Running GOOD

Some call it the manifestation of the Universe. Some others call it Karma. I am talking about the manifestation of good, furthermore, heartwarming goodness that comes your way unknown to you. When you are left wondering, what have you done to deserve this goodness? Overwhelmed by the beauty of the gestures, you can only settle, the moment you accept them as a blessing.

Do not interpret me wrong. I am not trying to white-wash the world. I have seen terrible things, gone through terrible times and have been friends with evil people, who pretend to be good. But that did not make me a bitter person. That did not make me go around like a stupid teen singing, ‘I AM BAD’. It only helped me understand the disability of some people, who can only pretend to be good, but can never be.

Through all this, I have learnt to read good from bad. Learnt to repel bad people, so that they leave themselves. Learnt, how to give out good, receive well, accept good and in unfortunate cases, how to respond to bad. By response to bad, I don’t mean flying out with a sword. I just mean, accepting that there is both good and bad in the world, and as long as we live in this world, we will have to deal with both. I cannot stop anything bad happening to me, but I can limit it from having a control over me.

I have an extra box fit to my bike, which is called a pannier. For ease we call it a tail-box, for fun some call it a ‘pizza delivery’ box. I fill this box with tools, spare parts and emergency medical kit. As I travel light, I am very particular of the list of items I carry and the list is to be maintained to the T.

But during the ride whenever I come across a rider struggling or needing a spare part, I don’t think twice to offer what I have. Yes, I might need it in the future. But that thought does not strike at the time, when I see someone else in the need. Knowing the terrain of Laddakh and well the plight of Indian roads, you can imagine the wear and tear the bike would be going through. And spares are of course a necessity. And when I give away my spares, which I have been carrying for more than 5000km with me, I don’t feel like a hero. The only thought is that, the other person needs it. These people are complete strangers. I don’t know them, neither remember them. Which is very unlikely of me, I am really good at remembering faces and events. But I can never remember the people I helped.

Through all these, there is a song that goes on in my heart and it continues. And I forgot everyone else, making my ride a SOLO journey.

But on the day I was reaching Leh city, the song stopped. There was grief that I didn’t know of, nor could understand. It might be the thought that Leh is the final point, and from there, it’s only a return. It might be the dry desert. I couldn’t see much green around. I don’t know and still cannot understand.

And I took the same heart into a small café. Where I sat down, and ordered for a coffee. I was trying to connect to the Wi-Fi of the café to book a stay for the night. But it was too slow, and wasn’t giving me any result. Somehow I hated looking at my phone too.

There were a couple of guys sitting on the next table, who started asking me questions. I answered as briefly as I could. One of them was apparently covering the Himalayan Odyssey; the other was his side kick. The guy wanted to take my interview and I refused. I told them “I am too dehydrated and disheartened to smile at a camera”. For which his response was, “Think of it, you don’t come across a man like me every day”. I looked at him; there was no halo around his head. I stopped acknowledging their presence.

Then another man walked up to me. He said he needed half of my table. I replied, lifelessly, “You can take the whole, I will move to another table”. He told me that he heard me speak to the other guys and would not bother me, if it wasn’t important. Also, that he understands that I am tired and he would not want me to move.

He was making a movie. The day before, he shot something on the table I was sitting at, which didn’t turn out well. So he returned to shoot it again. As he promised, I didn’t have to move, and he could retake the shot. He finished the shot and thanked me. In return, I apologized for not being polite.

And he replied, “I understand you.”

I looked at his face for a few seconds. We then got talking over pita and hummus. I told him that I reached Leh on one of those days when the internet is not working. I can’t book a place online and my heart seems to have given up on me, that I can’t find the energy to go search for one.

He heard me and said, “I understand” again.

Then he got up, and said, “wait right here, I might take some time, but wait right here”

Well, I wasn’t going anywhere either. I was just sitting there, with no hopes of him returning. I gave up, on my phone. Looking at nothing, reading nothing, talking to no one. I was just sitting there.

He returned, may be after 20 minutes, I can’t say.

He then told me that he found a place for me. I was skeptic, but still chose to follow him. He lead me to a Laddakhi homestay. So when he was gone, he checked in two other places, before he found this one. And bargained with the owner for me too. I assume, he understood my concern for safety as well. So he found this place apt. The owner of this place had 5 daughters, and one of them is my friend now.

He introduced me to the owner, helped me unload my bike. Then asked me if I was feeling better. Once I said I am feeling better, he smiled and bid me bye. I never saw him again.

And now I wonder, if angels exist.

You might have thought of someone, this way

Someone else might have thought of you, this way

And the GOOD RUNS, its own way.





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