To whom do you designate a hero? A film star with blockbuster movies, a cricketer who hits sixes, a politician with a huge fan following, or a wealthy person? For me, a person who spread humanity touches our lives and helps others in need is a real-life hero. I have come across many real-life heroes in the course of my daily life. In this series of unsung heroes of our daily lives, I would like to share an incident that happened 15 years back.
Facts to know
Varanasi, or Benaras, (also known as Kashi) is one of the oldest living cities in the world. Ganges is said to have its origins in the tresses of Lord Shiva and in Varanasi, it expands to the mighty river that we know of. The city is a center of learning and civilization for over 3000 years.
It was a misty morning, the clock striking 7, as I disembarked from the train at Varanasi railway station, fueled with determination to appear for the BHU entrance exam. BHU, Varanasi-a dream I held dearly but knew it wouldn't come easy. I ordered a cup of tea, ready to face the challenges ahead. However as I reached into my pocket to make payment, panic surged through me-I discovered my purse was missing. Lost or stolen during the journey, I couldn't say. I cursed myself for my irresponsibility, feeling the weight of despair settle upon me.
Desperate, I approached an auto driver and inquired about the time it would take to reach the examination center. "30 minutes by auto," he replied. The center was 15 kilometers away from Varanasi Railway station- a distance impossible to cover on foot. But I didn't have a single penny to pay for the auto fare. The dream of attending BHU seemed to fade away, slipping through my fingers like sand.
Heart heavy with disappointment, I decided to board the next train back to my hometown. As I made my way to the station, a weary-looking auto driver with wrinkles etched upon his face called out, "Hey, young boy, don't get upset. I will take you to the examination center."My hopes flickered, but I confessed, " I don't have the money to pay you right now."Unfazed, he reassured me, "No issue. You can pay me later, whenever you get admission."
Facts to know
Banaras Hindu University is a premier central university located on the bank of the holy river Ganga with an area of 1300 acres. BHU is one of the most recognized educational institutions globally known for its excellence in education and research. This Creative and innovative university was founded by the great nationalist leader, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, in 1916 with the cooperation of great personalities like Dr. Annie Besant, who viewed it as the University of India.
Relief washed over me as he dropped me off at the examination center right on time, his words lingering in the air like a whisper of hope. "You will get admission with the blessings of Baba Vishwanath." Overwhelmed and running late, I expressed my gratitude, promising to repay him whenever I returned to Varanasi. With a gentle nod, he disappeared into the bustling streets.
The journey of the exam was filled with anticipation and anxiety. When the results were finally declared, my heart soared with joy—I had secured the top rank. It was an achievement beyond measure, an indescribable triumph. While I celebrated, my mind never ceased to wander back to that humble auto driver who had become an enigma. I searched high and low, hoping to find him and fulfill my promise, but he remained elusive, leaving me with an unfinished debt of gratitude.
That small act of kindness, a selfless gesture from a stranger, not only restored my faith in humanity but also transformed my life. It taught me the profound impact a single act of kindness can have on someone's journey. The memory of that incident stayed etched in my mind, guiding me through subsequent exams and challenges. It became a constant reminder of the power of compassion and the potential we all possess to be someone else's hero.
Today, as I stand tall in my achievements, I owe it to that nameless auto driver who propelled me toward my dreams. The heroes we encounter in everyday life may not possess fame or fortune, but their actions can ripple through time, leaving an indelible mark on our souls. So, the next time you come across an opportunity to be someone's hero, embrace it wholeheartedly. For you never know how a small act of kindness can ignite a flame that illuminates the path to greatness.