Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Surprising Encounter With A Stranger #madeofgreat

We meet a lot of people in our lifetime. Sure, all of them leave some or the other impact on our lives. Personally, I believe that every person enters our life for a specific reason, to give us lessons, both good and the bitter ones! If I were to list down a few that had a huge positive impact on my life and inspired me in innumerable ways, of course, I would write the names of my parents and grandparents on the top. But, apart from these vital people in my life, I happened to meet someone in my life who laid a huge impact on me and inspired me in many strong ways.

So there was this usual Saturday, about five years ago, when I was seated in my class, attending the long Saturday lectures. I was in the 12th grade at the time. As I was waiting for the lecture to end and head home, my phone beeped and it was my sister. An engineering student then, she had her assignment submissions on that day. When I opened the text, she sounded quite panicked since she had forgotten back an assignment at home. Of course, it was a serious matter since the non-submission would mean she would fail the internals for the particular subject. And now, after my lectures, I was expected to rush home, collect the assignment and travel all the way to Bandra, as quick as I can, to hand it to her by 4.15pm.

So here I was rushing through the crowd once I had reached Bandra station, tired and extremely hungry. In order to reach the college, I had to take a bus from the station since I did not have enough money to pay for the auto. I waited in the bus queue. The bus that otherwise arrives in a gap of about 15-20 minutes was taking too long today. It is indeed so true that you will never get it on time when you need it and, when you don’t need it, it will be there right in front of you! So I was waiting, constantly checking my watch since it was about to be 4pm in a few minutes. And I was bound to reach the college within not more than 15 minutes now or my sister would lose out on her internal marks.

Another girl, roughly of the same age group as mine, was standing right ahead of me in the queue. I asked her if she knew the bus timings just to be sure when my bus would arrive. “It should have come by now. Maybe it will be here in the other 5 minutes”, she said. With a weary smile, I began waiting again. In the other 5 minutes, she was joined by a male friend. Just as I was getting impatient and worried, my phone rang. My sister was really tensed and sounded like she was in tears. I was explaining to her on the phone that the bus was late and that I was helpless.

Just as I disconnected the phone, I heard the other girl’s male friend murmur something to her and, with his expression, I could make out he was talking about me. However, I ignored. The other moment, he turned to me, smiled and asked me where I wanted to go. I was unsure whether I needed to talk to him or even give a reply but he had recognized my worried and anxious face and offered me to go with them in a share auto. I only had 10 minutes in hand and no time to think over the offer. I agreed and got into one of the autos with the two of them. The auto sped.

Within 10 minutes, I was near the college gate. As I motioned the auto driver to stop and began searching my purse for money, the guy murmured something that took me by surprise. “Let it be, I’ll pay for it. You are late and you should rush”. Just as I stared at him in surprise and was about to say anything, he said, “Just take it as a Rakshabandhan gift from me.” Then he smiled and before I could even deny letting him pay, he motioned the auto driver to leave and the auto sped. I met my sister who then rushed into the college for the submission.

Just as I stood at the college gate, I remembered the guy, his kindness and generosity and how he had helped me in my time of need. It may not be a great help for him, the share auto costed only about Rs.10 per head and that surely wouldn’t have mattered for him. But, for me, it was a great help, not the amount but the feeling and emotion behind it of helping people when they need it the most. This was the first time I had travelled in train and outside my city of Dombivli all alone. And, while parents teach us that stepping out of the house and heading to unknown places alone can be dangerous, this was one guy who made me realise that the world is still filled by good, kind and generous people who lend a helping hand even to strangers.

That day, I learnt a very important lesson of life. No matter what, help people in need all the time. By help I don’t mean doing great things, but our smallest gestures can sometimes put a smile on someone’s face. I don’t remember the guy’s face anymore and even if he passes by me some day, I wouldn’t recognise him. But, even after 5 years, although the incident was a petty one, I still wish good for him and pray that he gets everything he dreams and desires in his life. Because, he was my Angel in my time of need, after all!

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