The days of our lives #1

After a ten-second beep, the doors closed. With the black, Swiss-made bag pack perched on his shoulders, he leaned against the pole. I looked around at the row of seats. To my right, towards the end of the row, was a sign next to the window. He now stood fidgeting with his bag as though searching for something.

"Those are reserved for you, you can have a seat there," I said pointing to the sign on my right. He leaned, smiled, and then said, "People are seated there already. If I go, it will cause them discomfort."

I took a look again. None of them qualified the criteria for which the seats were reserved. Turning to him I said, "But these are reserved for senior citizens like you; it's meant for you."
He smiled and said, "Yes, but other people are already seated there. If I go ask, it might trouble them. Though, they should understand such things on their own."

Our conversation continued over smiles. We both bonded over the declining empathy we experienced in public every day. We also discussed how the other day in Australia people stepped in to save a trapped man and tilted the train themselves, rekindling the faith in humanity.

All this happened in a span of ten minutes. He was a Goregaon-bound auditor, while I was a Marol-bound editor. We exchanged pleasantries, and I alighted in the next few minutes.

Both of us were surrounded by a fair number of well-to-do people. We were audible enough for our fellow commuters too, but none of them seemed like they cared (even though they eavesdropped), or offered a seat once for the veteran. All of them looked like they could read and understand what the sign meant. However, not one of them paid any attention or showed respect. Sigh.

I still am wondering what else is needed in life to awaken conscience. Forget conscience, common sense to say the least. The old man I met was a good soul who looked for the greater good of others.

Unfortunately, I cannot say so about the rest.

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