On a dark road in Kuala Lumur, Nikki learns the value of a good man.
A positive role model doesn’t have to be famous or well known. Sometimes, the most powerful positive influences in our lives can be the average man on the street, a complete stranger.
It was late night in Kuala Lumpur, and Nikki was driving home alone. Her car broke down on a remote stretch of dark highway. Stranded for almost an hour alone, she wound down the window a little while waiting for rescue. Not long after that, an Indian man on a bike came over and asked, “Is your car broken down?” She was scared, of course. Any lone woman stranded on a highway at night as a man approached probably would be. She replied, “Yes.” He said “Don’t worry, I’m a mechanic. I can help.” “Please wait for my friend to arrive first,” she said.
He stood in front of her car, while she sat inside hoping her friend would arrive quickly. Maybe the mechanic saw she was uncomfortable and scared, so he waited across the road from her car. When her friend arrived, he spoke to the mechanic only then did Nikki come out of her car. After fiddling with the engine for quite sometime, the mechanic told them there were 2 possibilities of what had gone wrong, either the battery or starter, and that it would cost 400 Ringgit (123USD) to get it fixed, maybe even less.
Nikki and her friend didn’t have any money with them, and Nikki’s check from work had not cleared yet. Luckily, another friend of hers called at the right time to ask if she was ok. She told this friend about the whole situation, and her friend banked the money into Nikki’s account immediately. With the money available Nikki agreed to having the mechanic fix her car then and there.
The man called a friend of his to bring over the necessary parts and tools. Nikki and her friend waited another 40mins. She asked the man, “What’s your name?” He replied, “Ganesh”. After getting the car fixed, they went to the nearest bank to withdraw the money, but the bank system was temporarily offline. Nikki and her friend asked if the mechanic and his friend would like to have coffee at the nearest mamak (traditional Malaysian café.) Ganesh then offered to buy Nikki some food since she was obviously hungry and didn’t have any money at that moment. They chatted for 2 hours while waiting for the bank system to come back online. Once the system was back online she withdrew the money and paid the 2 gentlemen.
What started out as the beginning of a potentially dangerous situation (rape is as prevalent in Malaysian society as it is around the world) ended up with Nikki making two new friends.
Ganesh showed a foresight that many men don’t have. Firstly, he was just honestly there to help a fellow human being in need. Secondly, and possibly more importantly, he had the awareness to realize that his presence next to her car while she was alone could possibly be making her nervous. So, he chose to wait a distance away in order for Nikki to feel comfortable while waiting for her friend to arrive.
This is a great example of how even if a man has the best intentions in mind; a single woman alone at night has no idea that our intentions are good or bad. Ganesh helps show us that even when we are coming from a genuine desire to help, we still need to step outside of ourselves and perceive the situation from the perspective of the person we are there to help. A truly good man like Ganesh realizes that his presence might cause stress, and instead of being offended and walking away, he merely gave Nikki the space she needed to feel more secure in the situation until a trusted face arrived, and Ganesh could go on with his much needed and appreciated road side assistance. Not only that, but he also was compassionate enough to buy her some food while they waited for the bank system to come back online.
A good man is not necessarily hard to find. Sometimes, we just have to wait for the right situation to arise so he can present himself.
photo: andrijbulba / flickr