We finally boarded a bus after having waited for half an hour.We were traveling to another city for a long weekend.As expected, there was a crowd at the bus stop & we did not have reservations.So we were glad that we were able to board a bus within thirty minutes of arrival.There were four of us- myself,my kid,& my parents.
The bus was not a popular choice & so it was nearly empty.It was cheap too.We made ourselves comfortable on the seats & tried to doze off.The afternoon was just going to end.The bus was warm & cosy as the winter was just coming to the end.Soon we were all asleep.
After about an hour,we were awakened by noises of hawkers selling their wares besides our windows.We woke up to realise that the bus had halted at the toll naka .The vendors were selling cold drinks,chikkis,etal.They were all outside our windows.One of them was a peanut vendor .His wicker basket was filled with golden peanut pods on which he had some paper cones all packed up & filled with the yellow pods.These are boiled peanuts with a little turmeric & salt.I love these peanuts.So ,I hailed the vendor.He came & told me that he was selling 2 cones for ten rupees.I agreed & then recalled, that, just seconds before I had seen him giving 3 cones to a lady in a car.I took the two cones he handed & then asked him for another cone in that ten rupees.He waited for my cash but I waved the note at him to symbolise that I should get another cone.Just then,the bus started moving.Very reluctantly,I handed him over the money.He threw another cone through the wondow of the moving bus.It landed on my lap.I was happy that I got a good deal.
We all devoured the peanuts -not one of them was bad.My parents opined that the peanuts were worth more than the cash I had given.I felt guilty.I was so anxious to get more cones for the cash that I had given that I never spared a thought about the poor vendor.He manged to get that third cone to me in the moving bus.He need not have bothered but he gave another cone for my satisfaction.It must surely have been a loss for him.We bargain for such petty things -with vegetable vendors, for flowers,for peanuts etc but when it comes to things which are big ,we agree without even a whimper of a protest.Is it because we know that a peanut vendor has no standing to protest & a builder will screw us up if we raised our voice even ? We just try to exploit only the already impoverished person who is somehow trying to make an honest living . We are actually petty ourselves as we endlessly utilize them for our own selfish needs.We feel great that we got a fabulous bargain but at a tremendous cost to the poor who give in to our greed.Can we only save like this ? Moreover,if any day,we don't bargain for such simple things,we declare to one & all ho magnanimous we are.
My mom opined that the vendor handed over three cones as they would have got spoilt the next day.This was assuming that he was unable to sell them that day.But even this thought of his was so noble -he wanted someone to eat the stuff when it was good.How many times have we just hoarded things -eatables,clothes,perfumes etc so that we can use them later only to realise that they are no longer in a useful state.But we still continue in making such errors.But the vendor was wise & magnanimous .He was the one who was living only in the present.We all are either gloifying the past or saving for the future unlike the vendor.
I felt that I had encountered a rich person -a vendor rich in virtues .It was I ,who was poor -full of petty thoughts.