Pedestrians, Warm Planet

Why didn’t you stop the car  to let the pedestrians walk across the street? One of my friend that just returned from an abroad trip asked me angrily, as I drove past a bunch of  pedestrians waiting to cross the street.

Often times this is one of the most profound observations from
some of my friends here in India that traveled abroad for a short duration have, that if you stop you car to give
pedestrian his turn to cross the street, you are more civilized.

They return from their abroad trip and go, “You know, there are a lot of things that are terrible here in India!
One of them that’s so uncivilized here is that the pedestrians have tough time crossing
roads, and those that drive in their damn cars
don’t stop to let those pedestrians cross the street, like you just did. You never see this happen in Europe, you know.”

I tried contemplating on the pros and cons of this topic and tried hard to agree with my friend.
In my opinion, I don’t have to give a shit about my friend’s observation.  Because,
A. It is not profound, as he thinks it is.
B. He is a bloody murderer in thinking it’s less civilized if I don’t give pedestrians their turn.

Nobody should stop their car to let those pedestrians walk across. I mean it. Here is why.
If I stop the car for you, the pedestrian, to cross the street, it is same as both you and I smoking a cigarette, and dying early, even though neither of us are smokers.

Ok. Let me explain that.

I stopped the car. How did I do that? First, I took my foot off the throttle, and applied the brakes.
I was cruising at 40MPH before I saw you, the pedestrian, and now, my vehicle is halted.
I switched to first gear to allow you to walk across the street. And you, went straight to the bus stop across the
street and started surfing the damn facebook. 

That’s unnecessary traffic, I mean, the web-traffic, and the datacenter that
hosts the facebook servers, and that of your internet service provider just emitted a few milligrams of carbon, into an already
warm planet. Both just because of you.

Me, on the other hand, have to start driving from 0MPH, and all the other noble citizens in their cars right behind me, have to do the
same. Do you know the cars consume more fuel when driving in the lower gears?! Now, because of you, the damn pedestrian,
my car has emitted more carbon than it would have, if I did not give a shit about you and kept cruising at 40MPH.

Now, together, the carbon that’s emitted by both of us is same as both of us smoking a cigarette, and we will be dead a little early than
if I did not cared for you, and kept driving, and who knows we both would have lived a little longer.

This is why we Indians are more civilized than those in the other countries where they stop for a pedestrian to cross the street should they see one! 

You know what to do the next time you see a pedestrian now. Don’t you? And hey, have no guilt, after all you let him live a little longer.

The Magical Roses!

I ran into a man on 13th February. It was evening and I was returning home. He introduced himself as Mr Valentine, the “inventor” of Valentine’s day, offered me a flower bouquet and said it had 3 magical rose buds that shall blossom every hour starting 5AM on 14th February. He went on and said I could choose to give them to any, and can only do so before the sun sets, and those that accept the flower without asking any questions would have their wishes fulfilled right away! He warned me that they are just flowers if I disclose their magical powers!

Before I could ask him further questions, he disappeared into vapor! (Sigh. Global warming, fellas!)

I was not willing to trust Mr Valentine. He was just a stranger to me. However he did disappear right in front of my eyes, and that was as good as a credible testimony of his magical powers.

So, I decided, in the name of love, I was going to risk having my bones broken and face bruised, but not let the magical roses die as sun sets.

I informed my boss that I needed a day off the next day. I had the alarm set to go off at 4:55AM, went to bed.

I woke up as the alarm went off, and in 5 minutes from then, one of the flowers did blossom!

And in 2 hours the other two.

“Wow, that is so real! Those are magical, and punctual!” I said to myself.

It was 8 in the morning by then. I dressed up and went straight to the city center.

I wanted to find someone that really deserved the magical roses. As I was in dilemma to pick one, I thought I close my eyes for a few seconds, and whoever I see as I open my eyes shall be the one.

I kept my eyes shut for 5 seconds, and then opened them. I saw a charming girl passing by me. Let it be her, I thought, gathered some courage, and stopped her, and gave her one of the roses. She didn’t mind accepting it. With a smile on her face said she was engaged, pointed at a man who stood by an old motorcycle and went right ahead to him.

She took it easy on a stranger like me! I was glad she would have her wishes come true!

I was left with 2 more roses by then.

For the next one, I wanted to be a little deliberate with my choice of who gets the rose. So, I looked around, and noticed a very fat women passing by. She looked very dull for some reason. It was the weight, perhaps. I went right up to her, and offered her the second rose. She also accepted it gladly, and said she liked me, paused for a few seconds, and  said “You weigh less than half of me, but I will keep this flower!” and went away.

That “pause” was terrifying as I was not sure what she was going to say after that. With a sigh of relief that she was gone, the second rose was also going to be well utilized, I said to myself.

When I was left with the last rose that I recalled I had totally forgotten about my friend that is in relation with a girl. I hurried myself up to meet him, lied to him that I had with me some special roses from the Keukenhof, and while I kept some for myself, I brought one for him. He thanked me for that, accepted it, and left.

I was happy that I did not let the magical flowers go wasted, and knew he would make it his Valentine’s present to his girl.

I’d sound sleep that night for all the good deeds I’d done, and I kept smiling the entire week.

It was the subsequent weekend that I was at the city center again, and I noticed someone resembling the first girl who I’d given the magical rose. Indeed, it was her. She got off a Lamborghini Aventador, and by her side was a billionaire. I knew instantly what she wished for on the Valentines day!
Apparently her wishes had turned her fiancé into a billionaire!

I kept walking and noticed a brand new multi-floor gymnasium specialized in weight-loss exercises, and a bunch of obese women walking in. The grand advertisement of the gym revealed that the fat women, to who I’d given the second magical rose, was running the gymnasium. Apparently, she wished what a regular-fat-person wishes for: Lose weight overnight. She’d made her fortune by branding and advertising her overnight transformation. Little did those obese women knew, they kept lining up!

It was then that I wanted to know what good the magical roses had brought to my friend, and his girlfriend.

To my regret, I came to know that my friend was under psychiatric observation! I thought “How could she do it to him! How could she ever wish her boyfriend lose mental balance.”
I visited the hospital to watch his condition, and found him walking around in a room with transparent walls, a rose in his chest pocket, drawing things in air. He looked mad for sure. When inquired with the doctor that I was told, my friend was arguing that among other things that he knew, Einsteins theory of relativity was wrong, and that he could run faster than Usain Bolt. The doctor went on and said his girlfriend had called the hospital before she left him forever.

Uh, I then came to know that this poor chap thought just a rose wasn’t enough as a valentine’s day gift, and had brought her a gold ornament, and the magical rose was left with him. Since he had wishes that he could prove Einstein wrong, run faster than Usain Bolt, among the other wishes, and the rose was with him, that all his wishes had come true. And he tried explaining the physics of Einstein, and physics of running to that gal, and she found him retarded. Such a tragedy.

I wanted to narrate to the doctor about my meeting with Mr Valentine, and about the roses hoping that would set my friend free. I always wanted to see my friend go on and prove that Einstein was wrong, and defeat Usain Bolt running backwards. I knew his yearnings, and after all, I knew the magical power of those roses!

I started walking down the hallway to meet the doctor and as I noticed my friend being taken for a shock treatment, I reminded myself I was in psychiatric clinic, and they admit people if they had “magical story”.

I kept walking towards the front door to never return, reminding myself, Valentine’s day does good only for girls.