I always wonder, Why the mad rush?

Yesterday, after calling it a day at work, I started homewards in an Uber. If you leave around 6:00 pm, the rush hour starts. Its a mad, mad rush around that time. I hate leaving then and avoid it every day as much as I can. Constant thought — Why this madness? Why this rush?

Dragging our way through the traffic, wherever we got a green, the cab picked pace, letting in some fresh air through the open windows.

Dragging again and then another green, the cabbie accelerates only to stop abruptly following a “Thud” sound. “Arey baapre!” says the cabbie. Its an exclamatory reaction for shock or surprise in Hindi language. A girl fell off from her moped, in the middle of the road. Thankfully, nothing major, just the mad rush. Some fellow rusherbys (I say), helped her to get up and helped her with the bike. So, cabbie resumes the drive, in the flow of mad rush.

Everyday, there’s this patch of about 6–7 kms on my route, before I reach wide roads and fairly smooth traffic. As the cab ride touched this smooth road and I had started to relax, a couple of jerks to the car and the cabbie pulls over because the car’s engine died down. “Kya hua bhaiyya?” I asked. He said he doesn’t know what happened but there’s some problem with the car. He asks me to change the destination in the Uber app, to the current location, so that I am charged accordingly and he ends the ride to fix his car.

I stepped out and call my dear man to update him of what happened. He asked me to book another cab. I didn’t feel like it and I started walking. I asked myself, “Am I going to walk home?” I did a calculation of the distance. 12–13 kms! Ha! Ha! Crazy thought. Not that I haven’t attempted this craziness on more than one occasion in my life, but today no. Called my 3 am pal to check if he is free to come and pick me up and he did not answer the phone. So I decided to walk for some undefined distance. The mad rush kept going past me at timed intervals, synchronized with all the nearby signals at crossroads around. The sound was deafening.

A few minutes ago, I was a part of this flow and this madness and suddenly, it felt as though I thought of stepping aside because I no longer wanted to rush. The madness whizzed by and I was relaxed, enjoying my walk past the greenery maintained by the Indian Army on the Bombay Sappers Road. Wide and comfortable footpaths, beautiful flowers around, a beautiful fountain at the gate of Bombay Sappers and suddenly the sound of the rush of water was so pleasing than the rush of traffic.

Return call from buddy and my man lead to me being advised to book another cab rather than going for an adventure with a pain in the bones. Both of them hold the prestigious degree of understanding the anatomy of my brain and mind. My man commanded me to stop at the gate of Bombay Sappers and said he would come to pick me. Wow! Now that was another pleasing voice to hear. I agreed on the phone but there was no way I was going to stand waiting at the gate. I continued walking.

I cross a huge flyover above the river Mutha, who seemed parched for rains and flowed sadly. Sad because she looked jealous of the road above that had a fast rush of traffic running over it. Woah! Someone was craving for some rush and gush ironically.

I spot a buffalo ahead, right in the middle of the flyover, literally staring at me in the eyes. Some vehicles come from behind and she moves a little ahead. I continue walking and spot her again looking towards me. Was she keeping a check on me and guarding me as I crossed the flyover? Or was she going to come charging at me? I preferred to think of the former and yet called out the Gods till I crossed her and the flyover safely.

My man calls again, confidently knowing that I would not be at the gate as advises and must be walking. With slight irritation at my stupidity to neglect my health, he sternly tells me to wait at the war memorial ahead. I agree to oblige and I do this time.

By then, I was tired. Out of the blue, I had walked for almost 4–5 kms, just to refresh my mind. I reached the beautiful cemetery which continues to be well maintained and continuous to be a comforting treat to the eyes, as we rush and pass it everyday. Ah! So much peace out here for us and surely for all those souls resting beneath each decorated tombstone. Suddenly like an answer to my constant question, I see the big stone inside the memorial, with some words engraved on it and I read, “Their name liveth forever more”.

Is that why we keep rushing all our lives? Is that why these souls fought the World War? So that our names are remembered after we are gone? To remain immortal through our name, after we give up our mortal bodies? Or is it simply to rush by crazily, so that we could all eventually sleep in peace?