“It was my day to fly home to Kolkata after nearly ten months alone in Bengaluru. Little did I know that the excitement I woke up with would soon fizzle out.
As I stepped outside my door with a pile of backpack, trolley and handbags, a surprisingly hot morning sun offered me a bitter welcome. The plan was to attend office, pull an early day and straightaway head to the airport for the late night flight. For those who are unaware, Bengaluru airport is around 47 km away from my place. People in Bengaluru usually joke about the Bengaluru airport being closer to Hyderabad than the city itself.
My home to office is arguably walking distance, which completes my daily quota of shedding a few calories. But today was a different day. I desperately needed an auto to help me reach my workplace armed with my baggage. Also, I had a crepe bandage wrapped around my right hand, thanks to persistent pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.
As minutes drew close to an hour, I was trying to book an auto and failing. Auto-drivers in my area are quite infamous for dodging requests be it in person or through apps. I was not a new victim.
Clueless, I picked up the luggage with my cramping hand and started walking, with the feeble hope of meeting some considerate auto-driver on my way. I was to meet with sheer disappointment as one after another auto-driver replied with a curt Illa (No) to my desperate pleas.
I was almost on the verge of a breakdown as the pain only worsened and the load was becoming heavier by the second. Little did I know that a man would be my Messiah on the morning of Women’s Day.
Struggling, I somehow walked on with an awkward gait. Suddenly, someone asked from behind, “You need help, Ma?”
I turned around to find a grey-haired man sporting a soothing smile atop a scooter. He looked around sixty. He again smiled at me and offered me a lift. It was like a blessing from the blue for me. He picked up my luggage and managed to fit everything in the leg space. As I settled in the pillion seat, he set off and soon dropped me at my destination.
“I saw you struggling to walk. I figured you needed help,” he smilingly said as I alighted.
Amid my million ‘thank you’-s, he kept on smiling the same way. Finally, he wished, “Happy Women’s Day, Ma,” and scooted away. “
– Sayantani Nath