The wind whipped past and I felt these gusts of air whispering while they danced past me. The exhilaration seemed somewhat indulgent minutes later, particularly when I saw the old uncle sprawled on the floor, blood dripping from his forehead.
The Indian grandpa had fell off his bicycle and was bleeding profusely from a deep cut above his left eye. He laid, stunned by this abrupt chain of events. Everything happened too quickly. Blood matted his hair, left crimson rivulets all over his face and stained the ground.
He wasn't even groaning, just lying on the ground in a daze.
Under my brother's order, I called the ambulance.
My neighbour - couldn't recall ever speaking to her - was holding a party for his son. The joyful laughter of the kids stopped as they crowded around this old man. The old man, dressed in dirty clothes, worked for a living by trimming lawns. The kids were fascinated, yet appalled, by this aged uncle.
I wheeled the bicycle - it actually has a portable generator attached! - and was shocked by its weight. No wonder the uncle lost his balance and fell off it! That damned bike has the weight of two elephants.
The uncle, slowly waking up to reality, refused to go the hospital. Guessed he's afraid of having no money to pay for the medical fees. He insisted on going home straight away, without waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
Left with no choice, I was directed to cancel the call for professional help. Must have sounded like a prankster. Calling in panic to report an uncle falling off his bike and striking his forehead against the asphalt ground a moment ago and calling yet again to assure them that the uncle was just suffering from superficial wounds and vigourously refusing to go to the hospital. Argh.
The neighbour tended to his wounds, cleaning it with warm water, Dettol and cotton swabs. Later, this kind lady even pressed a fifty dollar note into the right palm of the old uncle.
My cousin, elder brother and I accompanied this old man all the way to where he's staying - a corner terrace in a private estate. A somewhat mystifying incident. Why was he still pedaling an ancient bicycle around, loaded with weighty instruments, to trim lawns if he's staying in such a prime property?
Cats strolled lazily in the luxuriant garden as we wheeled the bicycle in. Animal lovers, this family must be quite kind-hearted.
The door opened to reveal an Indian lady with her toddler. She divulged that they were housing this uncle out of charity - otherwise, he would be roaming the streets - and reassured us that they would definitely bring him to the doctor that very night.
In a society often criticised as unfeeling and selfish, it is all the more heartening to learn of such kindness and generosity. To see my neighbour part readily with cash to help another. To hear of people taking care of an elder whom they have no blood ties with.
This world isn't all that bad a place to be in.