It was a Monday. It marked the beginning of my 2nd semester mid-semester exams. The first exam was Engineering Mathematics 2. Well, Math is the most dreadful nightmare of any student. Add a prefix of “Engineering” to it. You would feel that battling dragons is a much better task than solving differentiation and integration problems.
As any other student, after enjoying my weekend, I was awake almost the whole night to study for the exam. Hence got up late the next morning. Picking up my ID card and Math class notes in one hand and balancing the bag on my shoulder with the other I ran towards the bus stop, just in time to see my college bus speeding off from my stop. I ran towards it shouting “Stop anna!!” “Stop anna!!” But the driver anna didn’t hear and sped off. (Anna is the Tamil word for Bhaiyya which means Big brother.) I swear I saw a senior peeping out from the bus and waving his hand “Bye, bye.” Irritated that I missed my bus and tensed that I still had one more unit which I had planned to study while in bus, I stood in the corner of the road looking at the bus.
It was exactly at that moment, an Uncle in a scooter came near me. He looked at me and asked, “Missed your bus?” I became defensive as he was a stranger. Instead of replying, I just stared at him. He then said, “Its ok. Happens. Now just hop on. Let’s catch the bus.” I replied, “No, no Uncle. I’ll go by myself.” I became tensed. A stranger was offering me help. Slowly fear was creeping in. I looked here and there. Understanding my confusion and hesitancy, he said, “Its ok. I too have daughter of your age. She just now caught her bus. Otherwise I would have introduced her to you. Looks like you have an exam. Now come let’s catch your bus before it’s late.” Half convinced by his words, I hopped on to his scooter.
It was like 3 idiots movie scene. The scene where Aamir takes Sharman’s father to the hospital. The Uncle was riding very fast. My heavy bag was in between which slipped at regular intervals. I was sitting behind balancing the bag so that it doesn’t fall, while trying to catch the attention of the driver anna by waving my hand. What followed was like the climax of Dhoom 2. We chased the bus across three bus stops. It would stop to pick the students and by the time we reach near it, the bus would leave. After two stops I lost hope. I told the Uncle to give up on the chase as we won’t be able to catch the bus. It’s just a Scooty pep. It’s not Hrithik’s Dhoom 2 kind of bike. This repeated thrice. Finally in the fourth stop, partly because of the Uncle’s speed and partly because finally the driver anna saw me waving my hands through the side mirror, he stopped the bus. Grabbing my bag, I rushed into the bus. Only after the bus had crossed the stop I realized that I forgot to thank the Uncle who helped me.
The next day I came to the stop early to thank the Uncle. But he was not there. I repeated this for a week but still I never saw him again. I continued looking for that Uncle for the remaining three years to convey my thanks, but no luck. I still search for the Uncle even now in the stop, just to tell him thanks. (As I board into Infy bus from the same stop, and as he told he has a daughter of my age, then following the trend she also must be working in an IT company. Just a guess.)
Many times I feel that he must be an Angel who came to help me. At the exact moment he appeared out of nowhere. Never to be found again. Angel or not I still regret that I wasn’t able to convey my gratitude. Well, who helps strangers now-a-days? Or are we in a state to trust and accept help from strangers? Then maybe I am not wrong in believing that he was an Angel.