Two things happened yesterday that will stay in my mind for some time.
First: I was on my way to the part time MBA class (I was going to teach) I had to cross the railway gate at Tambaram Sanatorium. Like many other crossings on that line this one also will be shut for long periods. Anyway when I saw the drop gate closed I pulled up my bike and started to wait. As usual there were so many who ducked beneath the gate and went across the tracks on foot or on two wheelers, many often chatting on their cell phones. Parents’ handholding their kids and showing them how to cross train tracks added to the absurdity of it all. In some time there were a few other motorists who pulled up alongside and waited for the gate to open. I was happy to see that in the midst of all this law breaking madness there were still a few who believed in self discipline. Suddenly a delinquent sporting a big moustache tried to muscle his way through and started screaming at all for blocking the way. The bike rider next to me asked him to shut up as he was breaking the rules and he had no right to scream at others trying to follow rules. He became incredulous and screamed what rules was he breaking and we were all mad. I lost my cool and told him to get lost with his mouth shut with the most civil words I could muster. This angered him further and he started hurling abuses from the middle of the train tracks. I was reminded of street dogs that bark a lot but only from a distance. I had half a mind to roll up my sleeves and throw a punch on his ugly mug just to make a point. But I would have to still cross the closed gate which was the cause of conflict; I decided to hold my peace. Some of the other law breakers tried to tell us that it was normal practice and we should allow it to happen since we were new comers. If waiting was a problem then they could have taken the detour across the bridge a couple of kms away, but when there is a short cut, people will take it, no matter the costs. My neighbour wondered how law breaking idiots can afford to get angry even as the gate opened and we parted.
Second: The concert which many of you missed despite my invitation was a success several counts.
One: It gave the captive audience good live music that is so difficult to get nowadays and that too for free for nearly two hours.
Two: It succeeded as a benefit concert when we handed over 3.9 Lakh rupees to the Friends for the Need with a promise that we may increase it a little more as more donations were expected. The overwhelming generosity of so many benefactors warmed my heart for the second time that day. It feels good to know that there are still good people around.
Three: It was a nearly full house and considering that most of the publicity was low key, spoke volumes for the popularity of our choir among music lovers.
Four: We did a reasonably good job from the feedback of the audience, so all the hard work did not go in vain.
Five: This is personal to me, for though I missed many practices and some how got through the concert, I finally realized my role in the choir and that I was needed there.