Random Acts of Kindness (Short Stories) I
Prologue -: In life at times, we meet people as acquaintance or we notice people around us, whose random acts of kindness put long-lasting impact on us. Presenting first short story of this series.
A help from a stranger!
Around five to six years back, Mumbai, an Indian city of dreams, where I went to search a dream to begin my career. I went to give an interview to pursue my internship with a MNC bank. I planned everything well from my end so that I would able to reach back my college hostel before 7 p.m. in the evening. As, our college was far from the main city. Thus, reaching there during night was crossing a dark long lonely road full of trees. I got free before afternoon, after giving the interview. I rushed to board my bus on time to reach Pune on time.
I boarded the bus and journey was going fabulous with streaming music on my headphones. In the mid-way from Mumbai to Pune when everything was flowing properly, suddenly bus stopped. Passengers started inquiring from the Driver. Is this a halt? For how much time? Driver replied -: no. There is some fault in the bus, conductor is checking. Passengers kept the patience for about an hour; then they asked, how much more time.
Driver replied in his Hindi with Maharashtrian accent “my man is coming from Mumbai with the new part as a faulted part needed to be replaced”. We all got to know the waiting time going to be long. That’s what happened it took around 3 to 4 hours more and bus reached Pune around 12:00 a.m. in the night. Which was pretty too late for me. Bus, dropped me at Wakad, Pune and the irony was at its worst because my cell phone got discharged during the journey. Thus, I came out of my bus having no clue in my mind that, how I would get a conveyance and how I would reach my hostel. The, only word came out of my mouth was oh God! Please help me! Having God’s name on my mouth, I collected, all my confidence and faith and came out of bus.
The Scene Outside -: The lane was completely lonely with few street lights. Few other passengers, who came out with me, they quickly got extinct with their family and friends. I was standing in the mid of a lonely road, mid of the night and was looking in all the directions for a solution, with no clue in my mind.
To my utter disappointment, which was turning into fear; I was not able to see any auto, any taxi. Then, I noticed towards my left, bit far from the place, where I was standing, I could see an auto. I rushed to him and asked him “Would you drop me to my college hostel”, I mentioned the landmark, where I wanted to reach. He stared at me in a strange manner and asked, Whose with You? I replied nobody. Then, he straightforwardly asked for the fare amount, which was double the actual fare. I said, how come this much. He replied clearly “There is no other auto here, if you want me to drop you, you have to pay this much. I agreed, as I had no other option; but his interest in money gave me bit confidence to proceed my journey to the hostel as I got half assured, that he is interested in money not me.
Thus, my auto journey from bus stand to my college hostel started with some confidence but not all on auto driver. But, the irony was really in the mood to test me completely, as along with auto journey, rain also started; thus, lonely roads with almost no street lights, continuous rain, thunder and lightning were giving me serious goose bumps. My eyes cautiously were on auto driver, to ensure my safety. But, after every few minutes, there was complete darkness. In that 45 minutes journey, I thought about all the stunts, which I could use, if auto driver would try to misbehave.
I also thought what if auto would also suffer any fault mid – way. Having all those thoughts and seeking God’s help in my mind, we reached at the hostel gate. I took a deep sigh of relief. And, felt thankful not only to God but to auto driver as well. What could had happened, if he could had said no to drop me!
I took out money to give him and was about to say Thanks! but before I could say anything, he said “aapne aaj to itna risk liya itni raat ko Mumbai se aaya, aage kabhi aisa mat karna, ye itna dangerous hai, mai to aapko aram se chod diya, or koi hota to dikkat ho sakti thi aapko”! (You have taken risk this time, you came so late from Mumbai, do not repeat this in future, it is so dangerous, I have dropped you safely but this could have been dangerous, in case of any other person).
Although I believe that every man should be like that auto driver, so that danger from any other person would not left. But, I know it is practically not possible. Let’s come back to the main moral of the story random acts of kindness. This random act of kindness from auto driver touched me. And, increased my faith on good people & god. And, also gave me a firm belief that random acts of kindness could come from anybody around.
(The risk, auto driver mentioned, was completely unplanned, still I feel you cannot achieve anything big in life personal or professional; if you have never taken any risks).