A recent incident that occurred on an otherwise mundane Tuesday morning has reaffirmed my belief that there are not only good but also GREAT Samaritans roaming among us . The ‘powers-that-be’ probably decided that it was time I had an encounter with one of them.
So here I was on the bus with all my tennis gear, headed for my weekly Tuesday two hour tennis session with a bunch of energetic and talented ladies. My tennis racquet swung over one shoulder, my sling handbag over the other, slightly exhausting with the weight of the tennis balls, a change of clothes and water bottle it contained and also simultaneously trying to not spill the coffee-to-go cup I was clutching in both hands. Anyone who has ever lived in or visited any European city will attest to the fact that a bus ride here is a joy ride equivalent to the mental zen attained in a yoga session in comparison to a DTC bus in Delhi, for example.
The Sports center I was headed for is a good hour away from my neighbourhood which meant I had to change buses at a particular stop halfway and then continue. With not much else to do on the journey except listen to music on my phone and surf the various news and social media apps which by now has become the new age equivalent of ‘reading the morning newspaper’ (and just as essential a task), I was very quickly engrossed in this morning ritual when I suddenly looked up and realised that I had missed the stop I had to change buses at and we were now at the next stop. Gripped with a sudden panic and swinging into action – also from the fear of not knowing this neighbourhood very well and public transport options that may or may not connect me to my onward journey – I grabbed my handbag and my phone and jumped off the bus – only to realise a bit too late that I had left my tennis racquet in the bus which was now already speeding away! OH GOD. NO. This can’t be happening to me!
Just like your life is supposed to flash before your eyes on your deathbed, a deep sense of dread took over and my thoughts had raced to how I would certainly not be spending another fortune on a good racquet anytime soon, how this may well be the end for the time being of playing the game I had just taken up again after so many years and which I was starting to love – again. Perhaps this was a sign? Maybe I rushed into this whole playing- tennis -after- 7 -years- again thing and it just wasn’t meant to be and I should just perhaps go to that Swimming Center around the corner from the house and swim instead. With all these dejected, panic-stricken thoughts erupting like a volcano in my head, I was running towards the next bus stop – in a feeble attempt to chase the bus which I knew very well was an impossible task, but the need to do something – ANYthing to at least try to retrieve my brand new Wilson racquet had taken over.
Just as I had given up and slowed from a run to a walk and had taken out my phone to text my husband and inform him of this – my very tragic fate (to my mind at least), I was about to turn a corner, my mind and thumbs buried in my phone when the unthinkable happened. There appeared my smiling knight in shining armour – the heaven-sent Good , no, GREAT Samaritan, walking towards me holding my beloved racquet in his hands and a big smile on his face!! What!! How???
I stopped abruptly with my mouth open in disbelief and could only stare, stupefied while this man came towards me, grinning from ear to ear, extended his hands that clutched my racquet and said, ‘ Here you go.’ Then some flicker of recognition enlightened my senses – This man was on my bus and I had noticed him get on at one of the stops. He had actually been so unimaginably kind as to get off at the next stop and come back towards me to return my racquet?? WOW. Mind. Blown.
With trembling, excited hands I accepted from him, the object of my earlier upset which was now the object of the intense happiness and relief that had washed over me. And this GREAT , wonderful, smiling Samaritan – I could have jumped up and hugged him to show him how much this kind gesture had meant to me. ‘Thank you so very much!!‘ I cried in German and I suspect I saw his grin widen if that is possible, probably amused at my expense but also happy for having been the man of the hour! And what’s more, I even managed to make it to my tennis session in time!
And then, just like that, he disappeared in the direction he came from. Now, I am not exactly a religious person and nor am I a complete atheist. But, I do believe in some power out there that has to explain such incidents and such miracles that have the power to turn your day around from the worst to the best in seconds!
Whoever this heaven-sent, miracle worker was – I hope he always has reason to wear that smile and I do hope we have many many more such people among us to teach us and to prove to all humanity that if we really want to, we can light up each others lives – in the best, most awe-inspiring ways.