We were travelling by Shatabdi Express to Amritsar. From Amritsar, we had to travel by road to Dharamshala. A hotel had already been booked I Dharamshala. We were travelling for a vacation - Me, my husband and our young kid, just 5 at that time. He was not far from our seats. My daughter was not ready to sit on her seat and was moving here and there. She was the first to interact with him. Who initiated, is difficult to recollect but soon both of them were interacting as if they know each other for years. He was narrating her story and she was engrossed in his voice. Gradually we all started interacting with him as he seemed to be quite a sober person. He introduced himself as Arjun. He was also going to Dharmshala on some duty. He was working with some government organization and was travelling on an official tour. In Amritsar, he had to meet his maternal uncle and then had to move to Dharmshala. He had already organized a car officially for his travel.
Based on his position he was having an SUV waiting for him at Amritsar. After knowing that we had to go to Dharmshala from Amritsar station, he offered us a ride in his car to Dharmshala. We had not reserved any vehicle in advance as we had to do it once we reach Amritsar. The only hiccup was that he had to visit his uncle’s house for a couple of hours. That means if we decide to go with him, it would delay us to reach our hotel by 2-3 hours. Going alone to a new place, that too with our young daughter seemed problematic. And thus, this offer of travelling with someone who has some authority on an unknown place and who is familiar with that place, seemed better to us. We decided to sacrifice 2-3 hours and told Arjun to go and meet his uncle, and we shall wait at the station. We told him to take us along when he gets free from there.
Arjun laughed aloud and told us with an authority that we all are going along with him to his uncle’s house. There is no point in waiting at the station as it would consume more time to come back to the station, he tried to convince us. We were quite comfortable with him throughout. That one-day interaction with Arjun has made us his big fan and opened up our mind that all strangers are not bad. In fact, some might be too close to humanity and selfless help.