Bold Step in the Toughest Situation
by Vaman Acharya
"Sir, please get down. I will not move further. The situation here is full of tense. Sorry, I am asking you to get down in the middle. I don’t want to risk my life,” said the auto driver.
Vasu requested him to find out some other way to reach his bank. He was prepared to pay double the fare, but the auto driver refused to go alternative route. The big crowd of agitators blocked the road from all sides. These agitators were shouting at the top of their voice. The purpose of the agitation was not known. Vasu was already in tension. He had no interest to know the purpose. There was every possibility of any kind of serious threat. Unwanted social elements may resort to stone pelting at any moment. More people in a limited area may create suffocation to the people. Some crooked people may spread false news of shoot-at-sight by the police. People may become panicky and run helter-skelter to reach safer place to save their lives. In the process stampede may happen. Vasu was thinking of all these possibilities.
This locality was infamous for the disturbances. Daily, he took this route, which being the shortest route, to his bank. Vasu was a joint custody officer in the public sector bank. His priority was to reach the bank well in time. He was supposed to open the strong room containing cash and valuables before the commencement of the business at 10.30 a.m. The time left was just 15 minutes. The bank was three kilometres away from there.
Vasu had two choices before him. One was the alternative route going through main road. Heavy traffic and traffic signals on this road would take much time. Another choice was passing through the crowd by walk to a safer place. He became dare and opted later choice. While passing through the crowd, he had closed his eyes for few seconds and chanted God's name repeatedly and moved. He was surprised that he came out of the disturbed area without any trouble.
He reached a place which was quiet and peaceful. Luckily, there was an auto on the stand. Vasu was thinking alone that God has saved him from the terrible situation. Without wasting time, he asked the auto driver to proceed towards the bank. Sensing the urgency, the auto driver demanded twenty rupees more than the meter reading, which Vasu agreed to pay, without hesitation. By the time he reached the bank it was 15 minutes late. There was a long queue of customers before the cash counter. They were already feeling inconvenience for the delay. Another joint custodian was eagerly waiting for Vasu's arrival.
He asked Vasu looking at his wrist watch, "Sir, is it the time to come to the bank?"
Vasu could not reply and apologised. Observing the trouble at the cash counter, the boss left his chamber to convince the customers. Vasu narrated the agony to his boss in brief. The boss expressed sympathy and appreciation towards Vasu.
Both the joint custodians went to the strong room door and opened it. By the time the cash sent to the respective counters, there was a delay of one hour. Vasu had to face tough time in front of the customers. They were asking a number of questions including the reasons for delay. With folded hands, Vasu apologized for the delay. The boss also expressed his displeasure for the embarrassment. He was fully aware that there was no mistake on the part of Vasu.
‘Where there is a will there is a way’ aptly applies to Vasu. ***