A few weeks back, around 10 pm, I was driving back home from Bangalore’s Chowdiah Memorial Hall. After about a 2 km drive on quiet, peaceful roads, I came in front of the Windsor Manor bridge. This has a small underpass, called the magic box. Now I wasn’t sure if this magic box would lead me on my way to MG Road, from where I could take myself safely to my abode at Bannergatta Road. Wondering what to do, I paused at the entrance of the magic box.
When, out of nowhere, in the midst of the quiet, lonely night, a young auto driver in his mid-20s, came and stopped besides me and said, “Hogi Madam" (Go, madam) in a very kind voice. Guess he thought that I was scared to go under the very small underpass. I smiled to myself. Anyway, I asked him, if this was the route to MG Road, to which he replied in an affirmative and said, “Come, follow me!” Since I didn’t know the route much, I just trailed behind him and followed him as he took all the lefts and the rights, when at one point I spotted a road sign saying “Cunningham Road”. “Wow! I know this road!” I reflected. And simultaneously, I wondered, “Why am I following this guy? What if he leads me to some Godforsaken place?” With this newfound self-confidence and fear of being abducted, I decided to follow this guy no more. So when he took the turn at Ali
Aksar Street, I moved on. I went up the “God knows what” street. I asked for a few directions, went left and a few rights. And after some circling around, I ended up in the Ali Aksar Street. This time I proceeded along the road.
I had forgotten the auto driver by now. And I was sure that he had forgotten me too and would have proceeded with whatever he was doing.
I came out of Ali Aksar Road and reached the Infantry Road, all of which were familiar territory to me now. From there, I proceeded in the direction of the Chinnaswamy Stadium cross. I
paused now, since the traffic signal asked me to do so. Absentmindedly, I looked around, when to my surprise, I saw this young auto driver patiently waiting for me on one corner of the road.
The moment he spotted me, he walked up to me and asked, “Ma’m, can you find your way now?” Slightly embarrassed and dazed, I gave him a grateful smile and said, “Yes, and thank you!” He smiled back and went on his own way with a fulfilled smile on his face.
At that point, it struck me like a bolt — “It’s only when you lose faith, do you lose the way. It’s only when ‘I’ comes in the way of your judgment, do you actually fail to judge.”