The other day I was seated in a bus, listening to music and reading a book. Like any other regular person, I didn’t know who was sitting next to me. I only looked around when my neighbor nudged me gently.
“Hi! Sorry, You got time?” It was an elderly lady.
(Translation: You got time? = What is the time? I have no idea why people use this phrase.)
“Yeah, sure.” I told her the time and got back to my reading.
“You know, one of these days I am going to have a heart attack and fall on the street and nobody’s gonna notice.”
(HUH! I couldn’t believe she was actually talking to me. Wearing headphones is as good as putting up a huge ‘Do not disturb’ sign.)
I acknowledged hearing that and got back to my book.
“The other day I was walking and I needed to ask someone for directions but I looked around, everyone was wearing earphones. I felt like I am walking alone in the city. There wasn’t anybody I could talk to.”
Although irritated, now I was very curious to hear her. Removing my headphones, I asked, “Why not?”
“You know, everyone is in their own world, nobody wants to talk and if they are wearing earphones, I don’t want to interrupt and annoy them.”
(Except that she did that to me just a minute ago. Nevermind.)
“What if an ice block is falling on the sidewalk? If I see, I will shout for the next person but its useless because he is wearing earphones.”
(During winter, snow accumulates on top of windows, turns into ice and crashes on the pavement below. It is hazardous indeed.)
“I just wished people listened to me. I’m glad you did, sorry to bother you, you seemed like a nice guy.”
“Uh, thanks.” I got off at my stop, shaken with the problem of the aged and unable to fully understand what just happened.
What do you think?
- She is an old lady. Probably she doesn’t have anyone to talk to.
- She is used to being ignored by others.
- She wasn’t interested in knowing the time. She simply wanted to talk to someone.
There are so many problems in our society. Some visible, most invisible.