I bet we all have our own different versions as to how angels would look like…and I wouldn’t be too wrong if I say that the most common version that pertains to the imagination of the vast majority are the angels with glowing white gowns, and beautiful kind, faces; and spanning shiny wings. Well, I admit that was my version as well…until the day my dad shared his very own version with me…and might I say I was quite surprised! It totally changed my whole perspective on that particular subject. And you would understand better if I shared the story myself.
It all began on an ordinary day, a day like any other (the exact date to which I can’t be specific due to a certain lapse of time…let’s just say a few years back!) It was here in Hyderabad, and my dad and I were supposed to pick up my little sister for the weekend holidays from her new boarding school in the evening after 7p.m, which was the only time the school authorities would allow her to leave the school campus. So after a little shopping for basic necessities (like clothes, cosmetics, etc.etc…i.e. for my dad…Lol) to pass the time, we took an auto and started on our way to the school, which I might add, is situated at the outskirts of the city. It was a really long drive, which was worsened by the heavy traffic, and we moved forward inch by inch, in insignificant paces! After what seemed like forever, with the heat blowing against our dust and grime covered faces, and wind-struck hair - a commonplace result of auto rides (well me at least…my dad has short hair, but you’ve probably guessed that much), we managed to reach outside of the city limits. The roads there were kind of desolate and the traffic, obviously, thinned out.
And here’s the best part!! As luck would have it, at the most desolate part of the road, our auto ran out of gas and wheezed to death on the side of the road!! Even though we laugh about it now, it was sooooo not funny back then. It was just me, my dad and the driver, standing at the side of the road in the darkness, only to be brought into contact with light when a car or two passed us by. I wasn’t scared, but I wasn’t comfortable either! Worst case scenario, we would need to walk on with all the baggage until we got an auto again. At least my dad was there. And as we stood there helpless, hoping for an auto to come by, my dad must’ve been praying, coz after like a matter of 3 or 4 minutes, an auto already carrying one passenger, stopped in front of us, maybe to ask what the matter was, or maybe he took pity on our plight coz it must’ve been quite a sight-two Chinese-looking people with a Telugu auto-driver, different faces but with the same helpless and mildly panic-stricken expressions standing on the side of the road with a non-functional auto parked awkwardly beside them, at around 9pm at night. Our auto driver spoke quickly with the other driver, and told him where we were headed, probably in Telugu or Hindi, coz my dad and I wouldn’t have been able to present our cases in those languages (we were that much fluent in those as we were in Finnish…lol).
And so, the other driver agreed to take us on board, but told us that we were not going his direction per se, and that he would take us as far as possible, so that we could take another auto from there. Gratefully, we hopped in, and a few miles later, we seemed to have entered a civilized world again, and the auto-driver directed us as to where we could find another auto. When we got off, my dad asked him how much he would charge us, but to our surprise, he denied any offer of money that my dad was trying to give him. He wouldn’t take a cent. By normal auto fares, the ride would’ve cost at least 40 bucks! As we stood there, still offering him the money for his generosity, he spoke to another driver who was standing nearby and told him where we wanted to go, and before we could force the money on him, at least for his generosity, or thank him, he quickly drove away empty handed.
My dad and I just exchanged a surprised glance, before we got into the other auto and went on our way. The ride to the school was short from there, but it was a bit late into the night, way past nine p.m, and so the main gate to the campus was already locked, with a gatekeeper standing nearby. As we stood there explaining to the gatekeeper why we’d come there, he told us to talk to the hostel warden before he would allow us inside. That was kind of impossible since the warden couldn’t pick up her damned phone which must’ve been ringing off the hook due to our constant redialing. A surprising thing she didn’t hear anything. And we couldn’t have possibly called my little sister who secretly kept a phone with her despite school rules forbidding cell phones, or she could kiss her new phone goodbye!! And as we were negotiating with the gatekeeper to the best of our abilities, wonders of wonders, a car came up to the gate from the main road…and guess who was in that car?? The vice principal of the school!! He stopped the car, rolled down the window, and spoke to us two strangers that were in unprogressive conversation with the gatekeeper.
We, then, presented our case to this treasure of a man, and he then gave us permission to enter the campus and proceed towards the hostel. We called my sister to inform her of our arrival, after which she persuaded her warden to allow her to leave. She got the required permission, (even though I was sure her warden was a bit skeptical as to how my sister would’ve known our arrival, as she was oblivious to the fact that she was in possession of a cell phone) and there we were, the three of us, united again, with the spirit of happy rejoicing…or maybe not, but we were certainly glad to get her out after our long and tedious journey.
With our mission accomplished, we then headed back to the guest house where we were staying, and none of the matters of the previous journey lingered in my head, up until the part where I heard my dad mention to one of his friends about how we had encountered three ‘Angels’ on our journey that particular night. I was caught off-guard as I pondered over the little details of that night, and was a bit confused. Angels?? Really? i tried to recall everything i could and nope, i was certain we did not see any heavenly visions with extraordinary bright light shining on us from the heavens above.
Then I heard my dad explain. The three ‘angels’ he was talking about were none other than the kind auto driver who had given us a ride for free, the vice principal of the school who had kindly allowed us to enter the campus so late at night, and the hostel warden, who gave permission to let my sister leave so late at night without so much as a complaint or a protest. I was amazed and awestruck by how my dad had viewed the whole thing, and it turned my whole perspective around. There I was, still holding on to my beliefs that ‘angels’ were heavenly creatures with wings that kept watch over us, and were confined to heaven, but what I never knew was that angels could also be normal people…people on earth that you encounter everyday, be it friends or family or even complete strangers-people who help you in little or significant amounts, show you little acts of kindness without expecting anything in return, and who stand by you in time of need!! How can we not regard these people as angels, for they truly watch over us in our most needed hours, because angels are supposed to do that, right??
So every time someone helps you in your time of need, be it just helping you up when you trip, or help you carry your bags that you couldn’t possibly carry alone, or even direct you the right way when you get lost, the smallest things that we often tend to take no notice of, remember to be thankful, privileged even, and realize that you were in the presence of ANGELS!!
“Little acts of kindness, little words of love,
Make the earth an Eden like the heaven above”