December 19, 2016

Giving Way

It was perhaps a minute to departure. As we rushed to catch the ferry to Hulule airport and i hurried to get the ticket at the booth besides, suddenly i was surprised by two persons from behind pushing their cash onto the face of the girl at the counter. Just for a ticket, while I had to patiently wait aghast, and the time ticking for my tickets to be issued. No worries; this is the “value” driven people of today I thought! Then we boarded the ferry just on the nick of time and we searched for a berth to park ourselves. I quickly placed the two little kids i had with me in the crack of a space between two foreigners who sat uncomfortably watching the chaos unfolding before them while I found my stability standing with my hands on the cross bar of one of the now full-up rows of seats. Suddenly a young lady of south-eastern origin from among the passengers on board gets up to give me her seat.

What a blast from Providence! Perhaps seeing the scene evoked in her a hidden sense of reverence, or was it just my gleaming grey hair? Or was it her value-based upbringing in her culture? I do not know the answer -- but perhaps one of the above!  I protested. “I’m not that old my dear” I said. But she would not have it. She insisted I sit and she stands. I was moved, not because I was happy to get a place to sit for that short 10-minute ride to the airport, but sad that none of the young Maldivians on board moved one bit to give a seat to an old man - even as they sat looking on at this exchange of words and perhaps facial emotions that were observable despite the din of the in-board motor engine. At least the grey in my hair should engender respect if nothing else.

How can we revive some chivalry again or are we too much steeped into this age of equality? -- was the query that ran through my mind. How do we revive the past glory of sharing and caring. Or did we even ever have it then?

Saving grace: As we soon docked at Hulule airport and we all rushed to spill out of the ferry, i felt a tap on my shoulder. “I'm sorry if I offended you in rushing to get my ticket” a voice behind me intoned. I turned around and saw the young man who pushed the money at the ticket-booth girl’s face at the start of our journey. “No worries” i said. “I’m ever so glad you had this to say” my thought continued, thankfully uttering a silent prayer to Allah. So there are those who are value-driven, but the spur of the moment just shakes them out of that civil path sometimes. The great Deceiver is ever ready to grasp even a sliver of a moment! MaashaaAllah! Sanity can indeed prevail if our intention is to be conscious.