“Thank you”, “Thanks”, “Thanks a lot”. After mumbling these words out in haste, we move on… and very often bury the gesture and the giver forever… never ever to be reminisced. So much for gratitude!!!!
And at times, the gesture would be so overwhelming that these mere words become utterly incompetent and worthless. But we have to articulate our gratitude nevertheless. We may not be able to repay in kind, nor return the gesture. In such situations, only words spoken sincerely from within the heart can convey our true feelings. If they are beautifully crafted though…..
Takes me back to our mid day summer adventure in Khorfakkan. We had stopped at the Friday market to check out some rugs. After menacingly instructing my first born Amaan to remain seated in the car, my wife Sunayna and I ventured out, meandering through the many stalls manned by disinterested uncouth salesmen. As we were arguing about the utility of a clay flower case, Amaan came into the stall. “What did you do with the car?” I interjected rudely. “I locked the doors Uppa,” he replied confidently with a very grown up air. “Locked it?” I screamed! The engine was kept running for the air conditioner and I realized that the little brat had locked us all out- And it was close to 45 degrees at 2.00 P.M at a place, far away from everywhere.
Aided with the familiar feeling of an adrenaline rush, I ran to the car and tried a few silly stunts. Like sliding down the windows and force opening the doors. My heart sank even further when I spotted my phone and overstuffed wallet on the dashboard. When my antics failed, I gave up and with a sheepy grin turned around for help.
The shopkeepers were not even sympathetic. They stood motionless as embodiments of apathy. A couple of them mumbled in some foreign dialect and I even felt that they were laughing at us. Resisting a king size urge to give them a lecture on “Samaritanship”, I turned my attention to the road. By now, my fully pregnant wife was sweating profusely, her face red like beetroot.
A few cars slowed down at my frantic gesturing. They sympathized with me heavily and after offering me a few lines of their wisdom drove on… leaving us to battle ourselves out of our predicament alone.
That’s when I spotted two cars on the other side of the road. I ran across to realize that it was a family of UAE Nationals, presumably travelling long distance, since both the Range Rover and GMC were stuffed with bags. I was slightly reluctant to approach them, since I hadn’t interacted much with Emiratis till then. I however put this feeling aside and explained our plight to the two young guys in the Range Rover.
They came out and approached the car. After trying the antics that I had tried myself, they started consulting someone over phone. By this time, the ladies in the car had approached Sunayna and Amaan and had taken them into the cool confines of their car. I soon found them feasting comfortably on fruit juice and biscuits. We were all dripping with sweat as the sun shone down on us with a vengeance. The guys were trying everything, darting from one attempt to another without complaining a bit. After more than 90 minutes it was done-the door was prized semi open with a metal rod and a stretched coat hanger pressed painstakingly on the window controls doing the trick.
With the door opened, the guys quickly moved to their cars. Sunayna and Amaan were disembarked and without even a gratitude soliciting gesture, they prepared to zoom off. But I, overwhelmed with their hospitality was overflowing with feelings. I ran to the driver’s side and in a mix of English and halting Arabic said……
What they did
“In this scorching heat, you spent almost 2 hours helping us out. Your clothes are soiled and you have been delayed. You even took my wife and kid into your car and quenched their thirst. You didn’t give up even after failing many times. You stood with us till the problem was solved”
What effect it had on us
“Without you, we would have been stuck here for god knows how long. My wife is expecting and this heat would have made her ill. Without the phone and even a dirham on me, we would have been really stranded. You have really saved us from a lot of trouble”
What it says about the helpers
“This speaks volumes about your culture and hospitality. It conveys your concern even for strangers and your drive to help those who are in need. The fact that you didn’t give up till it was solved expresses your sincerity and love for humanity”
Saying Thanks and praying for them
“I can only say thanks. I will also pray to god almighty for your family. May you complete your journey peacefully and achieve your objectives”
Promise to Continue
“I promise you that I will Insha Allah try to do the same if I find someone else caught in the same predicament. By doing that, your noble deed will continue….”
I don’t remember the source. But I am sure that I had read this format somewhere. Luckily, I was able to say it well and from the looks on their faces, I was sure that our hearts connected and spoke with each other.
After wishing us peace, they drove into the sunset, over those endless winding roads.