5 KMs unforgettable lift to a stranger!

5 KMs unforgettable lift to a stranger!
Could not read the negative gestures in a rear mirror…
Really, life at times gives an experience that leaves one feeling an interior human. I recollect that when we were travelling by a car from Jalandhar to Ferozepur  and in order to enjoy more countryside we stopped at different places by the road side.

We were passing through the Lohian Khas – a place known for refreshment of ‘poori-chhole’ at the small junction station. As soon as we reached on the road and train passage say more than century old bridge over Sutlej, working since the British time, the car gave an unhealthy jerk and the engine stopped working in between the bridge. It failed to restart despite my repeated attempts.  Leaving my wife inside the car, I came out of the car to ask for the help from tractor-trolley which was moving ahead of us. 

Since it was single way track, the whole traffic behind us was stopped, the gate man from the other end also came hurriedly as to what has happened as it was the time to close the bridge for crossing the train.  The modus-operandi of the bridge was that the entry from one side is allowed for some time in normal course and then from other side. But at the time of crossing of the train, it has to be stopped from both ends.

The car was toed with the trolley and taken out of the bridge of dual road-rail track.  Then a person coming from behind overlook me and screeched to a halt some meters ahead.  A man in well dressed, instantly asked in a Punjabi tone, ‘Ki ho gya bhaji” - What has happened brother !  Having checked that I needed help, he asked, “let me check up”.  After opening the bonnet of the car, the wire attached with the condenser was tightened and I was asked to restart the car.  It was OK.  Then he asked for a lift up to next stoppage about 10 KMs from that place, which I could not refuse against the gesture shown to us.  I gladly asked him to sit on the rear seats.

However, recalling an unhappy experience of a friend in similar circumstances, my judgment turned negative.   I started reading his gesture through the rear mirror and became mentally ready for a con. I also tried to detect hints of a triumph in his smile.
Without entering into any conversation, we passed 5 KMs distance peacefully but after that he asked me stop the car to drop on the road side village as he would like to meet someone in this village. We dropped him and moved ahead for our journey.

My cynical thinking continued. I cursed for myself for having given a lift to the stranger.  Unconsciously, I turned to see the small bag lying on the back seat after travelling another 20 KMs and to my surprise; it was missing which contained cash and important documents. The stranger might have thrown out of the window and that is why, he got down 5 KMs before his destination to collect the bag from the road side.

I was suddenly seized by a sense of guilt for giving a lift to the stranger. We were left with no alternative except to curse ourselves and decided not to give a lift to any stranger who has already cost us too much. 



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