The angel on wheels

We were on our way to the airport. It had been a very enjoyable holiday. My mind was full of the beautiful architecture and carvings we had seen. Suddenly I realized that we were not moving.  Our car had come to a halt. “Sir, there seems to be some engine trouble.” This was addressed to my dad. The driver then got out, opened the car bonnet and fiddled around with the innards.  After fifteen minutes of trying to start the car, he slammed the bonnet back into place. “Sir, there is some major trouble. This car will not be able to start.” Phew! Now what to do? In those days there were no mobile phones. We were on a deserted stretch of road leading to the airport. There were no buildings nearby. Even the traffic was sparse and comprised mainly of trucks and heavy carriers. The occasional car speeded by without so much as a glance at us. 

So there we were – a family with small kids - stranded in the middle of nowhere.  If we did not reach the airport on time, we would miss our flight.  That meant being stuck here for another day at least, even if we got bookings for the next flight or train. Next day my school began. Not just that, my dad would miss the flight next evening for his business trip abroad. The driver and my dad began discussing as to what the next step should be. Finally it was decided that he would go find a phone and try to get a replacement car.

Then we saw a car coming towards us. It was moving in the opposite direction to the one we wanted to go in, but we still decided to give it a shot. The person in the car seemed to notice our frantic waving, for the car slowed down and then stopped.  A well dressed man poked his head out. My dad informed him about our situation. Yes, the man had agreed to drop us to the airport. We piled into his car with our luggage and sighs of relief. As the car rolled towards the airport he chatted with us. It turned out that this man was on his way to his daughter’s birthday party, in the direction opposite to the airport. But after seeing a family stranded on the way he had decided to do whatever possible to help. His daughter and wife would surely understand once they came to know the cause of his lateness. After all, a birthday comes along every year. 
To this day I wonder what would have happened had this gentleman not come along and agreed to go out of his way to help us out.

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