Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The shield

Chinnadurai has been driving the bus on this route for the last five years. This is not considered a good route. The distance was long and passed through narrow roads inhabited by poor people. There were two alcohol shops on this route and invariably drunk people boarded the bus giving trouble to the conductor and other passengers by their incessant prattle and foul mouth. Since it also passed through a well known shopping area, the bus became notorious for pick pocketing and bag snatching..
Chinnadurai was posted in this route as a punishment after an inadvertent accident in a different route that wound its way through posh areas. The conductor Vasanth Paul was a young and good chap but inexperienced in handling rough guys. It was Chinnadurai who came to his rescue whenever someone threw tantrums. But one thing both Vasanth and Chinnadurai could not control was the incidence of pick pocketing that invariably took place in every trip. Both of them knew who the offenders were and which dreaded don’s protection they enjoyed. They were advised by their peers not to take cognizance of the presence of criminals lest the two came to harm. In the past where conductors and drivers either protested or warned the passengers to take care of their belongings came to grief by ruthless attacks when they were off duty. The police took refuge under the plea that there were no complaints from victims about loss of belongings.
One such day as Chinnadurai was driving the bus around 7pm, he noticed the gang of four known pickpockets board the bus at the front and rear as it started after stopping at a bus stop. Vasanth was busy issuing tickets in the crowded bus. Suddenly there was a wail from a woman “Oh my god, someone has snatched the bag from my hand. Please help me. He is in the bus only. He pushed me and moved forward”
All the passengers looked at each other. Someone shouted at Chinnadurai to stop the bus. He ignored the call and speeded up the bus without stopping.
The woman cried “It contained my life’s savings and jewels that I purchased for my daughter’s marriage after taking loan. Please help me to get back the bag. I will be ruined and the marriage will get stopped”
Even as he was driving Chinnadurai turned and said in loud voice looking at no one in particular “Please hand over the bag to that woman. She is my sister and the marriage is of my niece. I cannot ignore. If the bag is not returned the bus will stop only at the police station.This is certain”
Two of the four wicked guys who were in the front side of the bus moved near Chinnadurai shouting “Our stop has come. You cannot drive the bus to police station as you please without stopping for passengers to alight”
Chinnadurai said “I have said that this bus will not stop till it reaches the police station unless the bag is restored to my sister. “ One of the men suddenly whisked a pen knife and stabbed on Chinnadurai’s shoulder. Seeing this some passengers overpowered him. The other passengers blocked the exit on both sides.
Although blood was flowing Chinnadurai managed to drive the bus into the compound of police station. The bag was recovered from the floor of the bus where it was thrown but the policemen held all the four. As Chinnadurai was being given first aid, the woman with the bag in hand approached him with folded hands.
“Are you happy that you got your belongings?” Chinnadurai asked
“Thanks a lot. But for you I would have been ruined. I just wished to know why you said that I am your sister when I am not”
“These things happen almost daily and we turn a blind eye for fear of their harming us later. They are part of a big gang. I was moved when you said the jewels were bought for marriage out of loan. They are all ruthless thugs. Telling loudly that you are my sister is a sort of shield for me. They may still harm me but chances are less. Never mind that. Any woman in distress in my bus is my sister” he said


  1. Good One KP, liked Chinnadurai presence of mind and the way he rose to the situation.

  2. Nice one.. We do have some drivers and bus conductors with good nature as Chinnadurai.. But of late have been travelling a lot in local buses and of the drivers/conductors I see a majority not in favour of the public.

  3. Everyone has their weak points - Even thugs and robbers ;)

    Destination Infinity

  4. People like Chinnadurai are not common these days.. deterioration of values or say it sheer indifference.. Nobody bothers these days.

    Interesting read !!

  5. The presence of mind of Chinnadurai has saved a marriage...good one, Partha Sir!

  6. A brave man Sir. Wish we had more people like him an d like the passengers in the bus.

  7. Is it a true story? If so indeed a v brave man

  8. Nice story Now a days we rarely find passengers revolting against misdeeds. they are rather onlookers to enjoy others troubles.

  9. Great act of courage. Rare to find brave and fearless people these days !

  10. I've been addicted to your blog sir. Good story.

  11. Thieves, pickpockets, and snatchers are also a bane in our big cities here. I once have read somewhere that 'bad thrive when good people do nothing about it'. Like saying that 'there can be no dictators where there are no submissive citizens ... or no tyrants where there are none agreeing to be slaves'.

    Have a pleasant and blessed day.

  12. If only we all felt similarly then many incidents could be avoided

  13. Excellent Read... :)

  14. namaste....
    all to often many people turn a blind eye and do nothing, it never occurs to them that at some point they could be on the unfortunate end of a disastrous incident.

    A few years ago, a man stabbed, cut off and ate parts of a 22 year old young man on the greyhound bus in canada, there were 79 passengers on the bus and no one helped the young man who was taken by surprise because he was sleeping, going home after a work program.

    Its great when we remember our humanity and overcome fear to assist one another.

    great read.
    stay blessed.

  15. Drivers like Chinnadurai with presence of mind are what we need today!!! A wonderful story to begin the day with!