Reader's Blog

Not a fool after all

I met him in my driving class. And he immediately attracted my attention; as a matter of fact, he attracted everybody’s attention. He was a 70-year-old man. And no, he wasn’t there to drop off his grandchild. He was sitting on one of the benches, peering at the screen through his thick glasses during one of our theory classes where we were being shown a video on something that I don’t remember. What I do remember is his wrinkled face glowing in the light from the screen. He came there every day in a pantsuit, and sat with all his attention focused on the instructor. And we came there in pants and T-shirts and tops and hoodies and dedicated all our attention to him. We would comment on his posture, dress, moustache, his aim and intention for joining — everything. Even after class, he would be the sole subject of our jokes and mockery. Well, it seems rude now while I write it down, but at that time, we thought he rather deserved it. After all, what was he doing here? Excluding him, the oldest student in our class was 25-years-old. That old man should’ve hired a driver with the money he was wasting on this class. Could he not see us laughing? Man, what a fool he was!

Well, this went on for some days till it was time for the final test. Passing this test was crucial for getting our driving license; and we were ready. They had prepared a track for us that had different segments. One of the segments was a dirt track that immediately followed a highway track. It was impossible to avoid running the bumper of the car into the ground. One of the guys bumped it so hard that his chest hit the steering wheel and he spent rest of the day in the first-aid room. Immediately after him was the turn of The Oldie. We pitied him — this old idiot was stuck to an idiot idea — and we could not let him commit suicide in front of us. We commanded him to stop: leave the idea and go home.

And today, he seemed to be mocking us and showing us what we were worth.

“I will not.”

But why won’t he? Stupid man!

“You people think running away is the solution to every problem. But I don’t. Else I would’ve run away from here the very day you people started making fun of me.”

But he could die!

“My death will wait, but my life won’t. It’s now or never.”

And he seated himself comfortably in the driver’s seat. Then he rolled the window down and said, “I might have been born seventy years ago but I live in today’s world. I can see your actions and I know what the middle finger means.”
We had showed him the action every day and thought he did not understand. And today, he seemed to be mocking us and showing us what we were worth. Well, as it turned out, he wasn’t an idiot after all. And so he zoomed off in the car for his life, for it won’t wait. And we, like his death, were left waiting.