Avatar, the Traffic Man - contd
by Nirmal Kishor Prasad
(New Delhi, India)
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After several days, once again I had free time of that tea man due to the mercy of rain god. Rain started heavily when I was passing by that lane. I had to take shelter beneath the shed of that tea stall. Due to rain, roads were empty by pedestrians; there were moments of cars. Life was almost standstill.
Sipping tea, I deliberately knocked the emotions of the tea man for that traffic man.
“Bhai Sahib, after a long time, we are meeting again. While coming from the square, I noticed Avatar standing there in the square even in the rain,” I said.
“Sahib, it is not new, people know, whenever they cross the square, Avatar will be there to guide them. Initially, people resisted him and shed irritation, then, slowly they got used to with his actions. Now, they enjoy his unique dramatic signals, great involvement, tireless dedication and ever attractive ‘whistle blows’. Whether it is hot sweating summer, or bone piercing winter or jhmajham rain, he is always seen in service. It doesn’t matter whether there is traffic or not, he will be standing there on the same spot with a whistle in lips,” said the tea man.
Offering tea to few other customers, he further said proudly, “Many times he has saved people from accidents which could have even threats to lives. During such incidences, at times he had even met with minor injuries, but he never bothered. Once he saved the life of a small girl, who was thrown away from a motorbike on a sudden brake. He was very near to her. Spontaneously he picked her in his lap. On another occasion, he stopped a rash car driver in the early morning who otherwise would have met with a horrible accident with another car coming from the front. Many such stories are there, sahib. Now this square without Avatar will be very dull and stagnant.”
The rain had paused a bit. I had to move for urgent work. I pushed off from there.
Time passes rapidly when you are busy in work. In the meantime, I had to move out recurrently
from that place on official tours. Whenever back in a day or two, I never had to go to that square. Several months passed.
One day while passing by that square, once again my eyes stuck to that square. But I was stunned! Avatar was not there. It was unbelievable. My eyes wandered Avatar – the traffic man. I roamed there for quite some time in search of Avatar. But he was nowhere. My anxiety was picking up.
I rushed to the Tea stall.
“Bhai sahib, where is Avatar?” I asked desperately.
“Sahib, you don’t know - a week ago Avatar had a major accident. A car while overtaking another one dashed him. He had a major head injury, admitted in the nearby hospital. Doctor’s have operated him successfully. He is okay now. Today, he will be released. We are just going to the hospital,” Saying this, the tea man went along with Avatar’s family members.
Without a second thought, I too walked along with them.
We were in his ward. Avatar was in sky bluish kurta and pyjama and had a bandage on the forehead. He was looking very fresh. First time I saw him calm, normal and very pleasant.
There was pin-drop silence.
“Avatar, we have examined you. By God’s grace, you have a rebirth. Now you are perfectly alright. Take bed rest for 15 days, after that you can carry on your normal routine activities.” The doctor said smilingly.
His eyes were wide open on a wall mounted TV. Incidentally, news reader was showing the air and noise pollution faced by the traffic of a square where he was doing his job as traffic man. He saw the traffic was perfectly controlled by a Traffic Police. He could realize that for a long what he was doing was not required at all. He started feeling ashamed of his long irrational behaviour.
I could guess that Avatar had a new Avatar after his severe head injury. He was perfectly alright and normal person like any of us.
He saw his father and all family members around him. Slowly his eyes were moist, and tears rolled down his cheeks. ***