On a bright summer morning, I knew I had a long commute ahead of me to visit my grandmother residing in Besant Nagar. So, I boarded the bus 5E near my home in Saligramam, armed with a water bottle, a book and music. I quickly analysed the setting around me — the seats were comfortable, the fare was nominal — I had to pay Rs 17 — and the driver was in no hurry to reach the destination, the traffic aiding him of course.
At a point in the arduous journey, a frail old lady in front seat told the bus conductor that she wanted to get down. She got chided by him for it was not at a scheduled stop, and neither could she manage to alight without help. He asked her in Tamil, “Grandma, why did you have to come out alone at this age? Anything can happen to you, what if you get hurt?”
Saying so, the conductor got off the bus, helped the lady get down and walked her slowly to the side of the road that had shade to stand under. He walked back silently, probably thankful that none of the passengers had murmured in protest at the delay. The driver started the vehicle and again, lazily, the bus chugged on towards its final destination.
— Ramya is an IT professional