The story we bring you this time is, indeed, very inspiring.
It is rightly said that the true
character of a person surfaces only in times of crisis. This is something I
had experienced myself many years
back, when I went on a month long trek to Kailash Manasarover. We were a group of 18 pilgrims, and when the journey started, everyone was extremely nice and friendly to each – other. As we moved up, the trek became tougher, with depleting rations and challenging situations. The highest point of the trek was climbing up to the holy Dolma Pass during the Kailash Parikrama,
at an altitude of about 19000 ft. For me, this trek was a complete education in human nature; as the true character of each fellow trekker unfolded itself with total transparency. There were some who were full of compassion and kindness towards everyone; despite their own physical discomforts …they were the true pilgrims. While there were others who became totally self centered and unkind towards others, even though this was meant to be a noble pilgrimage!
Gurcharan Das, in his acclaimed book called The Difficulty Of Being Good, mentions that moral integrity begins with the awareness we have of other fellow human beings, and that Compassion is the highest Dharma. Reading his book has reiterated many beliefs, and our story this time, in its own way, conveys to us an interpretation of the same sentiments of Awareness and Compassion, displayed by our vendor so remarkably!
This Was Real...
Not From Bollywood!!
Contributor: Ajay Gulati, Ex-QA Manager, Cold Water Creek
Many a times we have
seen in our Bollywood
movies, the hero coming to the rescue of someone in distress… Either fighting the villains single-handedly and coming out victorious… or jumping into a fire to save the heroine who is crying for help! Our heroes… or is it their duplicates, are super human beings and we are so accustomed to seeing their acts of bravery and chivalry on the silver screen that we rarely question the practicality of the act.
But, let me share with all of you a true story where the hero is not a Shahrukh Khan, nor a Dharmender, but one of our industry vendors who actually
accomplished an act of bravery, not in front of cameras, but in actual life, and saved a precious life! No duplicates used here and no retakes… but in an instant, a heroic act performed!
Let me prepare you with the background to this tale of courage…
I was working as QA Manager for the India office of a customer who had their corporate office in a lovely little town in a mountain state of USA. This was a town surrounded by majestic mountain ranges, and with many beautiful lakes and small rivulets criss-crossing the landscape. Once a year, our customer’s office held a charity golf tournament where all the key vendor partners were invited by the management and the vendors always responded whole-heartedly and travelled from all over the globe to
spend couple of days amidst
the tranquil surroundings of
this charming town, and participated in the golf tournament in one of the loveliest golf courses I ever saw.
The golf course was set amidst a sprawling area, with a small river running across the golf course, a most desirable setting to spend a lovely sunny day. The golf club was a perfect starting point for the tournament where various teams were formed and all the participants would take off with their respective teams in the golf carts.
This was my first encounter with this game but there were others in our team who were golf pros and who explained the intricacies of the game to us and we teed off the first hole with a great spirit of camaraderie with each other. After all, it was a charity event and not a competitive tournament in the strict sense of the word and the idea was to relax and go with the spirit of fun. Just like some of us who were holding a golf club for the first time, there were some other participants who were used to being driven around by chauffeurs and were not comfortable driving the golf cart… so the job was assigned to a team member who had the expertise to steer the golf cart carefully through the criss-cross way going over the spread of the huge golf course.
Along the golf course there were some lovely homes, and some of the resident kids had formed colourful kiosks outside their homes, selling lemonade and chips and having a lot of fun greeting the participants. It was very cheerful and even as I recall that morning, it brings back precious memories of a beautiful and relaxing day, and being together informally with buyers with whom one always dealt so formally on a day-to-day basis in one’s working life. A great start to a perfect day, as we set off trying our hand at teeing off and putting at the greens.
As the teams crossed each other, notes were exchanged as to how the game was progressing and everyone was in great spirits. Till suddenly, we heard someone loudly screaming that an accident had happened!!
Everything suddenly screeched to a halt, and as we could see everything fine around us, we could not understand how and where, what kind of accident could have happened on a golf course? As we moved towards the corner from where we could hear the voices, we saw a small crowd gathered there. Concerned over what might have happened, our team finally reached there, and we saw a golf cart floating in the river which had curved close to the putting green! A golf cart in the river…? Things became clear now as we understood what might have happened with a golf cart accidentally losing control and dropping in the river. Though it was a narrow river, yet the water looked quite deep and our immediate concern was about the safety of the people riding the cart.
It soon transpired what had happened. The golf cart was being driven by a merchant from an overseas office and he was the only occupant when the accident happened. Apparently, he was fascinated by the idea of driving the cart and when his teammates got off for the game, he tried his hand at driving it… and unfamiliar with the same, manoeuvred it in the wrong direction, got nervous, and pressed the accelerator instead of the brakes… and lost control as the cart hit a bend and went straight into the river! To make matters worse, he did not know swimming, and at his cries of help, the team rushed to the spot and the word of the accident quickly spread. There was no help around, and someone from the many spectators had to now take the initiative to jump in and pull the drowning merchant out…
The story soon ended happily and a tragedy was averted because the rescue operation was done by none other than a vendor from India!
Our hero of this story, the vendor from India, had just arrived on the scene on hearing the commotion, and he jumped straight into the river. By now only the hands of the merchant were visible as he was struggling for help and any delay in the rescue operation might have been a futile attempt to save his life. But our hero was already there, and obviously an ace swimmer, he plunged deep and pulled out the drowning merchant and swam back to safety. As they came out of water, there was a huge round of applause and by now the first aid van had also arrived from the golf club. The merchant was bleeding from the lips due to some cuts there, but was fine otherwise as he realized that he was safe and sound and on his feet. First aid was quickly provided to him to stop the bleeding and fortunately it was a minor cut and no other damage had been done. We exchanged a few words with him, happy to see him safe and sound.
Our hero, the vendor, was in good shape other than completely drenched of course, and wiping himself dry when we rushed to him. He gave us a big smile as we approached him, and assured us that he was perfectly ok and was glad that he was around when the accident happened.
We admired his spirit and felt proud that he was our vendor from India who had shown
this exemplary courage and dared to take the plunge, literally, to save a life.
So, dear readers, this is the true story of our vendor who instantly became the toast of the small town and in real life… not in reel life! I am sure your curiosity is building up to know who the vendor was, so let me share the secret…
He was none other than our own Gautam Nair, of Matrix Clothing.