Thursday, July 11, 2013

I promise to Pay It Forward

Last year, I wrote a blog post about picking up a stranger at night near Pallikaranai.  At the exact same spot tonight, my bike ran into a puddle of water.  I'm used to riding my bike in rain and huge puddles of water but tonight, my bike finally said "no more".  There were some loud thud sounds coming from the engine and the bike came to a halt.  Again, it was around midnight and there was no help around.  I started to push the bike and after more than a kilometer, I reached the Velacherry station.  A called up a colleague who lives near that area and he suggested that I park my bike at the station for the night or wait till he reaches home.

I gave it some thought and then said "na, catching a train or taking an auto is too boring".  "Here's an idea; what if I push the bike all the way home (around 5 kilometers).  I've already pushed the bike more than a kilometer, so, how hard can it be!".  Thanks to my brilliant thinking, I started pushing again.  It wasn't so bad for the next one or two kilometers.  Then a miracle happened.  A guy on a bike stopped, came to me and asked whether I needed petrol because he had some in a bottle.  I said no thanks, I've got plenty and that its an engine problem.  As he left, I noticed his number plate, he was a police!  For the first time in my life, I've met a policeman who actually tried to help someone.  That may seem like a harsh comment but in my life experience, that really was the first.

After pushing the bike for another kilometer, I started feeling tired.  This time, I really did have a decent idea.  I took out my mobile and started playing some music.  I started pushing again powered by soothing music.  Another bike stopped next to me and asked what was the problem.  It was a fellow Avenger this time and this guy seemed to know a thing or two about the mechanisms of the bike.  He tried to start the bike and concluded that the engine coil was toast thanks to water.  He also said that his 200cc model had the same problem which is why he traded it for the 220cc which he had with him at the moment.  Then, he offered to tow me (which is a fancy way of saying that he would push my bike with his right leg).

I was pleasantly surprised and I immediately agreed.  Oh, did I mention that it was raining?  From the moment I left the office, it was raining.  I was wearing a raincoat, but this guy was getting soaked because all he had was a cap.  It was around 12 midnight.  And, to top it all, he wasn't even heading my way.  He simply wanted to help me out and he went out of his way in doing so.  He towed me for a good one kilometer after which I told him that I needed to leave the highway now and that I'll push the bike the rest of the way.  As I thanked him, he made a u-turn & went on his way and my mobile was playing 'anbe sivam'!  Epic, haha!

Then I realized that this was the exact same spot where I dropped off my hitchhiker from the previous blog post.  I had one more kilometer to go and I had just enough strength in me to make it.  That 1 kilometer tow made a helluva difference.  That guy had absolutely no reason to stop and help me, yet, he did.  Its gestures like these that remind us that we live in a civilized society where people help each other.  More than 200 people must've passed by me in my 80 minute walk.  At least two people thought it was worth helping out a stranger in the rain.  I WILL remember this and I will strive to pass on this friendly gesture to someone else one day.  I will try to be that one out of one hundred.