The last fortnight has seen me travel. The Highway life in India is vastly different from its US counterparts. The roads are certainly getting better and closer to its cousins in quality – but it’s not this aspect that I allude to. You encounter cows, bikes with laden milk cans drifting in the wrong direction, children playing around blind corners and breath-taking “take diversion signs” in the most unexpected places – stuff that is sure to stimulate your sense of humour – if you step a little lightly on the accelerator pedal that is…Don’t expect just hours of cruising speeds, drudgery and highway scenery.
On one of these highways – past the Thoppur ghats to be precise, my tires blew up a surprise and my car came to an unexpected halt with a touch of damage to the under-carriage. Thankfully, there was no adverse affect on me or anyone else – but the experience left me like one of James Bond’s vodka’s (shaken not just stirred!).
And that’s when I saw human kindness come to the fore. A dozen village folks – all sizes, all ages – turned up from nowhere and took charge. A gentleman from a passing car popped out and joined the party. Wheels were changed, tests done to assess any damage to the car and a couple of the more elderly group were sharing soothing messages, noticeably bringing down the tension in the air and discussing about sages we revered and their grace. In about 15 mts, we were all done. Did they expect money – far from it. The gentleman who led the group said, they were happy nothing was amiss – and this was the least they could do – no transactions please. Thanks guys – whoever you are – and may sai baba (the guru you mentioned was your God on earth) grant you all peace, good health and prosperity…
And a few days later while at Coimbatore, having enjoyed my dinner in one of the more popular eateries (Annapoorna Gowrishankar in RS Puram) , I played imbecile once again having returned home sans my wallet. It had a few crisp Rs.500 notes (nope, nowhere near the astronomical sums you see flashed on TV these days!) and one visiting card. In a touch of panic once again (and kind of resigned to the fact that I was just a touch poorer), I called up the restaurant and they told me they would get back. Ten minutes later, the manager called back – verified the contents to make sure the wallet was really mine – and had it transferred to the lodging reception so I could pick it up anytime. Picking it up was hassle-free, there were no advises, no expectations again of any monetary reward for services thus rendered and so on. Excellent service and awesome credibility – any question on where I would dine the next time I visit this great city?
Two incidents in as many weeks – and I am in no doubt whatsoever that the world and her people are very good at heart. Goodness does not seem to need an educational qualification, age or space – just needs our heart in the right place. Guess it’s time I prayed that the great god or the sages from this holy land help cultivate this very goodness in me so I can help my fellow-man as well.