Wednesday is the day to spin stories.
I believe, in each of the stories you will find the link connecting to some of the facts of your own life.
In most of my stories you will find reference of some places repeatedly and Khetri is one of them. Khetri is the same place where Swami Vivekanand was given his turban by Maharaja of Khetri, Ajit Singh. He had also sponsored Swamiji to visit America to attend the Parliament of the World’s Religions as a speaker which was held in Chicago.
Some mistakes, we make and some crop up automatically but presence of mind can do miracles anytime.
As I turn my pages of old memories, I pause in my page of class 3. My dad was working in Chandmari project, our new colony in Kolihan had just completed in contruction and KV(school) was yet to come up in another six months. That meant travelling far to the neighbouring township, Khetri, by local bus to attend the school there.
One day, one of our teachers passed away and the school was closed before time. It was a scorching hot day. I was tired, exhausted with the straps of my heavy bag cutting into my shoulders and there was no proper shade to sit at the bus stop.
Suddenly, a Jeep stopped in front of me and the man asked, “Where do you want to go?”
I promptly replied, “Uncle, Kolihan township”.
He said, “Come, sit, I am going there.”
I jumped and happily sat in the jeep without thinking twice, feeling relieved as I escaped the sunny torture.
The whole way he went on asking, which class are you in, who all are at home, what do you like and so on.
In mid of the way to my township, there was a divertion and one way used to go to Delhi and other towards our colony.
While he busied me with with his attempt at small talk, I saw him taking the turn towards Delhi. I sat up like an alert deer! He guessed my fear and said, “Didn’t your mother teach you, that you are not supposed to take lift from strangers?”
That time I knew! I was in danger! Can’t even ask for any help, lonely highway, no one around, and can’t fight with such a big man. I felt like crying out aloud.
By that time he stopped the jeep, two dirty looking man joined him.
I closed my eyes for a second, gathered my courage, made my posture right, sat in a relaxed way and smiled at him and said, “Yes Uncle, Ma told me never to take lift from a stranger, but you are not a stranger, you are my Uncle, and I know you are kidding. Lets go home, Ma will be happy to see you.”
I continued to smile at him with full confidence.
“Who said i am your Uncle?”
“I called you Uncle, so you are my Uncle, it’s that simple Uncleee.”
I saw his face getting softer, he stared at me, I continued looking into his eyes.
Some miracle happened, he turned the jeep, told those men, “Aata hu abhi (I’ll return in a while)”.
That day maybe God told him not to be bad, maybe he prevented him from commiting any sin.
He didn’t talk the whole way. As soon as I reached home, I somehow mummered, “Thanks”, and was about to run when he said, “Wait, I want to meet your mother”.
By that time Ma had got call from the school, was worried, came out hurriedly, and was surprised to see me with a stranger.
I told, “Ma, Uncle brought me home.”
He said, “Behenji aapki beti bahut budhimaan hai, aap Sabka bahut naam roshan karegi.(Sister, your daughter is very bright. She shall make you all proud)”. He said that and walked very fast and disappeared like wind.
I hugged my Ma and started sobbing uncontrollably. I sobbed with tears of relief. I sobbed breaking my artificial calmness, I sobbed repeating the lesson Ma always taught that never take lift from any stranger.
That day I escaped narrowly. God knows if all are that lucky or not.
Now when I recall that incidence, i link it with the holy effect of Swami Vivekanand in that place.
Swamiji had said, “Can we ever commit any sin? Impossible!’—such a faith is needed. Such a faith makes men of us, makes gods of us.”