Acoustic Post - Thank You

By Shweta Vaghela

That day I leared something new.

It was just another regular day as I boarded what I had named my 8.40 am bus. I was a new commuter, as well as a fresh recruit at an IT firm, back then. I was learning to hustle, learning to earn, and learning to explore the real world. All that to create a little space for myself, both at the professional and personal front.

It took me some time to adjust to this new routine. But as days passed, I remember I could settle in quite smoothly. Maybe because I was getting on the same bus every day with the same driver and conductor and the same set of passengers. I even began to notice which passenger would vacate the seat at the earliest, who would get off at which stop, who’s talkative, who seems to be in a bad mood, who’s sleeping while seated, and a zillion other things one can observe during their bus ride.

That day was no different. I was busy observing the uncle across the seat who was sneaking a glance into what their young co-passenger was typing in his mobile phone! That poor guy, after trying hard to cover his screen, turned it off, and looked away. 

That’s when the girl from the seat ahead of me got up to join the line of two, a male and a female, to get off the bus. I saw her for the first time that day. She had boarded the bus from my stop. 

Thank You

The bus reached the stop and people began to get off. It was her turn now. She stopped right before descending the first step, looked at the driver uncle, and said “Thank You”. She also flashed an unmissable tender smile. Although seemingly surprised by this sudden gesture, the drive uncle nodded and smiled back. 

However, he wasn’t the only one who was surprised. The passenger sitting on the second seat on the right, which was me, was also as much astonished, if not more.  

Why? 

It had been around a little more than two weeks that I had been boarding this very bus. It had been about two decades that I was using the bus transportation, the pride of the city, whenever I would venture out with family. 

And never in all those years, I had seen, met, or known anyone who would pause to say thanks to a bus driver for a safe ride. 

Because people, in general, are almost always in a hurry. Either to reach work or to get back home. Running late for a meeting or too excited to care around when with friends. Or they’re preoccupied with some thoughts or their smartphones.

Or perhaps many think that it’s the drivers’ duty and job to drive the bus; what’s there to thank about? 

After all, how many of us have bosses or senior colleagues who come and thank us every day for the jobs we’re doing or a job well done? A rare few lucky ones. Forget about bosses, how many of us say thanks to our juniors, house helps, or even beauticians? Very few. We are more or less interested in getting the services done and paying in return as a token of thanks and appreciation. But we refrain from spelling the words out loud.

This very realization not only made me feel bad but also seemed so unsettling. 

As all these thoughts were clouding my mind, I realized we were approaching my stop. I got up from my seat and stood beside it. Since it was the last stop, there were hardly five passengers left, including me. One of them stood ahead of me, while the rest lined up at the back door. 

The bus came to a halt, and as I inched forward to get off, I turned to the driver uncle and said “Thank You” with a smile. He again looked amazed, I could gauge from his expressions, as it was yet another sudden act of gratitude by a second passenger in a day for him. He then nodded with a grin and replied, “Welcome”. 

And that day I learnt something new. 

To always express gratitude towards people who directly or indirectly make your life easier, even a tad bit of it. Irrespective of what job they do, small or big. 

I never knew before that saying thanks to people, whom you hardly know, had such relieving effects on our beings. 

I never knew that it could make people smile or turn a bad day into a good one with such ease. 

I got to know how a single “Thank You” is an elementary gesture, yet such a powerful one.

Post that day, I made this into a habit. 

All it takes is a little awareness and observation to imbibe good qualities in life, isn’t it?! 

‘Thank You’ for reading my post.

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