THE old man at the puncture shop, looked at me with quiet patience as I stood at his shop. “Quick!” I shouted, “get the puncture done! I have a busy day ahead!”
The man gave me another patient look, and I noticed a quiet smile. He beckoned me to sit on the bench, next to all the old tires. “I have no time to sit” I shouted. “I have so many things to do!”
The old man smiled at me. “Sir” he said, “that’s why the puncture happened.” “You mean I was meant to be troubled by you?” I asked angrily. “No” said the old man, as he quietly put my tire on to the ground, “you were meant to rest awhile.” “I have other things to do then rest,” I 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 the puncture to take place.” “Who ever would want a puncture to take place?”
I asked sarcastically. The old man smiled as he looked into my face. “It is a theory I have developed sir, that the puncture is nature’s way of telling you to rest for a while.”
“Couldn’t nature use a better method?” I asked sarcastically, looking at my watch. “I am sure she tried,” said the old man, “but you never listened. Look at the way you are rushing to work. Look at you now, fretting and fuming! I am sure at this rate I may soon be repairing the puncture of the ambulance that will take you to the hospital, or the hearse taking you to your final resting place!”
I looked at the old man and noticed that though he talked, he worked with a quiet rhythm and efficiency. “You are a philosopher,” I said. “But I am listening.” “When you got your puncture”, said the old man, “you cursed your car, kicked your tires and then cried inside, didn’t you?”
“Yes” I admitted. “Then you saw my little shop, didn’t you?” “T’ was lucky your shop was nearby”. “We tire puncture wallahs are always nearby.
But did you realize that you were suddenly made to forcibly stop and take a rest?” “I guess that’s what is happening,” I said. “But my appointments, ….. my work…..”
“Can wait,” said the puncture man. “Nature realized you needed a break, and before your body could blow up, your tire did.” “You are talking as if the tire is a safety valve,” I said. The old man left the tube under his machine and came to me. “Have a cup of tea sir,” he said. “I do rightly think a puncture is a safety valve!”
I smiled and sipped the tea and very distinctly heard my heart give a sigh of relief, for getting some forced rest. I vowed that punctures would never be the same for me again. They would be a time to rest awhile..!
—Email: bobsbanter@gmail.com

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