Timely intervention

Recently a good friend of mine had mailed an unimaginably rare and enchanting picture of a male bird wiping the tears of its female mate with its tiny foot, its open beak displaying an unmistakable expression of compassion!

The fortunate photographer who captured this heart-warming picture would probably have waited all his life to get this dream shot. The mesmerising appeal of the picture triggered a philosophic wave in my mind making me adore the marvel of mother nature which has mercifully gifted this divine instinct to all living beings.

Life offers us ample scope to wipe the tears of some one in distress, but availing of these depends on one’s emotional fabric and inner response. Nevertheless it is these simple acts of kindness which have the potential to elevate us to heights that no wealth on earth can. Soon after I graduated in Engineering in the year 1956 I had a brief stint of working for M/s Walchand group of Industries as manager at their pipe manufacturing works in the industrial outskirts of Bezwada (now called Vijayawada) in Andhra Pradesh.

Every evening I would take a stroll over the 1.2 Km long imposing Prakasham Barrage across the magnificent river Krishna, whose construction was in progress at that time. That unforgettable evening while I was engrossed in enjoying the glory of the setting sun, its dazzling crimson rays playing with celestial splendour over the gentle ripples of the majestic Krishna, my eyes suddenly caught sight of a young man of about 20 years who seemed to be hesitatingly making several attempts to take a leap into the river from the edge of the barrage where the parapet was yet to be built.

Convinced that he was attempting suicide I moved fast and grabbing him firmly managed to pull him out of the ridge whereupon he collapsed weeping uncontrollably. Abject poverty and joblessness coupled with an unbearable guilt at his inability to provide medical help to save his ailing mother from the jaws of death had driven this young man Raju to take this extreme step.Fortunately that was the time our company was temporarily recruiting unskilled labour on daily wages.

As he had studied up to middle school, I managed to absorb him as an office boy whose job was to deliver daily dak to outside agencies. I felt happy that this young chap who was all set to throw away his life in desperation only a few days ago was now not only loving his life but cheerfully performing his duties with a vision of future sparkling in his eyes! He even started attending evening classes to pursue his studies further.

Shortly thereafter I had to leave the job there to join Bhilai steel plant. Later on I was immensely happy to hear from him about his getting a permanent job in the local post office. To this day, whenever I happen to travel by train on that route, I peep out of the railway bridge to take a fond look at that magnificent barrage which vividly brings back to me this unforgettable incident and fills me with the kind of joy that is beyond the reach of words.

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