A lesson well learnt!
I had to see my friend off at the railway station. I hurried to the station but to my dismay found a long queue before the ticket counter. I had to get myself a platform ticket. There were just 30 minutes left for the train's departure and I was unsure whether I would be in time. Anyway, hoping for the best, I joined the queue at the tail.
The queue moved fast enough and I felt that I would be able to make it in good time. But just then few persons, who were not in the queue, made for the ticket window. This, of course, ruffled the others including myself.
The angry people raised a hue and cry and made the queue-jumpers move back. I would have dearly wanted to join in the protests but kept quiet because the incident reminded me of the time when I had myself wanted to jump a queue. I was taught a good lesson then by a school girl.
That had happened many years ago. Waking up one morning I found that I was running a slight temperature and had a sore throat. Some urgent work required my presence in the office on that day and, so, I could not take the day off.
Fortunately, the general practitioner in my neighbourhood opened his clinic early and luckily we were good friends. The doctor had begun his practice in the neighbourhood at a time when the locality was yet under-developed. I was one of the early settlers in the neighbourhood and therefore had struck up friendly relations with the doctor.
I called him up on the phone and he asked me to come over.
I leisurely completed my chores and then went to the clinic. There were quite a few patients, most of them women, but I was least concerned. I looked at my watch; I had enough time to reach the office after seeing the doctor.
Ignoring the other patients, I made for the doctor's chamber. There were murmur of protests but no one said anything openly.
Just as I was about to pull open the door after knocking, a little girl in school uniform called out to me.
"Uncle," she said in her sweet voice, "we have been waiting for quite some time".
"I have taken an appointment with the doctor," I told her pompously. At heart I knew it was no appointment. The doctor was a general practitioner who saw the patients according to the order of their arrival at the clinic. The doctor had told me to come over just because I had called him. That was no appointment!
Realizing that I had no business in going in first, I pleaded with the girl that I was getting late for office.
"It is okay with me if you go in first Uncle, but all of us are also getting late. I am getting late for school," she said as sweetly as before. At that time a woman broke into a coughing fit and the girl rushed to her. I realized that the woman was her mother.
Without uttering another word, I went and took my seat at the end of the queue.