A couple of minutes later, he seemed to rise from the stupor and could vaguely identify foot fall. A few more moments and he could make out people circumventing him and moving on… No one had come to offer him help, they simply moved on, like he was a mere stone that lay in their path. A little longer and the never ending line seemed to dwindle. That’s when he mustered the last of his energy and stood up. He staggered through the line to the aircraft and slumped on his seat. Within moments, he was asleep, a disturbingly dreamless sleep that gave him no rest.
A fortnight later when he returned to Hyderabad and to work, he shared this incident with a small bunch of us. I was appalled. No one came to help him? How could people ignore a person in need of help? Were we turning stone hearted? Just as this discussion came up, another friend in the group reminded me of a similar incident that happened with me. I was walking through the office cafeteria and slipped and fell. My first thought had been to save my laptop that I was carrying in my hand. The entire impact of the fall was therefore on my knee and elbow. An involuntary cry had passed my lips, but no one had offered to help. One or two snide people had even sniggered. I had thought of it as bad mojo and dismissed it.