Ashwani Kumar Sharma
Often we have been fed on the belief that a majority of people in society are uncaring kind who wouldn’t turn a second glance at someone in trouble. This belief gets more strengthened, thanks to newspapers and news channels, who would rather publish articles of cheats than Good Samaritans. And, living in the city of Delhi, I too grew up amid such negative beliefs.
But an experience early last month turned this belief of mine on its head. I’ll tell you the whole story:
It was the night of February 2. I, along with my wife Neetu, elder sister Nirmal and younger Shakti, had gone to Haridwar in Uttarakhand for a puja for our beloved mother Krishna, who made her transition from the physical world to higher realms on January 24. Early in the day, we had immersed her ashes in River Ganga after which we moved to Kurukshetra. Since she had been bed-ridden for a while, a puja had to be performed at Pehova in Haryana, our family pandit ji had told us.
Since we wanted to perform the puja in the morning, we decided to stay back at a hotel – 9th Planet – in Kurukshetra, about 40 km from Pehova.
We reached the hotel at around 5.30. Being winter, it was already getting dark. Pehova is about 45 minute drive from this place. After having tea, I thought of meeting the pandit ji who would perform the puja at Pehova. We had started early morning (5.30) from Delhi in our Maruti S-PRESSO for Haridwar , as a result of which didi was not too keen to move out. She wanted to rest. But then considering that meeting the panditji now would makes things easier the next morning, we decided to visit Pehova. It was 5.45, and the skies were darker shade of grey by then.
Venturing out we soon took to an inner village road, it was a kuchcha road, but with a lot of traffic, especially trucks. Not that it bothered me much. I love driving, and can drive for long hours without much ado.
We were moving coolly amid the traffic, when suddenly I noticed a young man right in front of my car – he seemed to have appeared out from nowhere. I turned to one side to save him, but unfortunately he too moved towards the same side to save himself. Fearing that I might hit him, I immediately turned to the other side and pressed on the brakes with all the strength I could gather. In a flick of second, the car moved towards the sideway, faced back, tilted and upturned and came to a screeching halt in a heap of cow dung, stopping just a little distance from the huge and sturdy Eucalyptus tree. Cow dung saved us. If it wasn’t for that heap of cow dung we would have banged straight into the tree – I shudder to think what could have happened.
I was too shocked to understand what had just happened. In my over 30 years of driving, never have I met with an accident although I have often travelled during the late night hours. This accident jolted me to the core. There were a series of thoughts in my mind – I was traveling with my wife and sisters; what would have happened if that cow dung heap wasn’t there?
Deep in thought, I had lost all sense of surroundings, and came back only when I heard didi saying, “mere bhai ko nikalo, vo driving seat pe hai”. Before I could gather my wits about me, I saw four-five young men, in their early 20s, opening the door and literally holding me in their lap. And then in a jiffy, didi, my wife and younger sister were moved out by them. While the car had got damaged and, as of now, it is in the Maruti’s DD Service Centre at Wazirpur (Delhi), none of us suffered any major physical injuries, except for the blow on the knees that had banged against the seats.
That God had saved us was very clear to me since the road that was brimming with speeding trucks few moments earlier had suddenly become silent. Not a single vehicle moved on it till we and our car was safely moved away from the road.
But it is the villagers there who emerged as angles of God. There were about 18-20 of them, young and old. After comforting us, they took us to their home, a short distance away, and made arrangements for us to relax for some time. They served us tea and snacks and even lit a bonfire since chilly winds were blowing. They comforted us with their soothing words and did everything they could to help. I noticed there was a young pregnant woman – Kawaljit Kaur – also in the family who happily brought in chairs for us to sit. I can only marvel at their dedication towards service of humanity. She has since been blessed with a healthy baby boy.
Baldev Singh and his wife Kawaljeet Kaur
The village name is Murtzapur, and we later got to know that all these men belonged to the same clan. When they saw our car turning, the eldest Sardarji Baljinder Singh ji told us, “We thought it was a case of drunken driving. But then I saw women and realised, there is a family. I gave a shout out and all the youngsters ran towards the car.” He also told us that they basically belong to Amritsar in Punjab.
Those villagers – we can never thank them enough – also helped moved our car with their tractor and cleaned it from underneath; they checked how bad the damage was. They noticed me calling up a Maruti helpline, one of them took it upon himself to call up and arrange for the crane. Not just this, they even dropped my wife and younger sister in their own car, 22km away from the accident site and insisted that they will take me and didi to the service station in car. We politely refused, but they made sure that we reached safely at the Karnal Maruti Service Station in Kurukshetra and then the hotel.
They remained in touch with us till the time we reached safely at our home I Delhi. Today, we have become friends.
Tell me, who helps unknown strangers like this? I have often heard people saying, and I too believe that God always helps, but this was one time which confirmed me that God indeed helps. HE does send his angels to people who need them. For us, these villagers of Murtzapur donned the mantle of angels.
When we thanked them for all the help they gave us, Singh Saheb said to us: “Our Guru had sacrificed his young sons for others, this deed is miniscule as compared to what Babaji did.”
I can never thank them enough. And today, I can firmly say there are more good people than bad; its just that good ones don’t get talked about.
With this personal anecdote I have made a beginning. The ball is in your courts now. Share your stories and spread goodness. Let’s contribute towards spreading cheer in our own little way.