Thrown off the train..!

WOMAN resists robber on train,” read the headlines in the country’s largest daily, ‘and falls onto tracks!’ I read on about fifty-eight old Pratibha Tripathi, on a train to Bangalore, when a robber tried to snatch her handbag. She held on to it, was dragged to the door, where she was pushed out by the thief. She lay on the tracks, bleeding profusely with fractures on arm and hip, and even as she lay wounded, the thief who had also jumped off, picked up her bag and fled.
Luckily she was picked up by a motorman from an oncoming train and now in hospital. “She’s always been a fighter!” her family said, and her son continued, “Her motto has always been that one should fight for what’s right!” Well, she did, didn’t she? She walked her talk, and the good news is that the thief has been arrested.
But, it is her own statement at the hospital that moved me, when told that the same who had brutally pushed her out, then callously picked up her bag even as she lay injured was arrested, she said, “See that he is not beaten!” Against this, I see an old man in the park I walk in who waxes eloquent about a particular community, “Why do you do it?” I asked him angrily.
“Do you know what they did to us Christians in Goa two hundred years ago?” he asked. “Do you know what Tipu Sultan did?” In front of me are two vivid images: One a lady, badly bruised and injured in the hospital, yet forgiving her assaulter, the other carrying a now two hundred old dead Tipu on his back.
And there are many in our country who are not like Ms Pratibha Tripathi. According to her son, she’s a fighter! There’s no doubt, in today’s world, this is what we need be; to have determination and courage, persistence and perseverance and achieve our goals. Tenacity to hold on and not let go of our dreams, but the same strength to let go off our grudges. While traveling in Spain our road went through mountains and we stopped at an old historical town. Why do the walls and houses look so strange?” I asked a local. “We never pulled down, what a previous cultural group had built!” he replied, “so first the Moors built, then other cultures and we just allowed everything to be!”
How beautiful the town looked! How beautiful India looks, with its different cultures all interwoven, and for this to continue, we need to stop carrying Tipu Sultan or other people, incidents and memories on our backs! God bless Ms Tripathi, and may our country produce more like her! Her strength, resilience and spirit of forgiveness..!

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