We were going to Ooty with a stopover at Masinagudi for a night. We were travelling by bus from Bangalore. As soon as the bus started moving so did my stomach. At first my stomach was making me feel a bit uneasy then queasy and half way through our ride I was battling full blown nausea. Whenever the bus stopped for a break I would leap out of the bus and walk in circles gulping in air trying desperately to overcome my nausea. I was practically climbing the walls by the time we reached our destination and was so relieved to get out of the bus and feel the ground beneath me that I had to literally stop myself from kneeling down and kissing it.
We soon found out that we were stranded: the local transportation operators had gone on strike that day and we couldn’t contact our resort because our cell phone had no signal in that region. We made ourselves comfortable in a canteen while plotting our next move. There didn’t seem to be a phone booth that we could use so we asked the lady in the canteen if she could lend us her cell phone to contact our resort. She readily passed her phone to us. We could successfully contact the resort manager and arrange for a pick up. When we offered to pay for the call the lady refused to accept any money.
As we were waiting to be picked up I noticed an unkempt young chap looking at me surreptitiously. I didn’t know what to make of it. So I kept an eye on him discreetly all through the wait up until we were comfortably seated in our jeep all ready to leave. As we were about to leave, the lady approached us with a request. She wanted to know if we could drop a fellow villager in his village on our way to our resort. We agreed to give that man a lift. As I was profusely thanking her again for helping us out, I was surprised to find the young chap whom I was dubious about gesturing animatedly to me. It was fascinating to watch him! It took me a while to realize that he was deaf and dumb but could comprehend what he was trying to convey.
I was blown away by how and what he was saying to me! I was so caught up in this incredible moment that I found myself enthusiastically gesturing to let that young man know that I understood what he meant.
Even now I find that encounter surreal! Such profound thought explained to me by someone I least expected it from and in a manner that was beyond words. His message in sign was Hey, you are so caught up in your act of thanking that you are missing the bigger picture here: the lady helped you and you are helping the man and the man will in turn help someone else and that someone else is going to help another someone and that someone will help another one and that one will ………