Near Misses

“ I had a shocker of a journey, mom.”

My son  was returning home on vacation after his first term at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He had coped very well  in journeying to  his place of study without the accompanying baggage of parents, a  lad in seeming charge of his invigorating new life.  He thought he  would tackle the return home with the practice of a pro.

He had kept  awake to catch the early morning university transport into Edinburgh,  and had  completed his security formalities in the transit through London’s  Heathrow  when he thought he would grab some shut-eye. Without a companion to keep tabs of the time and announcements, the wave of sleep captured him in  a fairly deep slumber. He was lucky to wake up with a start  to discover the urgent announcement of his name, as the boarding was otherwise over and the  flight readying  for take –off. A trifle, one may think in the retrospect of successful boarding, but  the alternative of missing a flight  difficult to consider  for an eighteen year old without independent resources in a foreign land, flying homeward with eagerness to make the best of limited time. One’s silent thanks to the British Airways staff who persevered in their duty to ensure all passengers aboard.

On  reaching Mumbai airport, the boy declined the offer to  be picked up; again it was something he felt he could handle himself. After all, there were plenty of reliable taxis available at the airport. He was in a hurry to catch up with erstwhile school-chums for a concert in the city.  It was only some time after his drop-off that he realized with a shock that he was short of a bag- the  one that contained his laptop with the hard strivings of an academic term.

A dash to the airport with his father followed. He had not retained the taxi bill, so even tracing the relevant vehicle was a matter of re-construction with the concerned taxi counter. A complaint was filed with the airport police and after  some  traces and trails, the taxi was  located in a large parking lot near Hotel Leela Kempinski. The driver was nowhere in sight, and the car was locked, but the missing bag reposed reassuringly in the backseat. The driver made his appearance in a while, was handsomely tipped  for his restraint and the bag retrieved.

Though psyched at the time, with the resilience of the young, my son  took his lucky breaks in stride. He even made it to his concert in time and had a great time catching up with friends.

It’s left to me to figure  out why he got lucky:  if there is a larger principle involved in these providential moments. My own conjecture is that there are various times in which we reach out to others, often unknown recipients of our generosity and goodwill. There is little expectation of the reciprocal, as we act to address another’s need/ problem/pain; the act of responsive sensitivity is its own reward.  Yet from one’s practical experience of life, one discerns that   good deeds must tot up as credits somewhere to assist in unexpected circumstances, with helpful and kindly others acting as  angels to us and ours.

One hopes that near misses/ messes  which make undue demands on others don’t happen. When they do, it is often a pleasant reminder that the spirit of being dutiful/helpful/ honest still survive in  our impersonal times. Equally one hopes that the connected  individuals also experience their  benign and providential  moments, that the chain of grateful blessings passes on.

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About proteanpen

Giselle Mehta, an entrepreneur, engages in writing, theater,public speaking and activities with a creative/intellectual stimulus. She is the author of the acclaimed novel "Blossom Showers."
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2 Responses to Near Misses

  1. Hazel Dias says:

    guess one kind act begets another…..reminds me of the movie,Pay it Forward……
    good to note that your son is safe,experience as they say is the best of teachers…..

    • proteanpen says:

      Thanx for re-inforcing the thought, Hazel. I did pick up the movie u mention, but haven’t got round to watching; must do so. Hope our young absorb the lessons as wisely as their parents do; they tend to take good fortune for granted, but over time lessons may seep in.

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