Saturday, July 2, 2011

The unexpected help

Selvam slowed down his auto (three-wheeler) near the bus stand. His duty would be over in another hour at 9pm and he will have to hand over the auto to the owner. He wished to drive for longer hours but that would be possible only if he had his own vehicle. He has been saving but the amount is still inadequate even for getting a permit. Luckily he had no big family to support except for his mother. He knew car driving but preferred to run the auto. If he drove car the tourist companies would insist on his going out of station almost 20 days in a month. This he did not want as he could not leave his mom alone.
It was dark and drizzling. There were a few people waiting for the bus. One young girl who was also waiting asked Selvam who stopped the vehicle by her side expectantly “How much would you demand for taking me to Adyar circle?”
“100Rs. ma’am” he said politely
“That is too much, I can pay 70Rs.Please come” she said
“Petrol prices have gone up, ma’am.One cannot afford at 70Rs.Make it 90Rs” he said
“No, I cannot also afford. Maximum I can pay Rs80.That is reasonable. I would have normally waited for the bus but my baby would be waiting at the crèche” she pleaded.
Selvam did not agree thinking due to urgency she would relent after a few minutes. It was a war of nerves and his experience showed that passengers often blink their eyes first under pressure.
It was then a white Maruti Omni screeched to a halt close to the young woman. The sliding door opened and a young man pulled her inside. She screamed and resisted. The other waiting passengers in the bus stand were standing numb in shock at this brazen audacity.Selvam who was a little away in the front turned to see she was almost dragged inside the car. She was wailing loud asking for help.
Her words that her baby was waiting in crèche came to Selvam’s mind. He knew he had no time but to rush to her help. Without a second thought and unmindful of the consequences and in a split second he drove his auto in front of the vehicle and collided head on with Omni that was about to start. Nothing mattered to him then save rescuing the woman from the ruffians. The front wheel of the auto got entangled under the bonnet and the car could not move. The three young men jumped out of the vehicle and tried to escape. One was caught by the passengers. The other two managed to give the slip.
The auto was freed from the car and luckily except for a dent on the bumper of the front wheel there was no serious damage, He offered to take the trembling lady in his auto to her place that was readily accepted. She thanked him profusely for saving her and at the end of journey offered him Rs100 but he took only Rs.80. It is another matter that she could arrange a loan through her husband from his bank for buying an auto and that she gave him a tidy sum as a token of gratitude.
The ways of life are strange indeed. We never know from where the much needed help would come to us. Surprisingly they come sometimes from totally unexpected quarters from people whom we ignore, haggle with, or even fight. In this case there was mutual help from two people who wrangled over ten rupees.


  1. autowalla's too are human beings.. but somehow i have this unreasonable prejudice that chennai auto drivers are brazenly rude..maybe this story should change my views.. thanks KPSir..

  2. he shd be some other state auto driver i guess!!! Good one!!

  3. hmmmmm......
    for every one that refuse to help, every once in a while people come through and come to the rescue.

    good story.
    have a great weekend....

    Still don't see it, but its ok, it is what it is.


  4. Very rarely we come across auto drivers with good manners in Chennai, Partha Sir! I like this one!

  5. Ehem..
    To me this one sounds like a film story (there is a Rajinikant starrer movie ha?)….
    i mean not very often we see such an act by auto vaalas… they are actly notorious for such incidents…

  6. This sounds like a scene from Rajni movie :-)
    But I have come across such nice auto drivers in my life.

  7. woww..wht a tribute to humanity..! amazing write as usual..its very hard to find such kind of ppl dese days..!!!

  8. A good story. The presence of mind of the Selvam is appreciated. Agreed there are many auto drivers who would go put of their way to help. Based on my experience with Auto Drivers( bangalore), i think they are considerate and some good souls too.