A Blast From The Past

“Life is beautiful not because of the things we see or do. Life is beautiful because of the people we meet.”
And we do meet many people in our lifetime. We forget some, we remember some, we lose some forever and then we happen to meet some, unexpectedly. We always say that it’s a small world and that the world goes round and round. I experienced it recently and sharing the same with you.
One day, about six or seven years back, I got off the train on reaching my station as usual and the ticket checker, a tall bearded man, almost a Tejeshwar Singh, the newsreader on Doordarshan, look alike asked for my ticket. Now the only thought early in the  morning in any employee’s mind is to be able to punch the card on time. The distance between our school main gate and the building is good enough and then everyone is in a hurry to punch so one is really rushed at that time. But the ticket checker was doing his duty and I had to show him my pass. So, I opened my bag, took out the wallet and then the pass from it and showed it to him. Good enough! The next day I reached station and there he was and he again asked me for my ticket. I went through the whole rigmarole and satisfied he let me go. Now, it so happened that the third day again he asked for my ticket and I was annoyed. I took out my pass and told him that it was the third time that he was checking my pass in as many days, at the same time and I was following the same ritual of producing my pass through a series of bags and hadn’t he realised that I had a pass which would expire the next month and not before that. He looked at me and let me go.
In the evening I told Abhay what had happened and he laughed. He told me that every day the ticket checker came across so many people, how was he to remember that I had a pass which would expire the next month, he was just doing his duty. I didn’t buy his argument, I felt that he might not remember my face and the expiry of my pass but the daily commuters are not forgotten that easily. Whatever, the next day when I got down my train, he was there and smiled at me. I too smiled and he let me go. This continued for a while, he would smile and I would nod but he never ever asked me for my ticket again; then I didn’t see him or may be he stood somewhere else or I just didn’t notice him but I did forget him. Later on, I stopped working in the school and all of this incidence was forgotten.
Why do I remember it today? Simply, because I saw the same ticket checker a few days ago and he happened to see me at the same time. There was a look of recognition, he smiled and waved me to go as if he knew that I had a pass which would not expire soon. Strange, how we happen to meet people again and remember them in the most unusual way.

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