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Friday, May 11, 2012

A Good Samaritan




The bright May sun was beating down, as the vehicles tried to nudge one another at the busy traffic light! It was like any other regular day, as I peered out of the window to see the worked up faces behind the steering wheels and exasperated looks on the faces of the co passengers in the adjoining vehicles. Driving in this hot weather under the glaring sun requires grit. Some impatient ones were honking as if the vehicles ahead would don wings and fly leaving place for them to drive on! A plume of smoke belched from the adjoining auto rickshaw as the driver cleared the beads of perspiration with a sodden handkerchief. Two young girls had their faces covered with stoles and only the dark shades were visible from the veil. They were trying to maneuver their way through the stationary vehicles to cross the road

I then noticed the frail figure who adorned a jungle hat on the head, a portable amplifier slung with a strap across the shoulder and a microphone in hand! He was wearing a white overall with inscription ’Traffic Baba’ in bold letters both in front and on the back. In the other hand he was holding a bunch of leaflets of paper which he was handing over to those inside the vehicles. Every now and then the speaker would crackle to life while the ‘Traffic Baba’, urged the people to follow the traffic rules!  At least someone was making an effort to drive sanity in this insane world of hurry!

I had seen ‘Traffic Baba’ on the road intersections in and around the locations near my place of residence a few times, working with similar zeal, though he was well past prime of his youth. He had seen more than seventy five such hot summers! A genuine Good Samaritan who on his own initiative went from place to place to assist the traffic police to manage the unwieldy traffic! He is also known as the ‘Suraksha Baba’ urging people to ‘Drive Carefully as there is someone waiting for them at home’. His penchant for people to follow the traffic rules started almost a decade back when one of his close friend’s sons died in a road accident.

Mukul Joshi (actual name of Traffic Baba) is a retired government servant and earns his living from pension and as an agent selling insurance policies. I first met him many years ago to assist in renewal of an insurance policy. I came to know about his passion for educating people much later when one day I spotted him on the traffic light indulging in his favorite pastime of driving traffic sense in people! His children are settled abroad and he along with his wife stays in our colony, rendering this yeoman’s service.

He does not seek any financial assistance for the services rendered including the printing of pamphlets for distribution for which he bears the expense on his own. According to him one has to prove to the society that ’Old is Gold’ by actions and not mere rhetoric!

90 comments:

  1. Unique & Interesting character. Poor soul is trying to do some good to society. Little does he know that the devils riding monsters care little for traffic rules. However even if one percent of the people improve their driving habits I suppose that is an achievement ! Have a great weekend.

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    1. So true, Rama! There are many selfless people still around!Thanks:)

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  2. Gosh, that is a rarity. I agree with Ramakrishnan sir, all others are indeed monsters againts him. Your gesture of putting his selfless act on the blog, was one more selfless act!

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    1. True Jenny, rare but still there! We need only a few do good ones to handle monsters:) Thanks for your comment

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  3. Abhaaaaaaaaaaa is this fact or fiction !!! cant believe this such selfless people! hmmm there are lot of Anna Hazzare's around us! just that we are not recognizing\respecting\obeying them!

    Great you thought of writing about such good act by Joshiji!!!

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    1. A huge thanks, Ramya for that very sweet comment!

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  4. This sure is rare...wish we had more ppl like him around. But such ppl do give us a glimmer of hope that all humanity is not lost.

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    1. True, Ria! How we wish there were more such people:)

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  5. That is so commendable! I am sure novel and sincere efforts like these help in creating impressions on the minds of the people and drives the point home. A big applause for Traffic Baba's work and a bigger applause for you for appreciating it here. Thank you :)

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    1. People in several arena are making the difference silently! The only reward is a huge satisfaction:)Thanks a lot,Arti !

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  6. I wish we had more people in the world like your Traffic Baba and I wish people would slow down, follow the rules and not be so impatient to get to their destination, endagering others without a care.
    Great post dear Rahul, thank you for sharing this special story with us. :)
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Every where in the world there is no dearth of good Samaritans!A huge thanks, Dianne:)

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  7. Oh wow I wish we had a traffic baba over here. I think we need thousands of them:) Such a nice guy.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. The subcontinent of India, Srilanka, Pakistan and such countries need many traffic babas:)

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  8. Great post. Thank you for sharing this story of a genuine Good Samaritan. I wish drivers will follow traffic rules for the safety of everyone.

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    1. So true , Eden it is just a question of following the traffic rules and having patience:)

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  9. I am amazed by the great and noble character of this man. I can honestly say that I don't know anyone who would give their free time (and without pay) to assist in the safety of others. This has shown me that are some good souls left in the world. I do hope that more people (including myself) aspire to be more selfless and giving such as he.

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    1. A few good people make the difference in this world, Sam!Thanks for your kind comment!

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  10. Traffic Baba sounds like a great person rendering his service to society. A real Good Samaritan :)

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    1. An ordinary but with great deed worthy of emulation , Rachna:) Thanks indeed!

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  11. amazed to hear this...God bless him

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    1. There are so many amazing things awaiting discovery, Ashok!

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  12. Its a comfort to know caring people are around

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    1. Very true , Jerly that such people are around!

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  13. What an amusing albeit serious story. A great man doing a great deed.;)
    I hope you have been well, looking forward to catch up with you and everyone else and to start blogging on regular bases again.;)
    Have a great Friday,
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks a lot Zuzana! Very nice to see you back:) Hope you had a nice break!

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    1. Very true Francesca, simple and kind people worthy of emulation!

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  15. nice..a little contribution by everyone does help!
    N I wud say a gr8 Indian citizen !

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    1. Thanks a lot Harman! Such contributions make the life better:)

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  16. So NICE! :)

    http://estilohedonico.blogspot.pt/

    xoxo

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    1. Welcome to my blog, Estilo:) Thanks for liking!

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  17. So nice!! :)

    http://estilohedonico.blogspot.pt/

    xoxo

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  18. There are indeed a lot of unsung heroes around us who are rendering great service to the society. There are people like him and there are those who wail about being old and useless. Everyone can find something to do and be useful. Good post, Rahul :)

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    1. A big thanks, Zephyr! Some ordinary people like us take on tasks which may be arduous but make a difference to society! A small way to highlight their contribution!

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  19. He is such an inspiration, I hope we have more people like him teaching the frustrated lot some good behavior on the roads.
    Even I can't understand the constant honking by people, when at the signal, they must understand that they have to wait and no amount of honking would make their job any easier. We are creating so much noise pollution.

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    1. A big thanks, Rama! Inspiring for sure:) Hope we can march in a lesser polluted environment in future if people had the good sense:)

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  20. Really, He's so great!....Now-a-days, who cares about the society?...Such people are a great inspiration to us!..we should learn from them..And Thanks Rahulji to write a post on him. Coz, Some people contribute a lot to our society but, sadly their work goes unnoticed :(

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    1. I am happy Valli that you liked this post! People like you will be running the country in future and if all of us decide to do at least our bit, it would be a lovely world to live in:)

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  21. Men like him are the true Indian idols. Who believe in action rather than empty words of angst.

    A very inspiring post, Rahul.

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    1. Thank you, Purba!Agree these are the people who believe in doing rather than just talking:)

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  22. You know, we have someone similar in Bangalore. This is an elderly man who apparently mans a traffic signal for a couple of hours directly traffic. I don't know his name, and I have only seen him once. I don't frequent his route, but I support his initiative. Great post, Rahul!

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    1. Thanks Rachna, for your nice comment:) Good people are everywhere:)

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  23. These are the people whom we should celebrate. Great that you wrote a post on him. Such people never get credit for the work they do

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    1. Agree, Insignia such people bring smiles on many faces!They work for their own satisfaction

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  24. Now that's called giving back to the society! What a wonderful story and great to see you bring it out. While the rest of us crib about things not going right and do little else, these people show us how its done..like Gandhi said, be the change you want to see! :)

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    1. Thanks a lot, Deepthy for applauding good initiatives of such people!They are the agents of change:)

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  25. wow..I salute to this "traffic baba". This is true service to the society. He is a true inspiration to the younger generation.
    Thanks for sharing this, Rahulji!

    btw, you've a new follower :-)

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    1. Thanks a lot , Uma for your nice words:)

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  26. That is so amazing. I find it wonderful that so many people take it up themselves to do things for the society with no expectations for themselves.. Truly selfless!

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    1. So true , Smitha that a few selfless people make so much of difference:)

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  27. This was a great step taken up by him. Traffic really needs to be controlled. Many more such people should get inspired and come up!

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  28. People like him make the world a better place to live in.

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  29. I have seen similar great souls in Mumbai and wondered about their selfless service, have picked up the values behind such actions. I do hope at least some percent of the people passing him everyday give it a thought to be selfless and do his bit for the society.

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  30. Thanks a lot Padmaja!Such men deserve more kudos than most!

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  31. Am always surprised and happy to see Samaritans who involve in such work without even thinking of getting something back.. Its so true that only because of them, at least little bit of sanity still exists in this world. Its becoming rare to spot such gems. Thank you very much for sharing this Ji :)

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    1. Thanks Anand for those kind comments:)

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  32. I salute the spirit of such people. We only shout or discuss to do something but fail in action. These people are real heroes.

    Thanks for sharing this Sir.:)

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    1. Thanks a lot Saru! Sure such people deserve all the applaud:)

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  34. traffic baba !
    adding good to this society and abstaining from sprinkling even a bit of bad is a tremendous job
    hats off!

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  35. Thanks Arooj! Some messiahs are every where:)

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  36. Indeed thats what needs to be done ACTION
    which we indians sadly lack , we are more involved in the blame games rather then doing something ..
    Hats off to Traffic baba, I hope people listen to him .. Thanks for intorducing him to us ..

    Bikram's

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  37. Thanks Bikram! A few people make the big difference:0

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  38. What a golden guy he is! Such a heart-warming story.

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  39. What a GREAT story- this is as it should be, we step up to do something not because of receiving compensation but because we want to help others. And when I read of how he came about to do this- I understood all the more his passion- such a tragedy would indeed make you understand the necessity of traffic safety.

    AMAZING!!! I'm so encouraged by this post- thank you for posting this!!

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    1. When ordinary people do things which are extra ordinary, they deserve some recognition. This is just a humble attempt at that, Anjuli:)

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  40. I was much better and a boy of action when I was a school studnt. Look at me these days: I only know to complain, scream, criticize and categorize what my job is and not. People like him are just a handful and make a lot of difference.

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    1. Our own priorities sometimes makes us forget that we are a part of system which can only work well if each one does what one is supposed to do! Thanks a lot, Leo for your lovely comment!

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  41. Now this is what you would call Selfless. Hats off to the spirit of the old man. He could have easily gone about , minding his own business but that he choose to do something for his fellow citizens speaks volumes about his good nature. I really wish I could meet him once and offer a huge thanks for all that he has been doing . God Bless him.

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    1. Ashwini, the credit for this post goes to you as I was inspired to write this one after having read your last post about the old man who writes quotes on the board in park!I will convey your sentiments when I next meet him:)A big thanks !

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  42. Hi Rahul there is an award for you in my blog. Thanks
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. A sincere thanks for being so kind to consider me for the award, PAPS:)

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  43. I know him and seen him so many timeS in Noida controlling traffic. He is such a wonderful man and hats off to him for selfless service to the society.
    Thank You sir for sharing. Well I am first time visitor and came from Saru blog. Keep writing:)

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    1. Welcome to my blog, Mithlash!I have seen your blog too and is very interesting! Thanks a lot for those comments and I am sure since you have seen him in action you can relate to his work best:)

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  44. Amazing!! Commendable work this Traffic Baba is doing! Wish we have more like him and the message that he is spreading gets deeply ingrained in everybody's minds so that we have safe roads!!

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    1. We need a lot of good Samaritans, Shilpa to pull us out of morass we are in:)Thanks for your comment!

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  45. what a wonderful post and what a wonderful initiative, god bless the good samaritan :)
    and cheers to you for recognizing his efforts on ur blog sir. :)

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    1. A huge thanks, Madhusha for those nice words:)

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  46. A true definition of a Good Samaritan! Most of us work for money and security. He already has both. If he wishes, he can rest and enjoy his life. Selfless deed indeed!

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  47. Very true, Binu! So few people are selfless like this ! Thanks for taking time off to read so many posts:)

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  48. I really liked this.
    We knew a old poor man like this near Langar house, Hyderabad.
    A retired police man

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    1. Thanks a lot Divenita! There are some good souls around everywhere:)

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