I Bow To Thee

I Seetha Ramanathan, aged 72wish to share my experience when I took a flight from Delhi to B'lore on 1st June 2020. I left B'lore on the 16th February to stay with my son's family for some time &also undergo cataract surgery. My return ticket for Chennai on the 22nd of March was also booked simultaneously since there were 3 important family functions in Chennai to attend in the last week of March. My return ticket for B'lore from Chennai for 31st March also booked. Unexpectedly due to the rapid spreading of CoviD-19 all the 3 functions I was to attend were canceled. Immediately after knowing this my daughter-in-law called the concerned airline people and asked them whether on the same ticket instead of Chennai, would I be allowed to go to B'lore. She also told them whatever the difference in flight ticket cost she would readily pay. They declined this request upon cancellation we got only Rs.600 as a refund. After that 3 times, my ticket to B'lore was booked. Since the lockdown was extended every time after the deadline, the cost for the ticket was deposited in the credit shell. All the 3 times When a fresh ticket was booked to the same destination there was a hike of a minimum of Rs.1K in the ticket cost. Finally, after the 4th lockdown was lifted on 1st June evening I reached IGI airport to reach Bangalore. Heeding the advice of my son and daughter-in-law I opted for a wheelchair service since I had to walk a distance of 2kms that two carrying the cabin baggage in the IGI airport to reach boarding gate no 50. Comfortably I reached the boarding gate after finishing all the formalities. Since there was sufficient time left to board the flight I was talking to my friend over mobile in Tamil. Then heard an announcement which asked the passengers who were waiting in gate no 50 to reach gate no 42 a. I understood that to reach gate 42 and I had to take 2 escalators. When none of my family members were around me I didn't want to take this risk that too with the cabin baggage in hand. 2 years back I underwent a total hip replacement surgery after a great fall. Hence I preferred to go down by the lift. When I reached the place from where the lift was operating unfortunately the lift was out of service. Finding no other way to go down I again came to the escalator. But didn't have the courage to take the 1st step despite trying many times. Suddenly I heard a kind voice in Tamil from behind “Amma, Do you need help to go down?” Would I refuse? A boy of 22 yrs took my cabin baggage also asked me to hold his other hand firmly. With the help of that helping hand not only I reached gate no 42 a but he was there to help me until I reached my seat. That boy's name was Kadappa who was also taking the same flight. I asked Kadappa that how did he know I am a Tamilian. He said that he heard me talking to my friend in Tamil. I also came to know that he was a Jawan in the Indian army. After a very comfortable travel time of roughly 3 hrs, finally, I reached Kempegowda airport at 10.30 pm. In the airport, there was a very long queue & my place was last. It would take a minimum of 1 hr by the time my turn would come since again there were too many formalities to compete before one exited the airport. I was worried since it was already 11 pm &My son in law was waiting outside to receive me. Here again, most unexpectedly a man of about 30 yrs appeared With a “May I Help you ” smile on his face before me. He Didn't take my permission to lift my cabin baggage, holding my hand lovingly broke the queue &With in a few minutes in front of a table where I had to show the E pass given by the Karnataka government to exit the airport. The Karnataka government made it compulsory for all the passengers to enter Bangalore even if they were residents of Bangalore to obtain an E pass. Next stop Table no 2 Where after the thermal screening, in both the hands I was stamped. The stamp showed that I was home quarantined for 14 days. 3rd &Final stop to collect the checked-in baggage. The volunteer helped me there too. He was there with me until I spotted my son-in-law. He was wearing a jacket in which it was printed “Civil Defence Volunteer “. On our way to the exit gate, I was curious to know more about him, I asked his name &where he was from? HE said that his name was Chidananda &was working for Toyota Kirloskar Motors Private Lt. He also said that he would be in the airport until dawn to help elderly people like me who travel alone. This is not the 1st time I got help from unknown people. Many times I got help from people who were totally unknown to me. There may be some Devils&Evils. But they are very few in numbers. But there are many Kadappas&Chidanandas to extend unfailing service in times of need. I consider them as Gods in Disguise of Men. This country can face any negative situation bravely when such kind-hearted people are there.

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Krister Axel

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