I am writing this post as a part of ‘365 writing prompts’ and the topic for today is:
‘What’s the 11th item on your bucket list’?
First of all, I have a bucket, and I have lists, but I don’t have a bucket list. Yes I know it’s a term for a list of things you want to do before you take your last breath. So, for this post’s sake, I roughly drafted a few points, not in any order, and I stopped when I reached 11th because that’s what I need here. It says – Being able to give a ride/lift to a stranger.
I drive a non-gear scooter mostly with a pillion rider, sometimes on my own. Every day, I see people standing on the roadside waiting for a bus or walking alone on their way while I drive past them. Many times when I am unaccompanied, I want to stop and ask where they are heading to, so that I can drop them off, if I am going in the same direction. And every time I am challenged by skepticism. What if I get into a trouble? What if that person takes me to some place unknown? What if he/she tries to mug me? And more than my thoughts about them, I am terrified by theirs about me.
What if they don’t trust me? What if they think I want to take some advantage by helping them? Why would anyone be so kind? I have been on this side of questions as well.
About 4 years ago, I was walking down an unfamiliar, somewhat deserted road, finding my way back home, looking for a place from where I could catch a bus/auto. It was late evening, already dark. A middle-aged man drove by on a scooter. He stopped and asked me, “Where would you like to go?” I got startled and could hardly mumble a few words which went something like this, “<Pause> No Thanks, <Pause> I am good <Pause>”. He must have observed my face turning red with fear and said, “Oh please don’t think otherwise, I am here just to help”. I noticed a slight smile on his face and politeness in his voice. I said again, this time louder, “I am fine. Thank you”, and started walking away hastily taking longer steps. The man went away, but I was equally petrified even after I reached home safely. Even today, whenever I remember that incident I wonder if his intentions were right. I would like to think yes, but I will never be sure.
These popping questions are nobody’s fault. We have always been told not to trust strangers. We have also been told to help others, may be not as much as the former.
Being stuck with all those reservations and doubts in mind, I still hope that someday, and may that day come really soon, I will have enough courage and faith in myself, and in others, to be able to offer help and not being misunderstood. On that day, I would be kicking the 11th item off my bucket list.