The organization I currently work for has very kindly organized pick-up and drop cabs that run every hour just to cater to its employees. Needless to say, this was a life saver, especially in Chennai’s summers, when the sweltering heat is enough to drive you bonkers without the added trouble of booking cabs or, -for people like me- catching buses and sharing autos.

I’d normally leave from work around 7:45 in the evening, and there was a lady (let’s call her X) who would take the same cab as me (employees on the same route car-pool). Most people preferred sitting in the passenger seat, or immediately behind the driver, because that was where you were least likely to be hit by nausea or travel sickness. The third row – aka the death row – essentially in the boot of the van, is the one employees assiduously tried to avoid. We were amongst those dropped off last, so we would end up being pushed to row 3, but X would always ask one of the earlier drops to sit at the back instead, citing her travel-sickness. This annoyed me a little bit. I didn’t think it was fair for her to expect others to take her place at the back just because she didn’t want to get hit by nausea, because most people would get motion sick in the traffic. So, I decided I did not like her very much without even having made conversation with her.

A few weeks later, when she was boarding the cab with another lady (Y) and the second row was already full, Y spoke up, and asked someone to switch seats because X was pregnant.

Ahh… I was thrown. I used to pride myself for not being prejudiced or judgmental, but here I was, doing the exact same thing I had such contempt for.

Acceptance is a slightly difficult virtue for us homo-sapiens to master for some reason. We love finding faults. We look for cracks on the wall, be it our own, or others’. Perhaps this expedites our journey to get better at who we are and what we do, but it also leads to insecurities and general worry. I wouldn’t want someone forming opinions of me without knowing me. Neither would X, I’m sure.

As a child, you want to be included in games. As an adult, you want to be earning as much as the others do. As a parent, you want your children to be more accomplished than the other children. There is a general dissatisfaction with life; we are a perpetually discontented species. In the race that you run to keep up with the crowd, fit in, and be accepted, the qualities that define you get blurred and tossed to the sidelines.

I was wrong to jump to conclusions about a person I didn’t know. But I was fortunate enough to find out how wrong I was.

Food for thought? Food for thought.

Featured Image Credits: http://www.marieclaire.ru/psychology/8-voprosov-kotoryie-nujno-zadat-mujchine-pered-svadboy/

About The Author

Kavya Joseph

Just a girl on a quest to understand herself and her country.

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