Of pegs and holes

We see various square pegs trying to fit into round holes all the time.

A lot of controversy has been stirred up lately related to a seeming mis-match between a minister’s educational qualifications and the portfolio being handled.

 Actually this is not such a big issue as it is made out to be. We see various square pegs trying to fit into round holes all the time in our daily lives too. Some fit in so well that the gaps are barely seen. It is all about fine-tuning the onlooker’s perception and the ability to accept reality.

Recently, I got to travel in an auto. After being engaged in a phone conversation with a student of mine, I realised that my destination had been crossed. Absentmindedly, I continued to speak in English to the driver and then realising my faux paus switched over to the native. Imagine my surprise when the driver replied in chaste English to me. He went on to inform that he was a graduate but had opted to drive an auto due to lack of a suitable job and added quickly that he was earning a decent sum daily. I could sense a shade of fatality in his voice. Education indeed had humbled him in a very practical manner. I realised that it is undeniably only the lucky few who get to pursue the vocation suited to their aptitude and inner desires.

On one of our many visits to their place our extended family had arranged for a sight-seeing trip in a taxi. The lack of a stereo in the vehicle was more than made up for by the driver. His gift of the gab kept us entertained throughout. His main interest seemed to be politics. He had an opinion about any and all in the regional political arena. No stereo could hope to match his decibel levels which foiled even the most persistent and valiant attempts by me to slip into the dream world.

Finally, I gave up and ventured to add my own opinion or two in between, when he paused to take a breath. But he acted deaf to my squeezed in entry and graduated to voicing his vociferous opinions about extra regional politics. I then realised why the hosts had been sitting mute all the time. He was their regular taxi driver and they knew that the only voice he liked to hear was his own.Despite his seeming penchant for a monologue, I was quite impressed with his knowledge and opinioned form of speaking. Another example of a square peg I guessed. He could have beaten any political party spokesperson or a TV host at talking non-stop.

Finally, our trip was done and we started emerging from the vehicle. Our hosts started looking out for anything left behind. The loquacious driver exclaimed that there was nothing but his stepney in the boot. I couldn’t resist asking him, rather cheekily, whether he meant the car’s stepney. For once the bowler was stumped and he replied sheepishly that it was indeed the car’s spare that he had meant!

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