Not unlike Sarah Palin, I have discovered that I too can invent words. Hence the goodest. Unlike Sarah Palin however, I will explain the reasoning behind the invention and not attribute it to Shakespeare.

Note the goodest. Not best. Best would indicate really the most superior, the best of the good samaritans. By goodest however, I mean those samaritans who really want to do good deeds, not necessarily from the motive of doing good. The motive could be to cheat the system (any system), or an inability to see others in a position they couldn’t achieve. And the goodest samaritan always, but always, inflicts his good on an unwilling recipient. I know, because I was the unwilling recipient of such goodness on 2 separate occasions.

To give you a background, both these incidents happened in BEST buses (which are one of the mainstays of Bombay, God bless them!). These buses have reserved seating for ladies, earlier 3, increased to 6. Also, they have recently introduced a system of an all day ticket, worth Rs. 25, which a person can use all day in any direction, within city limits, but which, while not explicitly mentioned, is safe to assume are non-transferable and are for use by one person only.

Incident 1: I got into a crowded bus, where all seats were occupied and there were 2 standing lines. Some of the ladies seats were occupied by men. Now, normally, I ask gents to get up from there only if I am too tired to stand, or have some luggage with me, or have been standing for a long time without a seat or similar. This time, I had only just got in, so I was cool with standing for a while. Not so the other gents who were standing. ‘Madam, udhar baitho ladies seat pe, unko uthao’ (Madam, sit on the ladies seat, ask those guys to get up). ‘Nahi, theek hai’ (No, it’s fine). ‘Arre baitho aap, khade mat raho’ (No, please sit, don’t remain standing’) and so on until all of 5-6 guys in the front of the bus forced the clueless guy to get up and urged me to sit. All, when I did not want to sit.

Incident 2: I got into a bus, and took out money for a 1-way ticket to my home. The lady sitting behind asked where I was going and on learning I was going farther away, said she was getting down a few stops later and I could use her Rs.25 ticket after she got down. She asked me to buy a single ticket for the stop she was going to disembark so she could use it. Now, I am a fan of BEST, and I don’t like people screwing them so I declined and said I would buy my own, thank you. She insisted, and thinking I hadn’t understood the logic behind it, explained to me all over again. I declined again, throwing in for good measure, ‘Thank you aunty, but mein apna nikaal loongi ticket’ (I will buy my own). But the g.s. insisted and insisted and when the conductor came up told him in a louder voice than me that she wanted a ticket for her stop, and took it from him and forced her all day ticket into my hand. And after the conductor went away, explained to me again that the ticket was valid for all day and I could use it wherever I wanted to go. She saved me a couple of rupees I would rather not have saved.

So, have you met any goodest samaritans recently?

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