Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sixty Seconds

It is a hot summer day. The sun is blazing in all its glory. Traffic on the roads is heavy. A lethal combination; sweat, heat and the traffic…. Situation fit for angry outbursts and decreased patience. In the midst of all this, a car breaks down. You are right behind it and curse under your breath, because you will miss the green light as you try to back off from the tail end of the broken down car.

While you battle it out with the steering wheel, the driver of the broken down vehicle alights. He is old. He looks almost one hundred years old. From the passenger side, his spouse gets off. She also looks atleast a hundred years old.

They are stuck in the middle of this extremely busy intersection with a huge car, (a MUV), perspiring, wondering what to do. Cars pass them by, some honking at the interruption, some oblivious to their plight, most knowing that they need help, yet, simply driving away.

As you sit in the air-conditioned comfort of your car wondering what could be done to help them, you see a young man on a scooter race towards the zebra crossing just as the light turns red. He parks his scooter, gets off and walks towards the couple. Conversation ensues and soon the old gentleman is behind the wheel, while this young man pushes the car, deftly maneuvering it to the side of the road.

The activity takes a little over a minute. As the couple thanks him, the young man runs to his scooter and waits for the traffic signal to turn green again.

One minute of a little sweat to help someone in need. That is all it takes. One minute. Sixty seconds.

How many of us would have risen to the occasion, like the young surd did, on that hot and humid August afternoon in the heart of the Capital?
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