On my trip to Bangalore, I had gone out on a walk with my maternal grandfather, or Nana, as I lovingly call him. Most of the time he was feeling his way along the road. Feeling because he couldn't see. He developed Glaucoma a few years ago after a stroke and ever since his vision has kept degrading reaching a figure of 25% of normal this year. He was also not able to recognize the sound of approaching vehicles since he couldn't hear their engines rattle. He is deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other. To illustrate, he would not know a truck is approaching him till it is around 10 feet away from him.
Despite his health constraints, he has never missed his 5 KM morning walk in the past 23 years that I have known him. Of course, the walk I was on with him was not a morning walk since my morning happens a good four hours after his. It was just a stroll to the vegetable market.
We reached a road crossing. It was a two way road with three lanes in each direction separated by a structure that was an unthoughtful mix of a divider and a footpath. I asked him to hold my hand but he laughed at the idea saying "How do you think I manage when you are not around?" I knew we were on our own but decided to wait with him till he is good to go. He lifted his left hand and started walking towards the other end. Drivers honked. Some drivers were harsh enough to open their windows and throw abuses at a handicapped old man (it didn't matter to him because he couldn't hear what they were saying). Some vehicles' horns were just audible enough for him to realise he had to stop. Some missed him by a whisker. We reached the divider. He almost stumbled while crossing it. After a while, he lifted his right hand and started walking. The story repeated again. After putting both our lives in jeopardy, we successfully managed to cross the road.
On my way back, I told him he should not take such risks and ask for assistance. I also asked him to get himself a walking stick. He tells me, "I have suffered the effects of the stroke in recent years but I have never asked anyone for help in my whole life, not even my children. I can't change my way of living as a result of a handicap...If you have faith in God and he will take care of you." There was an inkling of truth in this considering he has been living like this for the past 10 years and living well.
As cliched as it sounded, there were forces up there that were at work, an invisible hand guiding the ones who believed, ones in need. 'God'da take Him seriously!