Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Providence issues visiting cards!

Today I'm convinced Providence hands out visiting cards, drives a car, and if required, even takes detours on way to work. Read on...

The errand - to drop middle-aged visiting relatives at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Station in time for a south-bound 11 am express.
The plan - Leave home (25 km from station) at 9 am, allowing for 50 minutes commute time, possible traffic delays and time to settle in reserved berths.

Leave we did at 9, and drove out the gate ... right into traffic Snarl No 1. It turned out that a tipper truck had overturned two km ahead, and the line was that long. A good 20 minutes later, we got past the culprit, and went breezing along, with occasional hiccups at Snarl Nos 2, 3 and 4.

At 10:30, we were short of the target by about 5 km, and held up in SNARL No 5, which was actually a stagnant sea of multi-wheelers. With the clock ticking away uncontrolled, I politely honked to catch the attention of the neighbouring driver.

That's when Providence wound down the window, lent a polite ear, quickly understood the situation and said - "Take the turn to the left as soon as you start moving, then a right, and you'll reach the station just in time". We - my guests and I conveyed our thanks, and continued with prayers - all that we could do sitting there!

Then Providence extended a visiting card and said - "Now let me do some good turn today. You keep right behind me and I'll take that route. In case you miss my vehicle, pl call at that number and I'll guide you". Miracle no 2 took over, the wheels started rolling, and our car stayed right behind Providence's - through a couple of long roads and several traffic lights (Miracles 3,4,5,6). At another junction, Providence had to part ways - after all other good deeds for the day were awaiting their turn at the office.

We were able to follow Providence's parting directions to the 't' - another 2 minutes' drive, stop in front of the entry to station to let passengers get off and run - "you won't be able to park first and then accompany them to the platform".

It was 10:56 when the first-time visitors to Delhi set off on the last stretch from the station's entrance to the door of the nearest coach at Platform No 5, a busy route that included other hurrying travellers, a couple of flights of stairs, and the ubiquitous security frisk and luggage inspection.

After parking, I waited a good 15 minutes for a 'safe and sound' call with thoughts of a possible near-future trip to the same station with the same travellers - after all they'd not seen enough of the city (only its traffic).
"We boarded the train with seconds to spare. Please convey our heartfelt thanks to our guide. We are making our way to our coach", said the Kerala-bound uncle. The message was duly conveyed forthwith.

Our guests' first visit to Delhi (and my first ever trip to HN) is going to remain memorable for several reasons...
And that's why I say: Providence gives out visiting cards - and does not mind the occasional detour!

PS 1 - You may think - Why didn't I hire a call-taxi? But then my guests and I must have entered Providence's 'to-do' list when the train tickets were booked, you see?
PS 2 - Hope I find the 'resources' to do someone else a good turn at some other point of time, just as Mr K did!
PS 3 - For the records - I'm happy to mark Entry No 100 with Providence in attendance!

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15 Comments:

Blogger Salil said...

Very nice gesture by Mr K. Bless him.
Do unto others what you want others to do to you.
By the way, what does the visiting card say - 'Master of the Universe' :-)

15 October, 2008  
Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Good Samaritans, good neigbours....and in Delhi.

Very interestingly written incident. Restores your faith in human nature.

15 October, 2008  
Blogger Indrani said...

That was indeed very nice of him.

You are always doing good deed to others, this good deed came to you in return I am sure, whatever you may wish to name it. :)

16 October, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Salil,
Something very nearly that - the card reads "Director - Creative".

Raji
Thanks. It does reassure you that there is 'someone out there', if anyone needed such!

Indrani,
Very kind of you!

16 October, 2008  
Blogger sukesh said...

Its cent percent true...........U will get rewarded for your past good deeds....may be from the most unexpected quarters........
Always lend a helping hand..... u might also recieve the same some day...........

16 October, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Sukesh
Well said!

16 October, 2008  
Blogger lipi said...

Very moving. I read it almost biting the nails of my finger, and sitting on the edge of my chair!

Here is feast for thought right back at you!!!

I wonder about these situations. And the picture I have come up with is this:

You sit in traffic and you send out frantic distracted prayers. There are plenty of (astral) busy-bodies that listen and pass on the data to the 'super tallier'. Based on the fervency, immediacy, urgency, past credits,... the 'super-tallier' determines if (or how) this needs to be fulfilled. And works out all the other players' pros and cons. Something like particles of sand shifting inside a box, to accommodate your poking your finger into it.
And so, the good samaritan takes his position, the signal gods take their position, ...

17 October, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Lipi,
Very likely, but I could never have explained it that way!

17 October, 2008  
Blogger Kat said...

Sounded a real thriller.

With Laloo as Railways Minister lucky that you didn't take things
for granted that the train departure too would get delayed.

The good samaritan is a shining example to us.

One never knows when the signal Gods would swing into action. Let
me prepare my resources and be ready.... " Where did I keep my
visiting cards...?!!!" :))))

17 October, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Kat
I did hope for a delay!
That's a good one about visiting cards!

17 October, 2008  
Blogger kallu said...

Swarna, I can second Indrani and all the others who say you are quick to help. Ive had so much of your quick responses lately. It had to go round and reach you fast.

And I love the way you've written this piece.So much detachment and dry humor and a wonderful way of looking at life. Grrrreat.

17 October, 2008  
Blogger magiceye said...

wow! that was some thrilling ride!
well narrated .. hope it inspiress many more to do similar good turns.

20 October, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Kallu, very kind of you.
Magiceye, if it does, I'll be -happier!

20 October, 2008  
Blogger Usha said...

It warms the heart to hear stories like this - makes you feel there is hope still. :)

11 November, 2008  
Blogger Swarna said...

Usha - thanks for visiting. It does feel queer even thinking of that episode.

11 November, 2008  

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i appreciate that you have some thoughts to share, and are taking the effort to do so.

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