According to my previous day’s plan, I wanted to be in office at 8. This incidentally was exactly the time when I got up this morning. What followed was chaos! Rushing and running and rushing and running and finally after half-an-hour I stepped out of the house. I reached my car to realize I did not have my car keys in my bag. I went back inside once again to get the car keys. Were not at the right place. These things irk me no end. I have designated spot for all my keys and maintain this discipline fairly well, but just on the day I am getting late for office, keys are not in place. Well it did not take too long to find it as it was sitting alone on the corner table in the living room. I picked it up, came out, got in the car, and started for office. As soon as I came out of my parking lot and crossed the next parking lot, my eyes fell on a girl standing next to the bus stop bench who was waving at a taxi far distant. In any case, these taxis do not usually stop just by waving, you need to call the agency. She was in tears. As my car moved closer to her, she expectantly looked at my car, and at me. I knew there was a story. I stopped the car and rolled down the right window. I looked at her. She leaned forward as if pleading but she had lost her speech and could not find it till this moment. I asked – are you alright?
RIT? Yes, there was a question mark. RIT is short for Rochester Institute of Technology. She was asking me if I was going that side.
No, I am going in the other direction. [Small pause] Anything urgent?
I don’t know which bus now, I missed my shuttle. It is my first day today and am late. I do not know how to go. Can you tell me when the next bus is?
I could make out she was very tensed and I also knew there was no fast alternative. I was left with two choices, leave the kid on her own, after all she has come a long way from her country, she better learn to manage on her own; and second, well get further delayed to office, drop her to RIT.
Ok I will drop you, come sit.
Are you sure? She asked, eyes visibly lit up suddenly.
Yes, I said.
Thank you so much! She jumped into my car. I asked her to wear the seat belt. She did not waste any time and wore the seat belt while still having her backpack on her back. We started. I asked her which course –
Bachelors. Thank you so much. Hey no not this way. We should have taken a left.
Don’t worry, I know where RIT is. But I am taking this route because, one, it is picturesque and two, no one is going to catch me for speeding, it is deserted.
We reached RIT in five minutes (it is actually very close). I dropped her at the gate and she thanked me. She insisted on me giving her my number. Apparently she wanted to call me later and thank me for all of this. I did not know why this was so important, she already thanked me, but I gave her my number. She smiled, bowed and said thanks and then ran inside.
I was late to work, not only by my standard but by all standards, was not guilty about it, and in fact felt a wee bit smug too :)