Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No one's fault, yet...

There were 3 seats in the bus when I boarded. First one in the middle of the bus, the empty seat being in between the aisle and the window; Second one being almost at the end, again between the aisle and the window; And the third one at the very last. The second one seemed good because the aisle and window passengers were relatively slim compared to the first. Nothing much to choose between the first and the third in terms of space except that third was bumpier due to its geographical position in the bus but had more leg space.

So when I saw the first empty seat, I rejected it because of the heftiness of the passengers on the aisle and window seats. I proceeded to the second one, which seemed to be the best. But as I neared, I realized that somebody had put a bag there. Which meant the seat was reserved by someone, who had perhaps just gone out to get some air. When I had already come thus far, I decided to forego the first seat and opted for the last seat, and risk the bumps with extended leg space.

Within a few minutes of me having occupied the last seat, 2 members boarded the bus. The first member saw two empty seats now, and, like me, decided for the second one and moved towards it. Meanwhile, the second member who had boarded, seeing that the first person forewent the first seat and was going for the second seat, had no choice but to squash down in the first seat.

Now, when the first member came towards the apparently empty second seat, like me, saw the reserved bag, and realized that there was no seat here. But unlike me, she didn’t have any other seat. And she realized to her horror, that the seat which she had just foregone also was now occupied. Which meant, there were no seats for her to sit on in the entire bus, although there was actually, in effect, one seat when she had initially boarded the bus which ideally should have belonged to her! She was left with no choice but to alight and choose another bus where perhaps she would get a seat.

Considering the situation, and the plight of the victim, one couldn’t blame the victim because the victim was just trying to get the best seat; one couldn’t blame the person who had reserved the seat because such a scenario couldn’t have been foreseen; one couldn’t blame the second person who boarded the bus for having taken the first seat because, for all practical purposes, the first person gave up this seat to go for something else which the second person doesn’t know that its reserved and first person didn’t get it eventually! Clearly, no one’s at fault, and yet, there was a victim in the whole scheme of the things.

Does this imply that the first opportunity you get, you should grab? Does this imply that the person who alighted, got a better opportunity later, going with the axiom of ‘All for good’?

It wasn’t too difficult for me to appreciate the bigger simile in life.

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