It was June of 2006 in Delhi, temperature touching 44 degrees Celsius, when Swarna met an angel. Swarna worked in a software company at that time and her husband, Uphaar, also worked in the same company. They relocated to a new place with bare minimum things in their hands and all other belongings were with Movers and packers and were yet to arrive to them. It was a new project, new colleagues and new place. The project was very demanding. They would sign in at 9 AM and generally left office by 10:30 PM or even late. They used to take an office cab to get back home and that would take another 90 minutes at least. In this cab they met other folks from the company and this was a new friend circle they had.
While returning in the cab folks would share their stories, jokes, social issues and would sing and laugh to revive themselves. It was a good time. The roads were bumpy sometimes and journey was long but they didn’t mind it. One day, on one speed breaker the cab jumped and Uphaar felt strong vomiting sensation. He controlled it somehow and there was another bump and this time Uphaar could not control it and puked. Someone offered water to him. They were just 15 minutes away from office and it was 11 PM. Uphaar closed his eyes and tried to relax and everyone started talking slowly and there came another speed breaker and this time again Uphaar puked. Now everyone started feeling anxious about what was happening to Uphaar. They were half the way and Uphaar was constantly puking on every bump. They all suggested to take him to hospital but Uphaar said “NO, it’s just the heat probably. I will be fine.”
Swarna was getting sweaty and frightened. She had a hint why Uphaar is not willing to go to hospital. It was a new place and they were living in a home without furniture, bike, A/C and cookwares. They were expecting the belongings to reach them anytime and project was demanding. In such situation how will she manage a new thing, his hospitalization ? He had to pretend that he will be fine until he finds a way out of this situation. He posed a brave and calm face and Swarna had to respect this. The very idea of going to hospital was making Uphaar more uneasy so she did not insist. She held his hand and was thinking if it is the heat problem then what she can do for this? They only have fan at their home and it was too hot. They also don’t have fridge with them to have cold water…WHAT TO DO was a question constantly hammering her. All these cab folks are new acquaintances, just 4 days before she had met them. How to ask them for any help? Her heart was sinking and she wished all these new faces to stay with her all night. It seemed to be most dreadful night of her life.
Here came her angel, Preeti. She was high in office hierarchy and was a local married woman. She offered Swarna “You two stay at my place tonight. If there is any emergency, I know people and places.” Uphaar looked so exhausted by frequent vomiting and his body temperature had started elevating. Swarna could not say NO to this offer.
By mid night they reached Preeti’s home. Preeti spoke to her husband and within no time she made them move into their bedroom and switched on A/C. She gave a tablet to Uphaar and left a cold water bottle on the side stool. That night, Preeti and her husband slept in their drawing room. Uphaar slept with exhaustion and may be it was also the effect of the medicine. Swarna kept lying in the bed. She was replaying the cab journey in her mind again and again. Also she was thinking about this relocation and new place. She was praying for some magic. She wished if it was a bad dream and nothing of this happened in reality. Because if it did happen in real than she had the coming day to face it. Earlier the night looked dreadful and now the next day seemed to be horrible. She was in tears when Preeti said in a very caring way “Swarna if you need anything please call me anytime.” Swarna replied OK.
At that moment Swarna felt as if Preeti was her holy angel. Preeti just saved her. Preeti made her escape through the most dreadful night of her life. Preeti gave a home to her, which Swarna needed the most tonight. She saw Preeti in new light. Preeti, whom she had known as a competent manager, fun loving person and a food lover – is so loving and compassionate about others. She was not a close friend yet she extended her empathy and care to Swarna, almost a stranger. Swarna felt so secure at that moment that her mind started working positive. She decided to fly back to Uphaar’s home town and leave Uphaar in his parents care and come back. Now, she had a plan for next day and all the worries seemed to say bye to her. Swarna could not even say thanks to Preeti for all her care. She thought she would thank her next morning.
Next morning Uphaar was in fever and there was no improvement in his health though he slept well in the night. Uphaar turned to Swarna and said “I would like to go to my parent’s place and would handle the movers and packers guy on phone from there.” Preeti said “If that is what you want then Okay, else you may stay here till you are fit.” Swarna had thought that she would say thanks to Preeti next morning but at this moment she realized that “Thank you” is such a small word for what all Preeti was offering. Swarna was confused, she did not have words to express herself. She was in tears and looking down. Uphaar said “Thank you Preeti.”
It was an incident that made Swarna to be more mindful of those around her who are compassionate, and sometimes it is not possible to return the favors directly. She promised herself to be more caring for the people around and extend the love and care that she received to someone in need.
See you again 🙂