Good Samaritans saved the day : The Tribune India

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Good Samaritans saved the day

Good Samaritans saved the day

Photo for representational purpose only.



Lt Gen Raj Sujlana (retd)

THE pitfalls of overdependence on technology were offset by the strong bonds of brotherhood during my trip to New Delhi. The ubiquitous mobile phone is an integral part of our lives; it is one’s passport to almost everything. Such is the reliance on it that without one, even routine chores can come to a standstill. I realised this the other day when I landed in a tricky situation.

I arrived by cab at New Delhi railway station, only to be engulfed in the confused web of traffic that welcomes all passengers. I paid the cabbie and walked hurriedly to avoid missing the train. A little distance away, I reached for my phone, but there was no sign of it. I had possibly left it in the cab. I raced back, but the cab was nowhere to be seen. Reality struck: I neither had a virtual ticket nor a hard copy of it. I was stranded. I recalled the lines: ‘Technology has brought us closer, then made us more distant. Made us more aware, then made us doubtful of ourselves.’ Whom to call and how? The saving grace was my wallet, which contained cash and debit cards.

I spotted two cabbies with mobile phones. I walked up to them and spelt out my problem. I asked if they could call on my phone number. ‘Number bolo,’ Vikas and his partner said in unison. Two attempts got no response. They asked me for the cab number and the driver’s name. I remembered that it was Sunil. That’s a very common name, they said. Still, the cab centre was called, but without luck.

I then requested the cabbies to make one last try. Lo and behold, Sunil responded! Thereafter, with military precision, the two drivers coordinated with each other. We three met at a mutually convenient place. I had my phone back. Indebted to Sunil, I offered him money, but he refused, saying that he had helped me without expecting anything in return. Wishing me well, he drove off. Then Vikas said: ‘Uncleji, get inside the cab. I will drop you back at the station, lest you should miss the train.’ He did the needful. I requested him to accept a token of my appreciation, but he too refused it, saying that he had done it as a goodwill gesture and not to cash in on my predicament. The best that I could do was offer a silent prayer for these down-to-earth Good Samaritans.

When most would have avoided getting involved, they went out of their way to help. In their act of compassion and empathy, they followed the dictum: ‘Be nice to people… maybe it will be unappreciated, unreciprocated or ignored, but spread the love anyway. We rise by lifting others.’ Back home, I called both to thank them, but could only contact Vikas. ‘Sir, your call has made my day. It means much more to me than the money you offered,’ he said. Here was a stranger who had proved no less helpful than a friend.


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