It was one of those lovely Christmas nights. December 22nd, About 8.50 pm on the clock. We were ecstatic by a little adventure. Our Carol Group had successfully made the customers at The Chai Bar sing carols. After dropping off our team members, my brother Abhishek and I were reveling in some wonderful memories that we had been able to create during the week. We had been visiting our friends, singing carols to them and sharing with them the Message of Love, the Message of Christmas. What we didn’t realize was that our theory of love towards people was to be tested in the next few minutes.
We were almost half a kilometer from our house when we spotted something unusual. A man was lying upside down in the middle of the street. Another man was standing beside him talking over phone. That night, the streets lights on Bicholi Hapsi Road weren’t working. Any car passing this scene would have to be slower and move towards the right to be able to prevent from running over the two. We stopped without thinking. Abhishek got out of the car. His first question: is he drunk? Lets drag him on the side of the road, dude. The answer: No he has been hit by a car. I am a pedestrian calling my friends to help this injured man. Next thing Abhishek and I turned the man over. The other half of his face was bloody. We spotted blood on the road by his side now. He was breathing heavily. Hey, help us load him in the car. We can rush him to the hospital, I thought out loud what Abhishek was also thinking.
The pedestrian and Abhishek tried to lift him up. They couldn’t, so they called for help. In seconds I saw a bunch of men emerging from nowhere. Where were these men before? If they saw this injured guy, why didn’t they come for help sooner? Within seconds, he was carried on the backseat of the car. Can anyone come with us?- Abhishek asked. Nobody else but the pedestrian agreed. Abhishek asked me to go home and inform our parents. I walked home, he drove the man to the hospital. While driving, the reality of the situation hit him for the first time. What if they don’t admit him? What if they think I hit him? What if this stranger and I are framed in this case? And so Abhishek decided to call his friend Mr Soni- the additional superintendent of the police.
I believe it was God’s grace that the ASP was in the vicinity and sent a cop ahead of him to the hospital. In the meantime, my brother and the pedestrian struggled to get the hospital staff to help the man off the car and on the stretcher. It took six ward-boys to do the job. Next thing, Abhishek found himself shouting at almost every one in the hospital since they refused to admit the ‘accident case’. This, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling that any injured person be admitted without questions. It was only when the cop arrived, than the authorities finally sent the man to the ICU. The ASP came in the next few minutes. Only a night before, our carol team had sung “Joy to the world, the Lord is come” in his house. He heard Abhishek’s story patiently and then after a few questions sent him and the pedestrian home.
What happened next were a series of strange coincidences that I would always remember for the rest of my life. First, before we stopped the car, some four cars had passed by without stopping. Two, the pedestrian shared his story. What prompted HIM to help that man? It turned out that the guy had lost his closest friend in a road accident a year ago. He was riding the bike, his friend sat behind. They were hit by a car. Both fell down, were seriously injured and kept writhing in pain for what seemed to be eternity. By the time their friends arrived for help, his friend was on the verge of breathing some of his last minutes. Four hours later, he died.
“I couldn’t leave that man on the road at that moment. I can’t leave any man on the road just like that,” he concluded. Isn’t it amazing that nothing ever really moves us unless it is related to a personal tragedy? Abhishek didn’t know what to say but a thanks. Both the boys had re-learnt the value of a human life that night. As Abhishek saw the man disappear in his apartment, he realized he had forgotten to ask his name. Just when he got a call from the ASP informing that the injured man was from the same colony where we live. Not immediate but he still was our neighbor. He had shifted with his family here a few months ago.
Abhishek and I still keep thinking over the whole thing. We can’t help recall the story of the Good Samaritan narrated by Jesus as a parable in the Bible. A man was looted by dacoits on the way to Jericho. He was lying on the road, crying in pain. Many respected people passed by him- priest, affluent man. Nobody helped him. But a common man from Samaria – a nation that was considered as heathen and cursed – finally took him to the hospital.
For both of us, what we decided to do without thinking shall remain our report card of practicing what we preached. Incidentally, the Bible also teaches to “Love your neighbor”. That man turned out to be our neighbor too. I will always believe that if you decide to help and do good, the rest of the things just work on their own.
As I read reports of the Delhi Gang Rape everyday and get upset, the only thing that keeps me going was the efforts of those three Good Samaritans who had brought her to the hospital. In this unthinking cruel world, whenever I stretch my hand to do good, I will always remember the examples of these three people and that unknown pedestrian. In 2013, I want to keep doing good with much more confidence. Pledge with me. You never know, you might end up protecting a girl or saving a life.