The Sixth Sense

 

The Sixth Sense

 

As  parents  of  my  age  the  toughest time  is  when  you are   waiting on the roadside  while  your  child  attends a  coaching  class. Its  a  common  sight   outside  any  coaching  institute giving  IIT/ medical coaching in  the  cities.. Doting parents have  to  rough it out. Till  a  year  back   while  crossing  these coaching  classes  I  used  to  find  it  quite  funny  seeing these  parents standing  under trees   idling away .   But  this  year  when  my  son  moved  into  class XI  my  wife  promptly allotted  me  the  responsibility   of taking  my  son to  the  IIT coaching  which  was  some  ten  kilometres  away.  On  the  first  day  of  the  coaching  class  I  was as   nervous as  my  son. He  was  nervous  about  the  teachers  whom  he  is going  to  encounter  in the class and I as to  how    will  I  pass this   one  hour of  blank  waiting.

Once  my  son  went  inside  the  institute,  I  parked  my  bike  under  a  tree   and  began  to  wonder what  to  do from 3-4PM?  What  an  unearthly time to  stand  under  a  tree in the month  of  August. Slowly  I  could  see  that many bikes and cars  come and  halt  under  the trees around. Those  who  came  in  late  had  to  bask in  the  afternoon  sun.  While  I  was  watching  the  inflow  of the  bikes and cars, I  could  see some  female  drivers too. “ahh  , I  may  have  good  company everyday here”. I  thought.

Then  suddenly a  lady driven  car came  and  parked  very  nearby.  For  a  minute  I sat  upright on my bike waiting  to  get  a  glimpse  of  the passengers. Then  the  door  opened and  an  over-obese  boy  got  down  and walked   towards the  class. From  the  corner  of my  eye I could  see an  equal  sized  mom sitting  on the  driver’s seat. I  quickly  turned  my  face  away and  looked  at  the  traffic passing on  the  road.  It is   going to  be difficult to pass time  sitting  like  this on the bike every day. 

So like a  sober  and  obedient  parent  I opened  a  book  and  began  to read.  The  parents of  IIT aspirants must also  be  well  read  persons. The super healthy lady in  the nearby  car  was  immediately  busy  with her  favourite  pass-time,  the  mobile  phone.  After  reading for  a  while I got bored  and  looked  around .  A thin  layer  of  clouds   blessed  the parents-in-waiting  by hiding  the  angry sun  of  summer months for a while.   I strolled around and  noticed a  vendor  selling guavas.  This  could  be a  good  time-pass, I thought.  In  winters  everyone in India  loves shelled  peanuts as  a  time-pass  but  in summer months these   half  ripped  guavas would  be  fine. I  bought a  handful of  them . While  I  was  carefully  nibbling a  Guava I  saw  a  small  boy ambling  towards  me. .  He must  have  been about  ten years  and  carried a  dirty bag over his shoulder.  Seeing  me  wearing leather sandals  he     dumped  the  bag down , sat  at  my feet and  took  out  a  shoe-brush. “I  am  hungry” he  said. “Can  I  polish  your  shoes?” He   pleaded.

I  took pity  on him and before  he  started brushing  my  sandals,  I  handed over  a  guava  to  him.

“If  you  are  hungry first  eat this”  I  said.

He  took a  bite, looked  at  me and said, “this  does not   taste  good. This  is unripe”.

And  in  the  next  instant  he  threw  it  away.

“They  are  not  bad. See  even  I  am eating  it”. I  said. But by  the time  I  had  finished  my  sentence  the  guava  was lying on  the  other  side  of  the  road. I  was shocked  at  the  fastidiousness  of  this  poor boy.

I  think  he said  he was hungry!

 But what  to say now. One big Guava  was gone.

“What  would   be  your  age?”I  asked  him. I thought  this  boy  would  help  me  pass  some  time.

“May be  10 or  15” He  said laconically   and started  to polish the  sandals.

I  moved back  and  leaned against my bike. The  lady  in the  car  was glued  to the  phone  for the  last  fifty  minutes.

  The  boy seemed to be  hurrying up  and  not doing  the polishing  properly.

“ What happened , why  are  you  in a  hurry? I asked.

“There    will  be heavy rain  in 10 minutes and my  shack   is one kilometre  away .  I  will  run  and  reach  home  before that.” He answered.

“How  do  you  know   it  will  rain in 10 minutes? I  asked.  And   I  took  out  my  newly  acquired  android  phone and   clicked  the  weather  forecast  application . It asked – Enter the city. I entered  – Allahabad. It immediately showed –

 Allahabad Weather- Partly  cloudy  sky. No  thunder stroms till next 24  hours.

“Don’t Worry . It  will  not  rain”. I  said confidently. One has  to  rely  on technology now days and  not  beliefs.

Not  paying much  heed  to  my  prediction,  he  quickly finished  polishing  the  shoes .Took  the  money  and  ran. I  just laughed  at  the  kid . Thinking  how  naïve  are  these  local kids could  be.

After  five   minutes  my  son  came back  and  we  buzzed through the afternoon traffic. The  clouds  were  slightly  thicker  in the  distance. But  I had  full  faith  on  my android  application.

We  must  have barely  moved   about   two  kilometers  and  suddenly  there was   a  thunder and  then  felt  raindrops  on  my hand . Within a  minute there was  heavy   thundering  a  downpour started. We immediately  halted  under  a  shelter on the road side.

I  looked  at my   watch .  I was  ten  minutes  past  four.

I took  out  my  coveted  android  phone  and  put on the  hi-tech  application on update. Snap after  some  seconds  it  showed  me  updated  weather report.

Allahabad Weather-Partly  cloudy, No thunderstorms for  next 24  hours.

And  right  here  we were  trapped  under  this thunderstorm. I  quietly put the  phone  back  in my  pocket.  I  hoped  the poor  boy  with sixth sense had reached his shack  safely.

(  based on a  real life  incident)

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