I sat in the car with a sense of disbelief.
Here I was on a short holiday at Landour and a few hours after arriving there, was stuck in a traffic jam. I thought I had left traffic jams and noisy cities behind me in Mumbai, but the honking, the slamming of car doors and the fact that my vehicle hadn’t moved an inch in the last 15 minutes brought a sense of déjà vu.
My car driver had switched off the engine and gone off to investigate what was holding the traffic up. It had started raining by then and after waiting impatiently for some ‘progress’, gave up and started looking around. School had just got over and the narrow road was filled with school children returning home and were having to do it by squeezing between the vehicles stuck in the traffic jam to find a ‘route’ to get through.
Then I turned left and looked out of my car window into this.
The car had been parked outside a tailor’s shop, and you can see just how close that was — we were at hand-shaking distance ! It was such a tiny shop that it had space only for the tailor, a hand-operated sewing machine, and piles of clothes in various stages of readiness. It was the kind of shop that would be called a potti kadai (literally: box shop or a tiny shop) in Tamil.
The tailor was trying to patch a frayed shirt collar. As he examined and snipped away at and patched the frayed collar, he didn’t look up from his work even once. Nothing distracted him — the honking cars or the school children or the fact that there was a vehicle parked right outside his shop and blocking any kind of access or that the passenger in the car was observing him intently. Nothing.
He continued working quietly and as I observed him my impatience and irritation at being stuck in a jam slowly ebbed away. Just like that. Watching the tailor at work was a lesson in concentration and how to tune out distractions and focus on the task at hand. My task, if one can call it that, was to relax and enjoy my holiday in the hills. And after that moment I did just that.:)
One of life’s little lessons was delivered (perhaps for the nth time) rather gently — there is no point in worked up over things that are not in your control.
For more in the “Travel Shot” series, click here.