The Lift she gave

I moved to Mumbai in pursuit of my higher education. A dear friend came to meet me and after a brief chat, I dropped him to Kharghar station. It was late in the evening nearly 9:00 p.m and the roads were dark and lonely. Getting an auto was a big problem then, way back in 2007. The permissible time to enter in the hostel was before 10:00 p.m and our hostel was pretty far from the station. When I could not succeed in getting an auto after waiting for sometime, I started walking. With every passing minute, I get worried that I won’t be able to make it in time and they will inform my parents about this. I didn’t want them to be troubled. But reaching there in time seemed to be an impossible task. My heart was sinking and then in middle of the street, I saw someone checking the tires of the car. After taking a few steps ahead, I saw a tall, beautiful girl dressed in corporate formals smoking frantically and kicked the tires. Then, she looked at me and asked “Hey, you what are you doing here in the lonely street?

I was scared but I replied back that, I was going to my college hostel. Then, she asked me where was it? I told her the location and asked if she can give me a lift. Though my heart was sinking; she being a female gave the confidence to ask this question. Immediately, she nodded her head negatively saying that she wasn’t going that side. I got disappointed. Looking at me, she offered me to drop somewhere in the middle from where I could get an auto to my hostel. I agreed as that was the only option if I had to make it in time. I hopped on the co-passenger seat. She signaled me to wear the seat belt. After that we didn’t speak. She dropped me to the nearest auto stand to my hostel. I got down and from the window, I looked at her and said “Thank You”. The reply she gave is the advice of my life. She told” You are nice girl, never ever ask for a lift from a stranger even if she is a female. This time it was me, buy you don’t know who is it going to be the next time. Take care” and then she drove away in speed with tires making strange noise. I kept on thinking about her the entire night and still have never asked for a lift after that night.

Food for Thought

Every morning I take a local train to work. Sometimes I get into vendors’ compartment because of two reasons: Not many women take this compartment and I get to experience something new every day. The thing which really fascinates me is that, I see all the vendors throwing a portion of whatever they sell in the market in the sea when we reach Vashi creek. They do it religiously every day without fail. Sometimes its fruits, sometimes its vegetables, grains or even pav (the stable bread of Mumbai). Out of curiosity I asked Shabbir, a local vendor who sells fruits at Mankhurd “Why do you throw something every day in the sea?” He replied: I give food to fish. I don’t have enough to feed many people at least I can feed them every day and happily quoted a Hindi proverb, “Neki kar dariya me daal”(Do the good deed and forget). Sometimes I wonder, when we have to donate a small portion of our earnings, we think so much but these people who live on daily wages and don’t know whether they will be able to earn enough tomorrow or not are doing their little act of kindness! This is food for Thought…