Dated : 27-Dc-2014
I took off from Ekal Mata Mandir at 8:20 AM in the morning after saying goodbye to my gracious hosts. I took a short cut kaccha-road from Ekal Mandir which would lead me to the Ravechi mandir and further on-to balesar, there-by completely by-passing Rapar.
As i cycled through the early morning mist, i noticed a strange sound coming from near my rear-rack. I dismissed the sounds assuming it to be originating from the panniers. However, it got louder and louder with time and it had me concerned.
I found a village along the way (the name of which i don’t remember anymore) and immediately stopped and asked for breakfast in a hotel (as I had not had breakfast before leaving that day). They said they only had khakras and i left disappointed as i did not intend to have khakras for breakfast as it would ruin my day. I causally asked if there was a mechanic shop to a small kid and he led me to the shop.
The mechanic was in and i asked him to help me figure out where the noise was coming from. As we removed the panniers, it was rather obvious that the noise was coming from the rack itself. It turned out that the screw on one side of the rack had fallen off completely there by leaving the rack wobbling. I was concerned and was wondering what to do. I carried a lot of spares for the trip but seriously, who’d carry screws?? This was an unexpected mechanical failure. The mechanic came out with a bunch of screws of different sizes and after some re-tries, we found the right one and he help me fit it right into the slot.
After the job was done, i said, “Thank you Bhaiyya, aapne mera trip bacha liya” (Thanks for saving my trip) to which he said, “agar aap ke paas time ho toh ruk jaao yahin pe, aapkeliye nashta, garam paani sabka intezaam ho jaayega” (if you have time, i can arrange for break-fast and hot water for bath). I thanked him for his offer and said I had to leave as I needed to cover as much ground as possible in the morning.
Then, again, as i offered to pay him for the repair, he flat out refused and said “Doston se kya paise lena???” (I can’t take money from friends) “bas aap kutch mein aaye ho itne door se, agar aap wapas kushi khushi gaye toh wahi hamaare liye kaafi hai” (you came to kutch so far from home and if you go back happy, that’s enough for us).
He had a shop/garage hardly bigger than a broom cupboard and yet, he had a heart larger than anyone i have met. I left the village behind on my way to Balesar with a heavy but glad heart.