When Strangers Surprise You
6th September 2018:
Today I am yearning to write. After a long long time. Today something heartwarming and beautiful happened. Today I was in a fix and a random stranger helped me out.
After work, Chin and I decided to go Specs shopping. Not that I was desperate to spend on spectacles, but my eye power thinks that it needs a hike whenever I get a salary hike. After some serious specs speculations, some window shopping and dinner, we were on our way back in my bike.
Bangalore. 11PM. The fuel in my bike got over.
We stood beside my bike contemplating on the next step. We needed a bottle, we needed to spot the nearest fuel pump and we had to find a way to commute. We decided to ask an eatery near us named Charcoal Express for a bottle. We went over and explained our predicament. The guy went inside and after a while came out with an empty vinegar bottle. I sniffed it and realised that it had just been emptied. It also had remnants of vinegar which made it unfit for filling petrol. Disappointed, we walked back to my bike and contemplated some more.
We decided to walk to the nearest fuel pump and ask if they had a bottle. As we began walking at a rapid pace, a bike approached us from behind.
Both of us were baffled even before we took a look at the owner of the voice. A man on a bike trying to get your attention at night has never been a good sign. We turned and to our astonishment the guy from Charcoal Express asked us, ‘Aapko petrol chahiye kya?’
We answered ‘yes’, the astonishment evident on our faces.
‘Please give me the bottle’
‘It has vinegar in it. That bottle can’t be used.’ we said.
‘It’s okay. Please give the bottle.’ came his reply.
We walked back, handed him the bottle and he rode off. As we waited for the guy, we just had two things in mind; It was so sweet of him to help and that he should hopefully get another bottle. It took a lot of time for the astonishment to wear off. There is no necessity for a random stranger to take his bike and venture out to help us. And yet, he did.
In about 10 minutes, he was back with the fuel. He had a metal bottle in hand and a make-shift funnel cut out from a plastic bottle. As he emptied the bottle into the fuel tank, I thanked him and asked him how much it cost him.
‘Koi baat nahi’ came the reply as he got onto his two wheeler.
I had to ask about half a dozen times before he answered. This was followed by me forcing him to take the money. Finally I placed it in his pocket and he took off. As I started my bike, Chin told me, ‘The people in Charcoal Express are smiling.’ They had been watching us the entire time and were smiling as we thanked the guy. As we left, I looked at them and gave a broad thank you smile which they returned.
‘That was one of the sweetest things that happened to me recently. I will be writing about this.’, I declared.
I dropped off Chin, and was on my way when she called out, ‘Don’t forget to write about him!’
And I just did.
A simple act of kindness could make someone extremely happy.
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