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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanks Giving

Was going through the U.S list of holidays, when I came across “Thanks Giving Day”. I love the U.S Culture of exchanging gifts and presents for this day to say thanks to people. I do not how much importance would this day hold in India if added in the Indian Calendar, but I am sure of the popularity, at least among the youth.
We usually exchange gifts to our near and dear ones, friends, business alliances to thank them for their presence, for the times they helped, for their business partnership so to make the bonds stronger. Well, on the same note, India has many occasions for celebrations to make their bonds stronger. Even I would like to thank my friends and known ones for being a part of my life and for bringing smiles to my life and helping me in every possible manner.
But wandering in the lanes of my memories, I would not forget thanking those who made a big difference in my life, without having known me at all. Their presence affected me greatly and definitely made a huge impact on me. It would not be untrue if I said that had those unknown people not extended their helping hands to me, I wonder what would I have faced, or probably I would not have been what I am today.

I never forget the day of 15th July,2006 which brings tears to my eyes when I recall the harsh memories of the days. I was going through a tough time full of disappointments and failures. Every effort seemed to have gone down the drains and every door blocked which I had envisaged to bring success to me. The three years hard work which I put in for my career, did not work out. I lost hopes from all the colleges because of the poor circumstances then. My planning failed, my dreams shattered and I was all dull and sad. To add to the dismay was my mom’s ill health and the growing pressure on me, which I failed to resort to. I stopped eating, and spent sleepless nights. My health deteriorated with each passing day. Mental depression pulled me deeper inside and physically I was reduced to a skeleton. Breaking my own promise made to myself, I decided to join BPO again until the next academic year.

I was almost a bag of bones with no strength left in me. In  the warm summer month, I gathered all my courage and ventured out from Punjabi Bagh for a BPO interview to Greater Kailash. Without food since many days, without a bit of strength left in me, I was running high temperature that day and travelling in buses added to my fatigue. A tiring day at the interview, I was returning from the interview venue in the bus. My friends (who are my life lines) were waiting for me at my home whom I had stopped meeting in depression. My head was spinning and I could feel that everything blacked out in front of my eyes. I decided to de board the bus at ESI Hospital and take an auto to home. In a fragile voice I asked the auto wala to take me to Punjabi Bagh. He could barely hear me and I tried to speak again with the last drop of my strength, when suddenly nothing was visible to me. My strength gave up and I fainted. Just before my head hit the ground, a pair of hands held me to stop falling down. My feet and palms were ice cold. I felt a lady rubbing my palms while she lay my head on her shoulders. Another gentleman made me sip water. A group of people who seemed to be unskilled workers stood surrounding me trying to bring me back to consciousness. They were those whom I did not know, who helped a stranger without any reason. A gentleman asked me my family members’ name and number. In my half conscious state the only name I could remember was Abhishek. The gentleman dialed Abhi’s number from his own phone and asked him to immediately come to ESI bus stop explaining my emergency. MAPSA rushed to the spot and took me to the hospital. I recovered from the depression within few weeks and coped up with the pressures. A shudder passes through my body recalling this incident every time. Today on thanks giving day, I wish to thank those people from the bottom of my heart. Had they not helped me, I would been lying on the road shredded in pieces. I dint even see them or get to know their names, neither did I get a chance to thank them for their kindness. I do believe in God and after this incident I firmly believe that God exists in form of angles whom he sends in the hours of distress. I want to express my gratitude to those helpful whose timely help saved me and helped me in getting my life back which I had lost, well almost. God bless them. I can never repay them for what they did for me. Thank you are only two words I can say today.

The second incident runs back to August 2009, when I was serving an organization in the capacity of marketing executive. I was on business trip to Agra and was returning to my hometown Dehradun via bus at night. Since I was bold and daring enough, so travelling alone at night never scared me. The comfortable AC bus left from Agra Bus stop sharp at 8pm and was crossing the borders of U.P smoothly. The first stop over was at Aligarh bus stand around 11:15pm. The passengers got down for break and sip tea. I too was tempted to eat something and de boarded the bus to buy some tea and biscuits. I had tea in the bus and while all passengers were outside. I did not make a note of time and de boarded the bus again to go to the washroom. That was the biggest mistake I made. I hardly took few minutes inside the washroom. When I came out, my heart skipped a beat - The bus was not there!
One can imagine the condition of girl then. No matter how bold she may be, hawk eyes follow a lonely girl. I was haunted by the thought of the risk I ran in that isolated bus stop without even having the bus number with me. My luggage, my office files, even was passport was inside the bus which left me there! I wanted to kill the driver, or wanted to cry, I had no idea what to do. How could he leave me behind? How did he not count the number of passengers?  I blamed myself for being so foolish to de- board the bus again.

I had no number with me to call, nobody around to help me, nobody whom I could trust at time. My heart was sinking every single minute. “Rahul” was the first name which struck my thought while looking around for help. Rahul is my friend in Agra, who was there with me on the Agra business trip. Immediately I dialed his mobile phone number awaiting a response from him. But he dint receive my call. I was in distress! I had no clue what should me my next step? Should I raise a hue and cry or call my family? How would my family members help me at that time? Where would I spend the night now? I was so vulnerable then, I shook with fear.
I went up to a gentle man and asked him about the bus. He said that the bus had left 2 minutes ago. Looking at my condition, he offered me help. Since the bus would have been far away, we could catch it on the way, said the gentle man. My instincts asked me not to trust a stranger in the dark hours of night, that too in a place like Aligarh! But I had no choice. My need overpowered my fears and I accepted the lift on his motorbike. I was about to cry and my voice was heavy. The gentle man asked me to calm down and not worry. He said that in case we could not spot the bus, then we could go to the nearest police station. But poor me, I dint even know the bus number! That 5 minutes ride on the bike with my heart pounding loudly every second was the most terrible time of my life which I can never explain verbally. Was I doing the right thing to trust a stranger was ringing in my ears. Cold sweat on my forehead, a sinking heart, hundreds of apprehensive questions in my mind….. I can feel the goose bumps while writing this.

Few meters of race on the bike but the bus could not be spotted anywhere. I felt I was about to have a heart attack. The gentle man turned his bike around and speeded to police station at the bus stop. On the way he kept asking me to keep calm and be brave. My mind was buzzing and spinning heavily and kept thinking what to do. Tears were at the corner of my eyes. I was silently preparing myself for the worse questions the Police men would ask me and blame me for de boarding the bus at the wrong time. I was accusing myself and calling myself stupid. My situation was similar to Kareena’s railway station scene of JAB WE MET.

We reached the bus stop and there I saw a miracle- The bus had returned in search of me!! My tears of dismay turned to tears of rage and I had a big fight with the conductor for his carelessness. Half the people blamed me for being careless, while other half supported me. After the big scene created, I was asked to get inside the bus to resume the journey. Hastily I got inside and the bus speeded on the U.P roads.

I realized that in a hurry, I had not thanked the gentle man for his kind act. I don’t know his name, neither could see him clearly in the dark. But his presence was next to God’s presence for me.  Thank you uncle for your helpfulness. I wish I could meet you and thank you in person. Thanks giving day is a good occasion to express my heart felt gratitude to you for that day.

God bless you all.