Seeing is believing?

Such a trite title...but as I unfurl an incident, I realise I have no other words to convey the experience.

This might appear to be about just a long drive between Lonavla and Mumbai, a distance of an hour and a half. But it woke me up in many ways to the quirks of this thing called belief… How much must one believe? Can one believe? And what must one believe in?

The expressway was spanking new and quite wonderful, but I missed the ghats of old (those familiar with Hindi films will recall many such scenes of winding cars in song/chase sequences). We stopped for coffee at a small kiosk; the man puts chocolate powder in it.

Tired labourers had lit up grass and the sweet scent was wafting towards us. We went to Sunny's dhaaba for dinner, sat on khaats with bolsters and ate the most scrumptious food -- lots of it.

It was past midnight when we decided to head back home. And on the highway, the car stalled. No fuel. The indicator was not working. This is where belief comes in.

Who would expect a cop around at that hour in the middle of the highway? He said, "Petrol station walla gadbad karega tau bolna Shinde seth ne bheja".

Who would expect a motorcyclist to suddenly pass by, stop and say, "Aapki seva mein haazir hai”?

Who would expect that most of the stations do not like parting with their cans, but this one did?

Who would expect that one of us would have a small knife, a torch for just a drive?

We filled the diesel. But the car would not start. Air had filled in.

We tried calling a towing van, looking desperately for the number.

Who would expect that just then a tow van would pass on the opposite side and stop? They tried to get the car to start, but in vain, so we were towed to the nearest petrol station. They agreed to keep the vehicle till morning.

Who would expect that at near 2 am an autorickshaw would stop here? It did and the four of us got in to be dropped at Vashi.

Who would expect a taxi to be right there a few metres away that would take us home? Reached home at 4 am, exhausted. I could not sleep.

I was thinking about belief. I suppose sometimes everything is right with the world...

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