Friday, October 17, 2008

The privilege of time

It must be around 11 am. I am sitting by the window of the BEST bus. The bus, bursting with people is waiting at a crossroad for the signal to turn green. The man sitting right ahead of me is chewing away at his paan. Let’s call him the paan man.

Finally, the green light comes on and the bus begins to turn at the junction. At the same time, the paan man decides to spit. He slightly raises himself from his seat and shoots a jet of crimson red semi fluid onto an unassuming suitably well dressed man.

Now, imagine you are that man. You are probably heading somewhere important - a meeting or office. You are livid. You are annoyed. You are fucking pissed off.

You look around you to assess the situation. You shirt looks like shit now. The vehicles are edgy and moving quick to make the most of the green signal. The bus is filled to its brim. The paan man is confused and apologetic. The only thing you can think of is to call him names but the bus moves on steadily and the paan man is gone.

This happened yesterday. It got me wondering – What does it take to pick a fight with someone? Grit? Gumption? Opportunity? Stupidity? Or the privilege of time?