Friday, May 11, 2007

Good Samaritan!!!

I should have posted this earlier… but better late than never.

This is just to acknowledge and thank an unknown ‘Good Samaritan’ who came to our rescue at an odd hour – even though we were pre-condition to suspect him.

On our way back from a friends place, we ended up with a flat tyre while driving on the Outer Ring Road stretch between KR Puram and Marathali in Bangalore. It was past 10pm and as anyone who has read through the crime reports in TOI Bangalore would know the track record of such unlit wide stretches in Bangalore. Stranded midway between Bhagini and Marathali Bridge at an almost deserted point, there was no way to either go back to the nearest landmark or leave the vehicle there. Called up the mobile puncture service guy I had on my phonebook – only to find the cell phone switched off. Called up my friend whose place we had just visited to solicit help. Groping through the darkness, managed to retrieve the wrench and jack – all the while keeping a keen watch on the vehicles approaching us. Each biker slowing down near us was a cause for alarm and a suspect. Having heard and read of several stories of techie getting mugged, kidnapped and murdered in such spots, there was no room for easiness. My wife took off whatever gold she had on her and tucked it inside the car.

In some time, my friend arrived – and together we tried our hand at getting the jack into the right spot to change the tyre, under the light of a small hand torch. No wonder, the ‘keyboard junkie techies’ that all of us are – we struggled with getting it right for a while.

It took us some time to figure out the right approach – and by that we were already wary of the success we could achieve. While we were still bent down looking under the car and struggling with the jack, a man in late 20’s walked up behind us from no where and asked “Do you need help?”. All three of us looked at him with reasonable hope but also a lot of suspicion. Where did he suddenly come from…? From his looks we mentally graded him as a ruffian and conversed amongst ourselves in our native language – that we should be careful. My friend assured that he had his cricket bat handy in his car boot to ward off a threat – should a need arise. I was glad that I was holding the iron rod/wrench used to raise the jack. But we did need help… so after scanning the surroundings for any hidden accomplices, we reluctantly handed him the wrench…and he instantly got onto the job. And he did indeed know how to change a tyre…unlike three of us “engineering degrees” holders.

10 minutes into the job, tyre was changed and car in shape to run again. By now we were ashamed of our suspicion for the guy and thanking our stars that we didn’t let him know of our suspicion about him. Otherwise it would have been hurtful of a genuine person. Even as we were trying to figure out how to thank him – and what monetary reward we should offer him – he instantly and briskly walked off towards a tempo standing at some distance. Our requests not withstanding, he refused to wait or accept any money. He was actually the driver of that tempo/goods carrier, and having seen us stranded stopped at a distance, just to help us. And here we were all ready to brand him a suspect…

While our suspicion wasn’t altogether unjustified under the current times we live in, we did feel a sense of shame on ourselves (- and also for not being good enough even to change your own tyre).

This post is just a “Thank you” note to the good intentions of every such Indian...

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