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A long rope to safety

A long rope to safety

The truck and the tempo drivers conversed in the local language, Telugu, and soon enough, a rope surfaced from the truck. My husband paid liberally for the product, which was tied securely to a hook behind the tempo and to the car bumper.

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Last Updated : 04 May 2024, 01:25 IST
Last Updated : 04 May 2024, 01:25 IST
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More than a decade ago, our family set out to the pilgrimage place of Mantralaya in our old Maruti 800 car, leaving behind our sedan, an unwise choice at the outset, for a journey of around 330 kilometres on uncertain roads. The visit was excellent, and we left the place for our home town in a relaxed mood. It was my husband, my daughter Rukma, and I in the car with me behind the wheel. We left early in the evening after tea so that we could reach base by dinner time. The journey was along hot and dry roads with no signs of weather impediments. After a couple of hours, our journey took us along a narrow, uneven road that stretched for around 10 km. All was well for a while until the road narrowed down so much that we had to partly drive on the mud pathway to avoid hitting oncoming vehicles. And then it happened. 

The vehicle started sputtering and jerking, and it soon turned into a horseback ride. I continued to drive bravely as it was sunset time and we were passing through a lonely stretch. The car gave a final splutter and stopped even as I managed to steer it off the road. My husband jumped off and launched an inspection. A steady oil trail behind us revealed leakage in the oil tank! A truck passed by, missing us by a hair’s breadth. We vented our silent anger at the careless speed of the truck driver. It was soon dusk, and our anxiety grew. Just then, a tempo arrived, carrying a load of passengers. We hailed the driver who managed to stop, as he was at a slow pace. He expressed concern but was unable to help as he needed a rope to tug us along, which he had not. Suddenly, we gaped incredulously as we saw the truck slowly reversing towards us. 

The truck and the tempo drivers conversed in the local language, Telugu, and soon enough, a rope surfaced from the truck. My husband paid liberally for the product, which was tied securely to a hook behind the tempo and to the car bumper. My husband and daughter transferred themselves to the tempo, which made quite a generous space for the duo. I continued behind the wheel, steering it now and then as the tempo tugged the car along. It was past 8 pm as the kind tempo driver tugged the car to the nearest garage and bid us goodbye. A few notes exchanged seemed immaterial compared to the enormous help that both the divers had lent to an elderly couple and their daughter on a lonely road at dusk. Kudos to such people who act as saviours! Our visit to the venerable saint had indeed conferred a blessing.

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