My elders used to say , “ Do not forget and always remember someone who serves you even a glass of water , in time of need”. I carry this nugget of advice , thankfully.
I have written about the good Samaritan Chiranji, the Chowkidar in PWD Rest House, Pooh , who went out of his way to help me and my family during the harsh winter in 1986. I was lucky enough to meet the good guy again in 1995 in Bilaspur, when I was posted there.
But there are persons who come in your life , do grand deeds for you and simply disappear, leaving you wailing and wondering.
The incident again relates to 1986, my posting to Pooh , and whatever transpired on the way before reaching my station of posting.
I along with my wife , my 7 month old daughter , and my father in law who volunteered to accompany us for good reason, boarded the HRTC bus at Shimla to avail the Shimla- Kaza night service at 8PM on 26th of November, 1986 , which would hopefully drop me at my destination at around 10 in the morning , the next day.I had put my household luggage on the bus roof . I had not travelled beyond Rampur- Jeori before , so I knew it was going to be a difficult journey especially with a kid in the lap. Somehow it was a near smooth ride upto Tapri , where we reached early in the morning.As ill luck would have it, we were informed that Bus would not go any further as the road was blocked due to land slide . The biggest problem was the luggage . Even if a bus were available after some hours, it was near impossible to shift the luggage . On the way, my father in law had struck up some conversation with the conductor and had developed some kind of friendship. Seeing us in trouble, the conductor, talked to the concerned person at the depot , and saw us out of the trouble, as our luggage was put in the rooms of the HRTC depot . We had kept some very necessary items with us like the blankets , powder milk , feeding bottle and some medicines.We thanked Padam, the conductor profusely . We had to board another bus, which only took us to Powari , a station about 60 Km short of Pooh. We had to spend two nights in a Cooperative Society guest house . It was only on 29th that we could reach Pooh. The luggage was later got transported in piecemeal.
Naturally we talked of our benefactor and remembered him with gratitude. Within a few days, the ill fated bus met with a major accident at Kingal killing 47 passengers on board , including the driver and the conductor . And who the conductor was, it was our god sent benefactor, Padam , a young man of 26 only.
Needless to say, it took us days to come out of the shock !