stopped coming to me. I completed my MBA, got a job and the blog simply went to the background.

However, I am today trying to revive this blog by an attempt at fighting over my block. My writing may have become somewhat rusty. I request the readers to be patient and help me out through feedback and comments. I look forward to your support in this endeavor of revival. Here goes.

I am working in a famous metropolitan city in India, where cabs are the usual mode of transport for many people, including me. I usually use the pool facility, which is like sharing a cab with other people who are going the same way. I am a silent passenger, keeping to my e-reader and rarely conversing with my fellow passengers, guiding the driver once in a while to the right path to my destination. Today, I am going to talk about my experiences as a passenger.

When I joined my current company and started hailing cabs to go to the office, I used to be skeptical about the people I would be sharing a cab with. I realize now that this insecurity was not only the result of a fear of meeting a new person, but also my frustration of not being able to secure a job outside India, even though I have a Master’s degree from Europe. I was restless, I was impatient, I was angry. And this anger and frustration was spent on judging my fellow passengers and thinking that everyone who travelled with me was a bad person in some way.

After one or two months of this frustration, as I started to get habituated with my work and the people around me, I stopped applying for jobs in other countries. And then, as my mind started thinking in a much better way, I started observing people with a different perspective. Before all this, I used to think that every person was someone I hated, and I found reasons to hate those people. Now, I started thinking that every person is just a person, and in all probabilities is in no way connected to me or my life and this thought helped me see also the good in many of the passengers.

I think the best way to observe a person is to listen and see, rather than conversing. Of course, through a conversation, you come to know about what the person does, how they live their lives, what interests them, and so on, but these conversations generally appear to me as if there is wall between the two passengers, as both are practically strangers to each other.

I have observed a number of passengers that have travelled with me and none of them are similar to the person who travelled with me before them. I have met kids who are glued to their smartphones throughout the ride, either talking or messaging, and then I have met kids who have had animated conversations with me. I have met people, who do not wish to compromise their comfort for anyone else, and then, I have met people who politely ask before reclining the front seat or making a call. I have met people who have been nervous travelling with a stranger, and then I have met people, who greet and talk to me as if they have known me from before.

Life is just like these cab rides, only longer. We meet many people, of which some remain in our lives forever, some are gone forever, and some keep appearing in the journey from time to time. We are all passengers who have set some destination and are journeying continuously towards it. However, in no way, does this journey give us the benefit of judging other people for their journeys. We don’t know if a person who is angry one day will remain angry for the rest of his life. We similarly don’t know if a person who is talking to us happily one day will ignore us and walk away the next day. We have no way of knowing what a person is thinking or is going through in his or her life. We also can’t possibly know whether this person will travel with us again in our journey called life.

So at the end of this piece, I request you all to think of the people you have travelled so far with. Think of their contributions to your journey and your contributions to theirs. If you feel you got separated somewhere along the way and you would like to have them back in your life, even if for a moment of your life, go ahead and reconnect with them. In the end, the people you travel with, the people you are a passenger with, the people who make your journey worthwhile, even for a 10-minute cab ride, are the people who matter.

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