RAJ’S breakfast was burnt! and the coffee tasted like sludge. Furious, he got into his car to drive to work, and a few kilometres down the road, heard the loud sound of a bang.
The old man at the puncture shop, looked at Raj with quiet patience, “Quick!” shouted Raj, “get the puncture done! I have a busy day ahead!” The man gave Raj a mile, and beckoned him to sit on the bench, next to some old tires. “I have no time to sit” Raj shouted. “I have so many things to do!”
The old man smiled at me. “Sir” he said, “that’s why the puncture happened! You were meant to rest awhile!” “I have other things to do than rest,” Raj said. “I didn’t need this puncture.”
“Sir!”, said the old man, “I have repaired punctures throughout my life, and have never seen anyone who wanted a puncture to take place.” “Whoever would want a puncture to take place?” Raj asked sarcastically. The old man smiled as he looked into Raj’s face, “It is a theory I have developed sir, that a puncture is nature’s way of saying you need a break!”
“Couldn’t nature use a better method?” Raj whispered angrily looking at my watch. “I am sure she tried,” said the old man, “but did you ever listen? Look at how you are rushing to work. Look at how you are fretting and fuming! I am sure at this rate I may soon be repairing the puncture of the ambulance taking you to the hospital, or the hearse carrying you to the cemetery!”
Raj looked at the old man and noticed that though he talked, he worked with a quiet rhythm and efficiency. “You are a philosopher,” Raj mused, “But I’m listening.” “When you got your puncture”, said the old man, “you cursed your car, kicked your tires and then cried inside with frustration?”
“Yes” Raj admitted. “Then you saw my little shop?” “I was lucky your shop was nearby”. “We puncture wallahs are always nearby. But did you realize you were suddenly made to forcibly stop and take a rest?”
“I guess that’s what is happening,” Raj said. “But what about my appointments? My work?”
“Can wait,” said the puncture man. “Nature realized you needed a break, and before your body blew up, your tire did.”
The old man left the tube in the tub of water and came to Raj. “Have a cup of tea sir,” he said. “I do rightly think that whenever you are forced to get delayed, either a puncture, or having to take shelter without an umbrella, or even a flu and a few days in bed, is nature’s safety valve!”
Raj smiled, sipped the tea and very distinctly heard his heart give a sigh of relief in getting some forced rest, as he watched the philosopher tire repair man at work! He smiled as he thought , that even a repair job was a time to rejuvenate..!
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