I have just had an experience thats been eye-opening and a big learning for me.
Have you ever had an experience like the one in the image above ?….. well, thats not my car – but I had a very similar experience yesterday.
Returning late at night from our gym, my wife and me took the left turn just after DT Mall on MG Road in Gurgaon, when suddenly the left tyre of my Optra sank deep into the mud there and the diagnolly opposite tyre actually went up a bit in the air !. Nothing I tried worked out – reversing it, turning the tyres and accelerating it ahead – absolutely nothing worked. Infact as I accelerated, the wheels started spinning throwing up a lot of muck and soil onto the top of the car completely covering the windshield on the left hand side of the car.
I got out of the car and had a look… and it did look to be a pretty bad situation. That stretch of road is also not much populated at that time of the night (around 9:45pm) – and so the only thing I could do was to ask my wife to get out of the car – and try to lift it out of the dirt myself. I soon realised it perhaps needed a Arnold Schwarznegger to achieve that feat – which I definitely was not. My wife in the meanwhile had that “how-could-you-do-this” look – and from the corner of my eye I could sight an impending storm on the home front.
Just as I was considering the situation – a most amazing thing happened. Out of nowhere, nearly 6-8 people passing by got together and approached the ‘situation”. Hardly anyone even asked me the customory questions expected…”How did this happen ?”….”You should have been careful”…. “blah blah blah blah” ……. nobody even asked me whether I needed some help. The group of them – 2 students, 2 workers passing by, a gaurd standing nearby, a passerby in a car, a sardarji on a scooter and a motorcyclist with his helmet on – all came together and soon ideas where flying thick and fast. It was decided that putting a stone below the wheel was the best way to extricate the car – and so, the group of them organised the stones in a jiffy – and before I knew it, everyone had their hands in the muck and dirt trying to lift up the car as someone else quickly put the stones in. The dirt for the record was pretty significant – and all of us soon had a splattering of mud all over our clothes – including the guy in the car who came wearing a business suite !! Anyways with the stone now in place – I tried again – and this time the car made its way thankfully, out of the hole. I let out a sigh of relief !
I parked my car ahead and got out of my car to thank these selfless samaritans – but most of them had already dispersed into the night.
I have never experienced something like this before. And for all those who talk about cities that have made people cold and selfish – here is a testimony that makes me feel so proud to be a Gurgaonite, so proud to be an Indian.
All those ideals that makes people human – Love, Goodness, Faith, Helpfulness, Selflessness – everything that is considered good, is infact all around us. At times people forget, at times people stray away from these ideals – but they are people like you and me afterall. All of us have our dark sides and dark moments – but what this senseless act of charity yesterday taught me was that, we should never forget that innately, every one around us has an inner core of goodness. So the next time someone makes a mistake – or someone does things that hurt me, I will be generous enough to remember that its just a “mistake” afterall. The next time I see a stranger in need of help, I will make the effort to stop by for a while and lend a hand.
Yes, all it takes to convert a “cold, selfish city” into a warm neighbourhood are these small selfless acts that we do just like that. A phrase I read once in the Readers Digest talked about this : “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty“. Perhaps a few of us doing this could spark a small wave that ushers the warmth in.
Today – I raise up my hand to be a part of this movement.