Life is full of surprises , sometimes they are pleasant & sometimes not as we like it. Life throws strange moments at us, we trip we topple . We loose hope & suddenly something strange happen . Some stranger comes in the picture, giving us a ray of hope ,dragging us out of the misery. Has anything like this happened to you ?
This is an anecdote from my childhood that’s still fresh in my mind. As we know boards exams usually clashes with the Holi festival. When the whole world is busy immersing themselves in bright colors, eat & dance, the students of 10th & 12th std find themselves locked in a room, ear buds plugged in the ears to shut the ‘ happy voices’ & eyes forcefully glued to the text books. I was one of them trying hopelessly to divert my mind. But all I could think about was the beautiful colors, the irresistible smell of ‘Gujiya’ & ‘Papdi’ , Coconut laddos that my mother especially made for me & all those cheerful painted faces that were mocking at me. I shut my eyes & tried to concentrate on my notes .
After the holi break we had back to back two papers. Knowing that our teachers won’t be available for next few days I decided to go my teacher’s house to clarify some doubts. My father dropped me at her place & was suppose to pick me after an hour.
After a good 1 1/2 hour I was pretty clear & confident about the subject .Secretly I was hoping that my mother would allow me festival break & let me celebrate. After all Holi is my favorite festival. I thanked my teacher.
” Thanks a lot ma’am. I think now I am more confident. ”
” I can see your preparation G. I know you will do well ”
” I hope so. You must be getting late for Holi preparations. I must take your leave.” I was about to get up.
” Yes G, I have to go to my sisters’s place for pooja but where is your dad ? Wasn’t he suppose to pick you ? ”
” Yes! I think he must have got busy with pooja preparations. ”
I tried calling my home but no one was picking up the phone. They must have gone for the pooja.
“Ma’am, I think no one is at home. I will go to my friend’s home nearby & wait . You must be getting late. ”
” Are you sure? ”
” Yes ma’am “.
I took her leave & started walking towards my friend’s home which was hardly 10 minutes walk from there. As I was about to cross the main road & enter the colony I saw a group of men standing there. I lowered my head & tried to walk past them. One of them called out.
” Where are you going ? Let’s play Holi”
I ignored & started walking faster. I could sense that they were following me. They kept on passing comments. When they didn’t get any reaction from me , two of them blocked my way.
” Why are you in such a hurry? Let’s play Holi.”
” Get away. Or else…”
” Or else what ? ”
I caught hold of my backpack. The street was almost deserted . I couldn’t hope for any help. I gathered all my courage & decided to fight back. I thought, I would hit the two blocking my way & run away as fast as I could. I was shivering from inside, had a lump in my neck yet fighting back was the only resort.
One of the two men blocking my way took out color from his pocket & was about to color me when he was stopped by a loud shout.
” What are you doing? ”
We turned around & saw a man walking towards us. He was a lean man standing tall at 6 feet with big bloody eyes. He was holding a thick stick in his hand. As he came closer I instantly recognized him. He was a rag picker who used to roam around in the area. We often spotted him while going to school. He never looked very friendly, hardly spoke to anyone. Kids used to make fun of him because of his tall & thin frame. They often used to tease him & used retaliated by hurling abuses at them. We used to avoid having any interaction with him. In fact most of us were actually scared of him.
” Why are you all misbehaving with the girl ? ” He said loudly in his heavy voice.
” Its none of your business.” One of the men shouted at him & pushed him hard. He quickly got up & thrashed the man with his stick.
” Run you all or else I will break your skulls”
All those men were shocked at his behavior. They picked up their friend who was lying on the ground holding his stomach & run away.
He was gasping for air. For next few minutes he didn’t speak a word. And I was too shocked to react.
” Where you have to go ? ”
” Next Lane. My friend’s house.” I could only manage to utter these five words.
” I will come with you.”
I started walking beside him. The whole time he neither spoke a word or looked at me for once. Once we reached the friend’s house , I quickly pressed the door bell. He stood at a distance & watched me I kept hitting the door bell until my friend opened it. I explained her the whole incident & turned back & he was gone. I looked around but he was no where to be seen. I felt so bad that I couldn’t even thank a person who helped me without even knowing me. He didn’t even wait to let me thank him. He appeared from no where like someone God sent. I thanked God & Him for helping me.
” A Stranger helped me. We often judge people by the look or popular image. Most of the time we pass judgement without even knowing the reality. We must know the truth before making up our opinion about anyone. Sometimes what’s visible to eyes could only be the exterior persona. Deep within lies the goodness & kindness which is hard to see if you go by popular image. SO don’t be judgmental .See the truth ! ”
This is my sunshine #lookUp story . I am sure we all have such beautiful stories to tell.Whats yours ?
This post is written for ‘ Housing.com‘.