I was on a trip last week (October 14 – 16, 2016), to Tiruvannamalai, Pondicherry, Pichavaram and Chidambram from Bangalore. This is a short write up about the few mystery men I have met on the journey, who astonished me by their actions.
Tiruvannamalai is famous for its Annamalaiyar Temple, a diety of Lord Shiva. As we all know, the elderly people will be there on the footpath of any Indian temples to get alms from the ones who visit the temple. The old saint which we saw was not one of them, he was sitting in a stage inside the temple, he was sitting straight, like an army man, very calm but his words were bold. One of my friend wanted to take a photo of him, as I was the only native Tamil speaking guy in the group, I asked him, “Ayya, Can we take a photo of you?”(Ayya in Tamil is for respecting elder men).
He obliged, but he asked for money, we thought he was just asking us money for posing, I handed him a 10 Rupees note, he kept it on his bag and asked, “So, you want to take photos by giving just 10 Rupees?”. I was pretty embarrassed and gave him another 20 Rupees, to which he replied, “A meal costs 50 Rupees nowadays but you are giving 30 Rupees for photos?” I told him that I don’t have any more change and asked him it it is okay, he agreed too.
Sometimes we think that we are like Karna in charity but we fail to realize that even if it is a small contribution we do, it should help someone to solve at least their issue to fill their stomach once a day.
Care free teens, who cared for others
We reached Pondicherry on Saturday noon and went to Auro Beach directly in a quest to search accommodation near the shore. After 12-20 minutes of search, we couldn’t find any better places nearby and decided to rest on the beach for a while and discuss what we could do further. A group of teenagers, probably college or school students attracted my attention. They were playing in the sea like there is no tomorrow and they were throwing sand on each other. I thought they were just a group of youngsters who shouts in the public in the name of enjoyment but what happened next made me respect them.
There was a big log which came to the shore along with the tides, two teens were inside the water and shouted at the rest, everyone assembled too, all of a sudden, they started lifting the log, which was heavy.
None of us (including me, yes) gave a damn about the log which was in the water but those youngsters who seemed to be care free went inside and made their efforts to make sure the log was out of reach from the shore where people sit, relax and play.
Without any second thought or waiting foe someone to give them some credits for what they have done, those youngsters went to the sea, yet again, just to enjoy their time.
Google Map Auto Driver
We lost our way in Chidambram when we were coming back to Bangalore, we were in the middle of Chidambram city and was roaming everywhere to find the route to Bangalore. We stopped near an auto rikshaw stand, I asked an auto wala to help us with the route to reach Salem (from where we already knew the route to Bangalore) .
He said, “Go straight, take a right near the first signal you come across, and take another right, take a left which connects near the police station, from there go straight, you will find a BSNL tower, from where you have to take Buvanagiri road, which leads to Viruthachalam road, after few kilometers you can reach Salem Highway. Are you clear? Shall I leave? Bye bye”.
Though it took some time for us to process the information he provided, we slowly progressed in the route which he suggested, we had google maps too, just to crosscheck if he was right. We were thinking about the guy whenever we crossed the landmarks he told us about. When we reached the Salem Highway, we had already crossed 60 Kilometers, yes, 60 damn kilometers just with 30 seconds navigation of an autowala.
I still couldn’t believe how he had done that, may be with the years of practice. He didn’t even wait for us to thank him for the directions he gave us, he came, he told us the directions and he left with a smile, without any expectations.
I realized that life is not always about expecting someone to acknowledge our efforts, we are here to do what we can, once done, we leave the place so that we can help someone else in the same way we can.
These mystery men I have seen had really made me change a small perspective about life. We can be a mystery in someone else’s life too, in a good way.