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My father is a good storyteller as far as he thinks and somehow I agree with him at this point .Whenever he is in good mood he tells stories of his struggle and experiences. So here is one of those stories , of which my mother and I was also a part. I am the younger child of the two of us in my family so during our childhood days, due to some circumstances, I got more opportunity to stay with our parents rather than my elder sister.

 I was barely a year old when the three of us(my parents and I)were travelling from Chapra (Bihar) to Banaras (Uttar Pradesh) by train. The most interesting thing about travelling by a train in India is, you never get bored. Anyhow you will find someone to talk to and the journey becomes more interesting, finally you end up making friends. If not now, but atleast it used to happen during those days.

This entire scenario suits my father very well, he also loves talking to new people. That day also he came across a jolly guy, to talk to in the train and while talking to him he got to know that the person belonged to the same village where one of our relatives lived.

When the train arrived at BANARAS junction, we heard that a curfew was applied in that city because of some Riot. We had to change the train in Banaras, but because of the curfew every train was cancelled from that station. Now my father’s major concern was  to find a safe place for me and my mother. He took us to a waiting room of the station, but soon he realized that the place was not safe and there were not enough eatables available. Suddenly, that person who was talking to my father in the train emerged from somewhere and asked my father to come with him along with me and my mother.

At first,my father hesitated like anyone  else would, as how could he trust someone who was almost a stranger to us, but after enough pressings by him, my father agreed to go with him, also there was no other option available. That person took us to a hotel cum lodge, where he made all the arrangements for our staying, following which , he asked my father to come with him to arrange some food and supple for me and my mother. Though my father went with him, but both my parents shared some unspoken fears in both their hearts. Few hours later when he didn’t come back, my mother got more worried and she started thinking of the reasons which could be responsible for him getting late , that whether or not everything is alright with him.

THANK GOD “Savdhaan India” kind of series was not telecasted at that time,otherwise there were chances that my mother would think about murder, kidnapping and many other criminal possibilities.

Well let’s get back to the story, In the evening when my father came back to the hotel,  my mother started asking all kind of questions mixed with emotions of fear and relaxation on seeing him safe, as to ‘what kept him away for so long? Was everything alright? Etc. My father made her relax and told her about that person, that he was a student leader and they went to his hostel and there he met many of his friends.

On the very next morning when my father got to know that the curfew was over and trains have started over again at their set schedule, from a hotel staff, he decided to check out from the hotel. Before that he wanted to meet that person and thank him for whatever he had done for us in such a critical situation, but  he could not do so, because my father forgot to take his hostel phone number, so he instead went to his hostel, only to find that he had already left for some urgent work.

Later ,when my father went to the reception to clear the bills, the receptionist informed him that all the bills were already paid by a person named Satish (he was the one who helped us) and he left a note for my parents, in which he had written, that it was really nice meeting us  and there was no need for a thank you, as he had helped his DIDI (elder sister) only (addressing my mother as his didi) . If there would have been  any other person in our place then also he would have done the same for them.

After reading it, a smile emerged from  my parents facees and they were genuinely thankful to that person for helping us with such generosity

So this is the story which I wanted to share, I was so young at that time, that  I do not possess any memory of that incident,but whenever my father tells this story to us or anyone else, that smile still appears  in his face and he blesses him every time all over again.

Here, I want to say thank you to that person who appeared like an angel to help us. And I could not help but wish, if social media and mobile phones were available at that time also ,then we could have atleast got a chance to say thank you to him. So here I plead to all of you  , that if you ever get a chance to help a person in need, please do not hesitate to do so, as you never know when you become the reason of someone’s smile and an immortal part of their good memories.

Smriti Singh
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