An accident

An accident

A kind stranger came to our aid, in our time of need

Representative image/Credit: iStock images

It happened in the year 1992. The road was dark, there were no street lights and we were driving through a steady rain. My husband was a good driver, but when the dazzling headlights of an approaching car blinded him, he swerved suddenly and our crumbling Herald stopped with a thud to the sound of splintering glass. There was blood everywhere. We had hit the cement concrete island at the junction of four roads. 

I wriggled out of the jammed door and waved desperately at passing vehicles which sped past us, unconcerned. I saw my husband slumped on the steering wheel. Cold fear gripped me when this auto driver surfaced from nowhere. He saw the shattered windscreen, the blood. Without a word, he dragged my husband out of the car, hauled him into his autorickshaw and told me also to get in. He drove us straight to the CSI hospital nearby and headed for the casualty section where doctors and nurses took charge immediately. He was a picture of composure throughout. A perfect contrast to my agitation. 

“Do you need to contact anyone?” he asked.  He accompanied me to the nurses’ station and requested the use of a private phone. He left me sitting there while he went to check on the patient. He seemed at home in this hospital. 

“The bleeding has stopped and they have sutured his wound. He will be okay,” he said and added with a grin: “I know all the doctors in this place. Brought many patients in a worse condition.” 

I told him I needed someone with me in the hospital. If I called my neighbour, could he fetch him? “No problem” he answered. “Give me the address.”  “It is an apartment near Coles Park in Fraser Town,” I said, and gave him directions to reach our flat. 

He was back in half an hour with our good friend Suby and asked me if he could take leave now. It was past midnight. He had spent nearly three hours with us. I opened my purse to pay him when he shook his head and said, “I don’t take money from injured customers.”

I was taken aback and insisted that I had to compensate him for his time at least. But he was adamant. My money seemed a shallow recompense for his incredible services. 

“Then please give me your name and address,” I pleaded. “We will come and meet you to thank you in person.”  

After a moment’s hesitation, he scribbled on a piece of paper the single word “Bismillah.” There was no address. Later I found that it was the first word in the Qur’an. It meant “In the name of God.” 

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