Just as the lockdown opened up, my husband and I resumed our daily morning walks. On one Sunday morning, we were just about a hundred meters from our complex and two bikers came in and snatched the chain from my neck. Before we could react they fled. Later we were told that rising unemployment and misery during the lockdown has led to an increase in the crime rates. Everyone said, it’s not safe anywhere, anymore. We need to be cautious and we must not trust anyone.

After a few days, while I was on the way to the hospital, my car broke down on the highway. Though the lockdown had lifted, there were hardly any people on the road. Those days and even now, it’s a night mare to get hold of a taxi. Patients were waiting for me at the hospital and there were continuos calls to ask when would I reach. There was no way a mechanic could reach us before an hour. As the driver tried to fix the car, I stood out hoping and praying that somehow we could get a mechanic soon. After a few minutes an uber taxi driver stopped of his own accord. He came over to help us and pushed the car as we tried to jump start it. It was deserted with just the three of us on the highway and I was already getting uncomfortable. Eventually, much to my chagrin, i had no choice, but to request the cab driver to drop me to the hospital. In my mind, I thought that considering my desperation he would definitely try to fleece me and charge a lot more. I was totally convinced that it was for this reason he had stopped to help us in the first place. Also, cabbies were hardly getting any rides those days and this would be an easy way to make an extra buck. These are desperate times. Well, as long as I could get to the hospital at the earliest and start seeing patients, I didn’t mind paying more. Throughout the journey I was very cautious as those days there were hardly any people on the road and I didnt want to have another horrible experience. I kept my phone close to me, just in case…..

Finally we reached the hospital and asked him how much did I need to pay. I was totally taken aback when he refused to take any money. He said that he just wanted to help me and also especially because I was a doctor. I felt exposed as though he had read my suspicious thoughts during the ride, but I was also pleasantly surprised. It rekindled a faith that I seemed to be losing.

These are difficult times. Desperation is in the air. Crime rate is rising and I experienced it first hand, however it is heartening to see that there are many people who are going beyond themselves to help others. It is easier to help when God blesses us with plenty, but much harder to help and be considerate when there is nothing in your own house. That taxi driver taught me to keep the faith in humanity.

……Because to stay alive we need to believe and we need to have faith. Life is a mix of good and bad. We cannot avoid either, but it’s for us to choose whether we want to see a glass that is half full or half empty.

©️Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker