We live in Kaliyug, the era when evil overshadows the good. But some Punekars are a stark reminder that the good still survives in some of us.
Gotham has a Dark Knight, Metropolis has Superman, Pune has a true Punekar, one who lies in each of us. Our powers are limited, our actions might not be too great, but a small gesture of kindness can do great things for the fallen.
On a weekend night, I was driving back home after dropping a friend. Having lost my way and with my phone discharged, I had no option but to navigate my way on my own. I kept going straight hoping to reach a known place(that’s my strategy when I get lost in the peth areas, works every time) , but the road seemed as unfamiliar as a corruption free government is to India. I now seemed to be entering winding roads and the outskirts of the city, and thus I decided it was time I take a U-turn and hopefully find the right turn to get back home. In my panic however, my car over-sped on a winding road and skid. I changed down the gears in swift motion and applied the brakes. The gravel on the road only added to my misery, and the car took an abrupt 90 degree turn to dash into the adjacent wall. The airbags hit my face before I could realise what had happened. I heard a huge bang and the car was filled with smoke. I tried switching it on again, but the engines did not react. I got down to see the front had been squashed, with the headlights dangling out. With no phone to contact my close ones and no idea of my location, I was almost a lost soul in my own city. But then, I was saved.
While countless cars waited to look at the mess and just passed, a bus driver finally halted to lend me help. I was ushered near the driver seat and given water. I told the driver what had happened and asked for his mobile to ring up my family. He complied, helped me about the whereabouts (I had almost reached Katraj-Bypass trying to reach Kothrud). He dropped me till a stop near to my place and went ahead, without accepting the money I tried to offer. We bid goodbye and I may never ever see him again. For me, the bus driver was a hero that night, without him who knows what I might have happened.
What he did was a small gesture of helpfulness, but in the situation I was in, it became something much more. We imagine heroes to be those with super powers, who can fight all odds, but real heroes are those lost in the crowd. They present themselves whenever there is someone in need. They are not rich, their names are not chanted by the crowd and many won’t even know about their existence or what they do. Our heroes are faceless, nameless, normal human beings, with normal jobs. They don’t have modern technology to assist them(Batman, Iron Man), nor special powers acquired from various sources(Spiderman from a special spider bite, Superman from being born on a different planet, Krypton). For our heroes, their weapons are kindness and the amazing will to help those in need, and their strength is their big-hearted nature and down-to-earth ego.
Our heroes are faceless, nameless, normal human beings, with normal jobs. Their weapons are kindness and the amazing will to help those in need, and their strength is their big-hearted nature and down-to-earth ego.
Gotham has a Dark Knight, Metropolis has Superman, Pune has a true Punekar, one who lies in each of us. Our powers are limited, our actions might not be too great, but a small gesture of kindness can do great things for the fallen. Our heroes are one of the unknown faces who are neither worshiped nor praised or respected. Our heroes are unsung and in many cases, forgotten. No one knows who they are, not even their families. I suspect even they themselves have no clue they are a hero to someone.
We do live in Kaliyug, for our heroes lie hidden while evil is ever-present and well known. Hope I cross paths with my hero again, so that I can thank him and let him know who he is. Hope there is a hero for each one of us and within each of us.