As usual I was traveling to office by my regular bus. After exchanging some friendly good mornings and smiles, the bus conductor issued me my fare. Since it was a Monday morning, and office peak hour, there was huge traffic and many boarded our bus. In Bangalore, bus commuters who stand in whatever small place they get to place their single foot, envy those who sit during the journey, they keep eyeing them, so that as soon as one gets up there is a mad rush to occupy the seat! Gosh…

I was lucky today. Got myself a seat at the back of the bus adjoining a window. I love window seats for the simple sake that I can watch the world go by in an animated state. I can sit there for hours without getting restless. While I was sitting there getting comfortable, a small voice spoke to my ear. I turned to see who it was and a young man was sitting next to me. He seemed elder to me, by say 4 years, nicely pressed dress, combed hair, polished shoes and eyes which spoke too little. With an executive bag on his shoulder he was a perfect example of a typical office guy. He spoke again, in a soft voice, “Can you give me 10 rupees?” I was confused. But then again, I observed him closely, now not about his appearance, but his body language. He was restless and was locking his fists feeling desperate. His eyes were blankly staring at something in space. He was lost in thoughts. Or rather I was. Could he be a poet? Could he be a hungry man? Was he mentally unsound? What would he do with ten rupees? I was a little apprehensive.

He introduced himself, soft spoken, gentle and said that he was working nearby. Then he turned silent again. Clenching his palm and resting it against his forehead, he was again lost in thoughts. After a while he rose suddenly, told me that he would get down here and wished me, saying, “Have a good day”.

Now what would I have to do? Give him ten rupees?