An eye-opener

Hello Readers. Today I bring to you a recent incident that was not just an amazing experience but also an incredible eye-opener for me. I had never imagined myself to be in such a situation. 

This was 17th November 2022 and I had just left my office and was waiting for the elevator to go downstairs. As soon as I entered the elevator and turned around, a lady wearing black shades spoke to me:

Lady: Thank God you are here!!!

I was taken aback and just waited for the elevator to reach the Ground floor. Before we could reach it, she uttered, “Generally I feel very scared in the lift alone!” 

Now I got a little suspicious and turned around to see her. By now we had reached the ground floor, and the lift door was ajar for us to move out. It was then that she started searching for the door/opening ahead to walk out. I felt so embarrassed to have not understood her condition. I swiftly responded, “Ma’am, do you need help to go somewhere?” and immediately held her hand so that she doesn’t collide with something. 

She told me she’s just left her office and needed to go home. Unfortunately, I was in a little hurry to collect my daughter from a friend’s place where she spends her entire day after school and eagerly waits for me to pick her up in the evening. Knowing that my daughter was in safe hands, I had to assist this female was what my inner self advised. I share my conversation here for the time I was with her:

Me: Where’s your home and how do you travel? By metro or bus?

She: My home is in ****** and I travel by bus. The bus no. is 460. 

Me: Sorry, I do not have any idea about the bus stops in this area as I travel my way back home on the metro line. But I can enquire and safely drop you at the requisite bus stop. 

She: Thanks. 

I took permission to keep holding her hand to navigate her as it was getting dark and Delhi roads are not just suffocated with burgeoning traffic in late evening but can also be treacherous for people with disabilities. 

The conversation continues. 

She: Could you please take me to the campus exit and then we can go to the bus stop?

Me: Sure

And we started walking slowly towards the exit gate. 

Me: Where do you work?

She: I work in ***** and our office is on the 9th floor. Today, I left a little early as these days it has started becoming cold and I find it difficult to travel at night. 

Me: I understand. But if you don’t mind, how do you travel daily?

She: I’ve been living in Delhi for a long time now and I generally use my stick or someone’s help. 

(I was amazed to see her courage and how happy she was the way she explained her daily commute)

Me: How long does it take for you to reach home?

She: It would generally take two hours and I would reach around 8 P.M. 

Me: And what is the route like? Do you have to change buses? 

She: Yes, I need to change thrice. Fortunately, I board the next one from the same stop where I get dropped off by the previous bus

Me: Wow

By now we were at the exit of our office campus and I asked the security guard which way is the bus stop. The guard informed us that we had come towards the metro-line stop and now we would need to walk (approx. 300m) in the opposite direction to reach the bus stop. So after getting the requisite directions, we started walking, and here’s the next part of our conversation, 

Me: Why don’t you take the metro line as metro rails are more comfortable and safe?

She: Too many changes, too much walking, and climbing stairs up & down discourage me from using the metro line. 

Me: I get it

She: I’m sorry you had to go opposite the metro station to help me reach the bus stop. 

Me: You don’t need to be sorry for anything, I’m perfectly fine. 

She: Where are you from and where do you live? 

Me: I’m from Chandigarh and I live with my family in Dwarka. 

She: I’ve been living in Delhi for a long time (I don’t recall how long she informed me she’s been living in Delhi).

Me: That’s nice. 

Soon we reached the bus stop. Since we were on the service lane, we had to get on the main road to catch a bus at the bus stop. I asked her if she would like to walk a little farther to turn around for the bus stop or if she can climb up and down a few big steps to make a shortcut. She, being very brave, said, “I can easily climb up and down and this way potentially won’t end up missing my bus.” 

I thought to myself, what a strong-hearted girl she is!!!

Very soon we were standing within a crowd of people waiting for their respective buses. I happened to enquire a few people about the place she wanted to go. A few gentlemen guided us that we are at the wrong bus stop and we need to be on the other side of the highway to catch buses plying towards the said destination. They also guided us that there was a nearby pedestrian underpass for us to get to the other side of the highway. I asked the lady again to walk along for some more time to which she gladly accepted with all zeal and fervor. After a short walk, while we were at the right bus stop waiting for the bus to come when she told me that even if I see buses with numbers 460 or 540, she would be interested to board the first one whichever it is. I acknowledged the same and waited. 

In no time, bus no. 540 arrived and I asked the driver to slow down and bring the bus to a complete halt. The driver acknowledged and a policeman inside the bus came to hold her while I was helping her board the bus carefully. 

Before she was gone, she turned around and said, “Thank you and God bless you!!!” 

I had never experienced life the way I experienced it on this day. This was the time to introspect and realize that we may be sad about many things in our lives, but we need to be happy for all the good life brings to us. 

5 key lessons I learned from this incident:

a. No matter how many troubles life brings you, never lose hope, and never lose heart!

b. Life can sway from being best to worst, enjoy every moment!

c. Stop cribbing about problems; we don’t know the kind of problems people are facing every moment happily!

d. Skin is only a protective layer, strength lies in mind & heart!

e. Do your best for the people at their worst!

I look forward to interacting with you all again soon, till then take care!

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