This post is on the occasion of 101st Anniversary of the First Electric Traffic Signal System. I dont know how many people would be happy to see a traffic signal red. We probably ignore its importance, rather consider it a pediment. So my story is just inspired by that ignorance.
Everyday, on my way back home crossing Tunnel no. 23, I saw him. He was there with his lightening smile, everyday, without fail. I thought no one cared…thought how useless he is. Why he smiles when no one cares, a defunct tunnel anyways is a creepy place to stand and smile to everyone crossing by. I hated his existence, how unpleasant and unwanted can anyone be. Does he have no other purpose to himself, something better to do, someplace better for his existence?
Today – Got late at work, its past midnight…on a deserted bus with just two passengers, me and an old man.
Phew… what a day it has been. My reports were being reviewed and the senior kept me on hooks. Stayed back to finalize the scripts and missed the car pool..Reflecting on the day, I was somehow enjoying the late night street view from the window. It seemed calm, cool and relaxing…forgiving .
Got off the bus on a deserted road, I look at my way ahead, only to find nothing, no one. Damn that tunnel…will have to walk through it to get home. I gave a sharp look at the slight light coming from the tunnel, flickering….I never noticed whether the tunnel had proper lighting. I always crossed it in the pool car chatting with others.
Walking cautiously I calculated the various unpleasant possibilities I am vulnerable to. I enter the tunnel and my senses peak. Could hear some noises, giggles and chats from some addicts sitting on the right corner. They give me a look that I fail to classify, but I act ignorant. Last thing I would want was attention from these guys. Then I see him again. that light flickering…its him. Ohh…of-course the only source of light in the tunnel so left abandoned.
The lone traffic light, its him that I am now smiling to. Somehow, responding today, feeling happy that he is here. I stood there for like 10 seconds just smiling at the post. He smiling at me as usual, with all his lights flickering on and off…at a constant rate. This is his role…here he is most needed. Lighting up my way today.
I crossed the tunnel, all fears forgotten. As if he had forgiven me for my ignorance till date. And I too have found now a friend…A friend whom I saw daily, but never smiled back at.
Next Day, I was in my pool car, crossing through the tunnel. There he is, I saw him and smiled…a wide smile…and he also shone back.
Hi my Friend….The Lone Traffic Light.