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Mrunal Manmay Dash

This world is a mysterious place with the most cryptic of creatures—humans - all around. Not all the persons we meet are the same. They say not to judge people at the first glance.

Went to a hospital the other day with my mother for her treatment. The parking lot was full, as usual. As I tried to sneak in with my rather long sedan, a street vendor snarled at me from the side, signaling me to move my vehicle to some other place as it obstructed his business.

Wanted to give him a earful, but controlled my rage as it was getting late. I moved my vehicle to another place like an obedient child.

As I entered the hospital premises, I saw a policewoman, a bulky frame, yelling at someone, probably his husband, over phone. While my initial reaction was to judge her by the way she barked at the phone, then I thought, is this fare to judge somebody from the way she talked. For one, she is a working woman and we all know how difficult it is for a woman to manage both home and work. A nagging husband or pesky in-laws may be making her life really tough or a condescending superior may be making her life hell at work.

I went on from there to watch a security guard speaking to someone over phone. The sweet smile on his face was unmistakable, making me suspect his girlfriend on the other side of the phone.

Then at the nurse's chamber, I stumbled upon something that left me amused and at the same time tad indignant. When my mom's drip was about to get finished, I called the sister but got no reply. Went inside her cabin only to discover the doctor getting cozy with the nurse. Don't know about them, but I was embarrassed.

Thinking about all those characters makes me ponder, if I were to judge all of them by face. They were all different human beings with their own sets of problems in life. Who knows, the doctor might have been a divorcee. Even if he is not, who am I to judge? Similarly, the security guard was obviously neglecting his work by continuously talking to his girlfriend on duty. But can't we cut him some slack? He was in love and that cute smile on his face said he was probably bitten by the love bug quite strongly.

When I came out of the hospital ward after 5-6 arduous hours, the security guard was still speaking to his girlfriend and the police woman was dead asleep on her chair, probably exhausted after all those yelling and shouting.

An unintentional smile flashed on my face, which might have seemed weird to the onlookers. But I made a point to throw another pleasant smile at the street vendor while returning, who had yelled at me in the noon at the parking lot. His expression was a mixture of confusion & gratitude. I glanced at the rear view mirror while pulling out of the parking lot and saw him waving at me from behind. Another flash of smile spread across my face, but I doubt the vendor had seen it. As I drove back home, I was reminded of the adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.

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