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This Bus Ride To Lucknow Taught Me An Important Life Lesson

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It was 2017 when I was preparing for my medical entrance exam in Lucknow. After spending three days as my Deepawali holidays, it was time to get back into the race. Seriously, 2017 was a year full of ups and downs. My whole life was just about going to coaching, solving papers, reading subject books and then repeating the same cycle every single day. But what could I do? I had chosen this life.

But all of this was worth it when I would close my eyes and see myself in that white coat. I would be filled with this amazing feeling and an ocean of emotions without words like nill sky.

And I was too busy with this stuff until an incident taught me that these are not the real hassles of our life. I was returning to Lucknow after my Deepawali holidays, and unlucky me, I missed my bus. But somehow, I managed to catch another bus. I found a window seat for myself and sat there. Suddenly, a woman rushed inside the bus and asked me if she could sit beside me. I nodded in agreement. She was looking stressed, her forehead was covered with sweat, and she was looking thirsty, so I offered her water.

people sitting inside a bus
I found a window seat for myself and sat there when a woman rushed inside the bus and asked me if she could sit beside me.

She drank the water like she was in a desert. After a moment, she felt like puking and asked me to exchange the seats. I immediately did. I started feeling disgusted. The bus conductor came right then and asked me for the fare. I gave him the money and he moved to the woman next to me and asked her for her fare. But she did not have enough money with her to pay and requested the conductor to not force her out of the bus.

Suddenly, a few people inside the bus started saying yelling terrible things to her: “If you do not have the money, then do not get on the bus.” Some people called her a cunning fox and accused her of being dramatic. She started crying badly while I sat there numbingly. I did not know what to do or how to tackle this situation. And it was all the more disturbing to hear all those piercing words while I did not have a single word to say.

I was a part of the mute crowd who was pitying the woman but chose to remain silent. I want to request everyone reading this to never do this to anyone if you see somebody doing wrong or if you see something bad happening to a person.

Raise your voice and give your hand.

However, the bus conductor was an angel. He paid her fare from his pocket and shut the mouth of every single asshole in the bus who was yelling. Seeing his humility, I felt at ease but the guilt of being a part of the silent crowd was churning my brain. She asked me for water while wiping her tears and I immediately gave my bottle to her to cut this feeling of guilt inside me.

She had come here because she had made a wish that if her child gets better from his illness, she would visit the Lord Rama temple. | A still from the movie Taare Zameen Par

She told me that she had come here to visit Lord Rama when a cutpurse stole her money. She was crying miserably and I consoled her. She continued with her story; she had come here because she had made a wish that if her child is okay, she would visit the Lord Rama temple. Her son was suffering from a serious illness and when he recovered she came here to complete her promise. But, tragedies…

I was listening to her carefully and started thinking how I always used to cry about my luck and life, which is actually not all bad. Look at these people who still know how to show your gratitude to God when nothing is fine in their lives, hoping for good and cherishing every moment. That’s the true essence of life that I was wasting by crying over silly things.

When her stop was about to come, I gave her Rs 50 because her home was still far away from the bus stop. She took the money with shivering hands but there was a satisfactory smile on her face. Suddenly, she kissed my forehead and blessed me while showing her precious smile. I was too overwhelmed to say anything and was looking at her as she was stepping down. But her smile was also playing on my lips and made me feel something that I had never felt… peace and beauty.

I did not give her the money to compensate for my guilt. I did it because she taught me a lesson that this life is more beautiful than one thinks. Just live it to its fullest and if one gets a chance to put a smile on someone’s face, grab it, cease it. Because it will make you smile in return.

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