A Kind Deed
by Vimala Ramu
Who says that Good Samaritans are scarce these days? Is it true that Pity, Compassion and Sympathy are out of fashion? The other day, we had a touching demonstration of all these qualities.
On that beautiful sunny morning, my husband had taken me to Command Hospital for some work by car. Though people had been advising him to hire a driver for these trips, he who had his reflexes still sharp and driving skill perfect till now, had refused to do so as he hated to see a stranger (mis) handling his vehicle.
Since our work at the Hospital was over soon, we were already on our way back by 9.15 am. Suddenly we heard a strange sound. Hoping against hope that the sound came from someone else’s car and not ours, Ramu got down slowly to check. Unfortunately, it was the front right wheel of our car (the one towards the road) that had had a puncture.
In the already relentless, non stop traffic of the morning rush hour, luckily we found an indentation in the side walk which acted as a parking bay for us.
The August sun was already blazing sharply. Ramu got the ‘stepney’ and the ‘jack’ out. It had been quite sometime since he had been required to change the tyre of the car himself. The jack also had not seen grease for quite some time. When he tried to sit down on his haunches to position the jack, he found that his joints were as rusty as that of the jack’s if not more. Changing the tyre is a totally different cup of tea than driving the car when one is in one’s mid 80’s. I sat in the car and watched him sweating, helplessly. Calling the Garage people for help would not be advisable as the time they take to arrive would be anybody’s guess. So, we ruled it out, wiser from a previous experience.
Even as the posh cars were whirring past without a sidelong glance, a rickety mini-truck painted red slowed down on its own and finally stopped in front of our car. The words ‘We repair bore wells’ was painted in big, prominent letters on its rear board. A well built, pleasant looking man got out. He approached Ramu, found out what the trouble was and got down to it. Within no time, he had changed the tyre and restored the punctured (tube in the) tyre and the jack to their place in the boot!
In sheer gratitude, Ramu offered him some money. But the great man refused it. He just bid us good bye, got into his mini-truck and drove off.
Marveling at the goodness of the man, we also set off home.