Sunday, July 26, 2015

What goes around comes around

They say, “What goes around comes around”. That is Ok. But, how soon, that is the question? Do you swear by this adage, or have you felt that it holds true quite often in your life? 

It was Wednesday, 22 July 2015. I was returning from office on my bike. I ride a Suzuki Hayate, a mid-range/size bike with very good returns on mileage (however, I own a car too, but rarely drive it to the office). Full throttle on NH8, from Gurgaon to Dwarka, the southwest of Delhi! This is the route I take every day commuting to & from office. As soon as I started scaling up the flyover that comes after the toll bridge, the motorcycle began to chug, chug, chug...OMG, is it for real? I pulled the choke up & down, thinking it might fix the minor fault with the pickup, or whatever. Zilch is my knowledge about machines. The worst I conjured up in my mind happened. I ran out of petrol...no, the bike ran out of petrol. I use a different kind of fuel. Huh!


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Traffic log jam @ HN8

WTF (Wednesday-Thursday-Friday)! It is not even TGIF to take it on my stride, treating this odd one as an adventure. It is going to be an ordeal, with the next gas station still a couple of kilometers away.

Fast cars kept zooming past me, as all sorts of thoughts crossed my mind. How do I drag this bike for a kilometer or more to the filling station, with a heavy sack on my back? Why did I not fill in the morning? Why did I not check the meter while coming out of office? Shit! Utter callousness on my part, now a squalid saga staring squarely at me.

By this time, chugging and puffing and panting...I reached the crescendo (unmusical of course)...to the top of the bridge. My bike complied till here. Thank God! At least I can glide to the bottom from here, being the downslide.

I began my downward journey (literally). Steep downslide made my bike go at a normal speed, at least for a while. I am sure a passerby would have no knowledge of my plight. He would just assume that my bike was running on the engine. As I reached the end of the flyover, the slope began to merge and the road became horizontal, flat. So, you can now envisage, I got off the bike and started pushing forward. Left, right, left right, left right...I began my march. My thoughts went out for those whom I see, once in a while, pushing their bikes, on other days plying to and from office.

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 “Bhaisaab, Kya hua (what happened, bro)?”’, a voice yelled from behind amid the chaos of the high decibel traffic commotion. A man in an Enfield Bullet screeched his bike to a halt, a few steps ahead of me. “No worries bro, I will push you to the petrol station”, he said, taking stock of the obvious lurch I was in. 

For the next few minutes, I was ahead and the gentleman in the Enfield Bullet behind me, pushing my bike (and me) with his leg. It takes some effort and energy to do that. After some time we arrived at the petrol station. But, before I could thank him from the core of my heart, he turned and whisked away, waving his hand in acknowledgment of my gratitude which I could not deliver in all earnest. I could not get his name or his address. But I reckon he works for Make My Trip because he carried a bag with their tag. So, my Samaritan friend with an Enfield Bullet from Make My Trip- thank you very much, for the help. I will adopt your attitude every time I see somebody else in a similar situation on the road. A lesson learned, the perfect way!

However, the reason d’être, of this whole scribble, was set two days earlier, Monday, the 20th July 2015. It was the same road, same time but this time before the toll bridge. As usual, I was on my way back from office. Traffic was choke-a-block on NH8, one of the busiest highways in India. This mad rush is very much embedded into the DNA of every urbanite.

As I was wading through this traffic, I saw a cabbie in the distance coaxing me to stop. I zeroed in. “Sirji, Thora sa petrol denge (could you please give me some petrol)?” He was holding a tiny piece of cloth, his car standing on the side of the road. Unlike mine, he did not run out of petrol. He needed it on a piece of cloth to fix something in the engine. I was not the only one whom he asked for the little favor. Nobody bothered to enquire or even keen on knowing the trouble he was in. So, I opened the tank and he soaked a little petrol with the cloth he was carrying. He was not alone. There was another guy; probably a fellow cabbie and broooooom....the raving sound of the engine. They both started it in a jiffy.

It never occurred to me that I had done him a great favor or pulled him out of a catch twenty-two situation in the middle of a rush hour road. Other thoughts engulfed my mind as I left the incident behind and started my onward journey heading back home.

Little did I know that it was two days later, the scene was to weave to another one that would encapsulate the saying, “what goes around comes around”.

But, so soon, I am quite bemused. 

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