Sunday, October 21, 2007

Indestructible

Nothing is indestructible. Especially where humans are concerned. We can screw up everything, and more often than not we all do. Time is a hazy cloud passing over life like a misty sliver over a mountain slope. Hanging on is the best we can hope for, and live from a precious moment to another. Knowing deep in our hearts that even though the best is yet to come, all good things do come to an end.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

Today I savoured, first-hand, the kindness of strangers.

I usually tend to be quite suspicious of unknown men who come to my aid if I am in a sticky situation. I prefer to call a close pal and sort out the deal with him/her around rather than permit or drag a stranger into my predicament.

But today, mankind came together beautifully to rescue me from falling into a hole, literally.

So I think I am the ants’ pants when it comes to driving. I wanted to reverse my car today, and so I turned into a lane to back up, only to find that the lane did not exist in its entirety: there was a big gaping hole bang in the middle of the road. My left tire found that out much to its dismay.

Naturally, I panicked. I didn't know how big the hole was, so I tried to rev the car to push the tire out of the hole, but only succeeded in making a big screeching noise. In despair my hand reached out for my cell phone, when I noticed the amused glance of a man near my window, smoking thoughtfully on a cigarette.

"Put the car in neutral, ma'am," he said, and after that as if by magic some 6-7 men materialized before me and actually raised the car out of the hole and pushed it back on the road, with all four wheels touching the ground.

My profuse thanks were waved away and the men left after a look at me - which I definitely did not grudge them considering the situation.

I fumed about "bloody India" with no sign to warn me about the hole ("this would never happen in the US," I thought at the time), but then I realised that what I had seen was pretty amazing. The way the people selflessly came around to rescue me from my problem in a way compensated for the lack of a sign.


It was another example, I guess, of the kindness of strangers that is the mark of India.