As I am driving to the office, the fuel in my bike runs dry. And as is always the case in such scenarios I was exactly in the middle of the two closest petrol pumps. One was a km behind me, the other was a km ahead in direction of my office. I started dragging my bike towards the petrol pump, under the hot merciless sun (by the way, has the summer already started again in Hyderabad?)
Scores of bikes/cars passed by me, nobody stopping to offer any help (not that I expected any, neither did I ask anyone for a lift) till I had gone almost half a km. The upward slope had just started and I was cursing Hyderabad for having such hilly roads (when I am driving – not dragging – the bike, I actually love the hilly roads – perceptions change a bit too fast) when I saw a guy take a U-turn about 50 meters ahead. He came back, stopped by me, and offered to drop me off at the petrol pump. I thanked him, but told him that I’ve no bottle to get the petrol in, and I knew that the petrol pump also does not have any shop etc. It would be pure luck if I get a bottle there. Lo-and-behold, he fabricates a bottle out of thin-air. Says he has been in same situation 2-3 times and knows how bad it is to be in such a situation. As he dropped me off at the petrol pump, I thanked him profusely. My faith in humanity & fellow humans was restored. Next time I see anyone stranded without fuel, I am surely going to offer help.
Few hours later, I am back at the petrol pump, this time I drove my bike there to get some more petrol. There is a serpentine queue for the fuel, as only one of the pumps is working. Slowly I make my way ahead, and just as the guy ahead of me gets petrol filled and is about to move, a fat lady comes zooming past all the other waiting bikes, and plunks her Activa bang in front of me for fuel. My first reaction was wtf!, and I started shouting on her for not respecting the queue, and asked her to move back. As I had expected she completely ignores me as I was telling her what she was doing was wrong, and even she knew it, but surprisingly no other person in the line said anything, the two petrol-pump attendants – even they don’t say anything and start filling the petrol.
I’ve been going to that petrol pump every 10-15 days for last 4-5 years, and I have seen these attendants shout at people for breaking the queue, but I’ve seen them shouting at guys only. Since this was a girl who was breaking the line, nobody was saying anything. I never knew there was a separate “Ladies only Queue” at petrol pumps too.
Back to the story, I again say a few heated words to the fat lady, and her only reply, “Tum kyon wait kar rahe ho? Tumko bhi line tod deni chahiye thi.” (Why were you waiting? Even you should have broken the queue). My faith in humanity decreased many notches. I wish that fat lady’s activa runs out of petrol, and if I am around, I am surely not offering her any help.