SOMETHING I used to do every morning in Chicago, as I holidayed there, was to sit on the porch with a huge jug of coffee and shamelessly sip time away! I enjoyed the fresh air of the beginning of Fall but also kept an eye on the road outside, and was surprised to see a car slowing down, then grinding to a halt outside our gate.
I watched as a young lady got out and from her look of dismay I knew she had a puncture and walked across to the gate, “Can I help you?” I asked. She looked up, startled, and there was just a flicker of fear in her eyes. I smiled and looked at the puncture, “You got the tools?” She nodded and opened the dicky, handing me the tools, “I don’t know how to fix a tire!” she exclaimed, “And I need to pick up my kids from school!”
I took the tools and she watched fascinated. “You know about tires?” she asked. “Yes, a bit!” I smiled, “India’s not just about tigers and elephants, we also have cars!” She smiled, “India’s also about kindness!” she said, “It’s not often a stranger would go out of their way to help somebody! In fact when I saw you…” “You looked a bit scared!” I said, “But that’s something my beard seems to do, scare people a bit!”
“But not anymore!” said the young lady as I got up and gave the tire a quick kick to see it was fixed tight and then slowly lowered the car to the ground. “There you are!” I said, “You can go and pick up your kids and tell them an Indian nearly gave you a fright!”
“Oh no!” said the young lady, “I’ll tell them a kind gentleman came out of the way to help their silly mummy who didn’t know how to fix a tire! And you know something?” I looked at her as she looked at my hands which had got dirtied changing the tire, “You’ve told me something about India, that no guide books or web site could ever tell; that India is a land of kind people! I’d love to visit your country!”
I smiled, waved at her and watched her drive off. She turned again and waved to me, as I strolled back to my seat on the porch. I felt good, and grinned as my daughter walked over from inside the home, “It’s good being an ambassador for India!” I said and chuckled to myself.