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Even in this day and age??

11 June 2010 2 Comments

Strange – is probably what comes to your mind when you look at the title for this post. If this was just the subject on your mail and you had not yet opened it, you might even have wondered where this would lead.

Something similar was going through my mind yesterday, sometime in the afternoon. I had gone in search of large AND visually pleasant box files with ring binder system for a document that had to be dispatched the same evening (by courier, mind you). When I say “document”, I mean a report of about 800 pages. Yes, that’s a large document to just up and send.

Anyway, I had to meet the courier deadline of about 5.30 PM (for collection at office) and was still without the box file where all those nice colourful printed sheets lying on my table would go. I went to a Reliance “shop”, as I was told to, to look for these strangely unheard of items. It did not come as a very big surprise that they did not have these or the idea of what such things may be. You’d think that is the limit. For a pan India chain that claims to do everything on a larger-than-life scale, this humungous centrally airconditioned mall in the middle of Cunningham Road did not have much within. Ofcourse, they were able to cater to the other demands like movies, music etc.

To top it all, no one there even had an idea where I’d be able to find one of these. Encouraging, I thought. One of the advantages of being a “local”, you know which part of town to go to find things. So I decided that the only place that will be any help is Avenue Road. (yeah, that’s right. Avenue and Road) Memories of childhood, school and college came flooding back. How we used to go here every year to buys books, stationary et al at more or less wholesale prices. My aunt used to chide my mother on how she was able to get a better deal for the books, thanks to her sharpened bargain skills. Then were those days of first year engineering when I’d bought second hand books (it was almost a crime to buy new ones, don’t know how it is now). Ofcourse, then I attended college at found even those second hand books to be a waste of time. Come to think of it, I was already saving paper, back in the nascent years of undergraduation.

Enough digression and reminiscence, not to mention deviation, the point was that I was trying to get to Ave. Road by auto, if only I could persuade one of those of the fare race to take me. Turns out that none of them wants to go in that direction. You may have noticed that it’s pretty much within the CBD between the two places. Time – 5.15 PM.

I was standing there, not losing hope. There are hundreds of these 3 wheeled blood sucking death machines going around the city, I’ll find one willing to – said I. Just then, I saw a hand wave at me, asking me to come over. It was a man on a 2 wheeler, completely unidentifiable with a large black egg for a head. I looked around, as to say ME?. The hand waves again. I walk over to the stranger, thinking that he probably wants to ask me some address. But then again, there are loads of these death drivers around and they’d be a better bet at knowing places than some random guy on the street. So then, why me?

“Where you want to go?” comes a muffled voice from within the black egg. Why do you want to know? was the scream in my head, which I stifled. “Avenue Road” I told him warily. “Come, I’ll drop you off. I’m going that way” he says. I thought I didn’t hear him right. Was it possible that a complete stranger was offering to help some random guy on the street? Without any ulterior motive? This was not even a movie. Why would he do something like that?

By now you have realised that I’m way too paranoid and the line of thought my mind chooses to such situations. But I have, till date, somehow managed to put a lid on such things and think objectively. Hence, I am.

So there I am, running out of time, uncertain that what I want will be available off-the-shelf (yes, IT’S ONLY BOX FILE. But the reactions that the store keeper gave me put that thought in my head). I’m not able to find public transport to reach there within time and here’s this strange man offering to drop me, just cause he saw me asking a few of these death drivers. What do you do?

Yes, Please!! is what you say and hop on. ‘Tis exactly what I did. So here I am, never taken or given a lift to anyone on the streed my whole life, riding pillion with some guy who offered to help. So I tell him that I’m in a hurry and have to send out a courier today and blah blah blah, to which he just nods his head. We get there within about 10 mins or so. I stop him, thank him and he just drives off. I was left impressed and, I have to admit, a bit envious that someone just did that and rode off. This seemingly selfless act (yes, hence the title of my blog) left me dumbfounded for a minute.

I still wonder, why he would do that. Would I be able to do that? Will I ever just stop, not be paranoid, and help someone out in distress without making excuses of priority and enough-problems-of-my-own? I think I know the answer to these questions today. But 5 years down the line may be a different me, you can hope for it. Ummeed pe duniya jo tiki hai!!

I did , however, manage to find the type of file I wanted, not in white unfortunately, and send off the courier. I then realised that the courier had cost enough to fly a person to Mumbai for submission. I am still not able to come to terms with the idea that such things still happen and such people are still around.

Maybe I live too much with myself.


  • Archana said:

    Something similar happened to us while travelling back from mangalore to Bantwal at 10.30 night.Our cars front tyres got punctured and as it was night it was difficult to find a mechanic too.We had one substitute but we needed another.But after some time(many cars passed including of those who were known) a stranger stopped he offered us help and with confidence he gave his tyre as replacement(no doubt we gave him our address proof and all).
    I was stunned at his kindeness and I asked my husband whether he would ever stop for anyone in need at night,and i didnt wait for his answer because he never does……
    May be most of us live too much for ourselves.Its time that we change this attitude as True kindness is helping someone who cannot pay you back.

  • esha said:

    oh, but i stop all the time! esp when i see another woman waiting alone somewhere, or one hassled by rickshaws at the nearby market, i always stop to ask if they are going to my apartment complex or near there so will drop them.

    i once gave a lift at 8 pm to 2 women who were at a busy traffic junction, frantically waving for a rickshaw. the partner gave me hell for trusting complete strangers who could have been baiting for carjacking (and sadly, things like that happened where we stay). i told him, its between them robbing me of my car and you robbing me of my inherent trust in ppl. guess which is more valuable? 🙂

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