A Unique Experience
by Vaman Acharya
(Bengaluru, Karnataka, India)
There was a telephone call from Avinash to his colleague Vasu at 6.30 a.m. He was not available to receive the call. His wife attended the phone call. "My husband has gone for his bath and I will inform him about your call. He will call you back as soon as he is back," said his wife.
After five minutes, Vasu came out. She told him to call Avinash immediately.
Vasu dialed his colleague's number. The dial tone was active.
“Avinash, what is the matter?”
“Good morning, Vasu. If you don’t think otherwise, I want a help from you,” said Avinash.
Without knowing the details, Vasu replied promptly, “Okay!”
“You know I am staying here with my wife. The doctor has advised her to get admitted in the hospital today for further examination and the appointment is at 11 a.m. I need more than one hour to reach the hospital. Therefore, please come to my home at 10 a.m..."
After a pause he continued, "The purpose of requesting you to come to my home is different. My son Murali, who is working in USA, is expected to arrive here today by flight with his family by 10 a.m. It may take another two hours for him to reach home from the airport. You know pretty well that I believe in age old customs as taught by my elders. When Murali reaches home, the main door should not be closed. If your presence is there at that time I need not close the main door. You can proceed the moment he and his family reach.”
Vasu, realizing the urgency and the deep faith of his friend's belief in age old customs, said, “Avinash, don't worry, I will be there at your home on time. Everything will be alright by the grace of God.”
By the time Vasu was ready to leave home, it was 9.50 a.m. Both Avinash and Vasu stayed in the same locality, within the vicinity of just 2 kilometers between their houses. Avinash was so anxious that he even called Vasu twice over the phone to reach home fast, and Vasu reached Avinash’s house exactly at 9.55 am. He found both Avinash and his wife Anuradha were ready to proceed in a car.
Observing Avinash’s terrible tension, Vasu conveyed good wishes to them before they left.
It was the first time for Vasu to be all alone in the residence of his colleague and felt like a stranger in the house. Added to it, while leaving, Avinash failed to inform Vasu to make himself comfortable at his house. Probably, he was in terrible tension.
Vasu, instead of sitting idle, moved outside towards balcony several times to view the movement of vehicles, pedestrians and the activities of neighbors. His another friend was living in the first floor. It would be nice to enjoy the outside view to spend time, he thought. He picked up the English newspaper and a Kannada magazine to read. He finished reading them within an hour.
While Vasu was waiting eagerly for Murali’s arrival, he got a call from Avinash informing that the flight would be at the scheduled time and they may reach home with Murali not later than 12.30 p.m.
Vasu's waiting continued. Even after 2 p.m., there was no sign of Murali's arrival. Vasu became uneasy and was unable to decide further course of action. He had breakfast hurriedly in the morning at 9 a.m.
It was lunch time. He was very hungry and wished to eat something or at least drink some water to quench his thirst. Neither he can go out to get eatables nor he can search for some in Avinash's house. He cannot take the liberty of searching for the eatables in his friend's absence. Luckily, he saw a jug with full of water and a glass on the dining table. He drank the water and got some relief.
"Staying in another person's house all alone for a longer period is nothing but a kind of punishment," thought Vasu with sigh.
At last Murali and his family arrived at 2.30 p.m. While leaving, Avinash had shown Vasu the family photo of Murali. Murali settled the taxi bill and came to upstairs. Vasu was waiting for them outside at the main door. Murali was aware of his father’s friend waiting for them. Murali introduced his family members to Vasu. Thereafter, Vasu took leave of them.
During the span of about four and half hours, Vasu received a number of calls from his wife and son. Their family were supposed to attend a house warming ceremony of another close friend, on the same day at 1 p.m. Sensing the inordinate delay, Vasu had already informed his son Rajat to proceed there along with his wife and kid. Vasu had told his wife to stay at home until his return.
Vasu reached home at 3 p.m. In the evening, Avinash conveyed good news about his wife and expressed heartfelt thanks for the timely help.
Vasu experienced a unique experience in his life, by helping his friend, sacrificing his own needs. ****