A Random Act of Kindness

By | August 11, 2007
Finding a slot to park my car was a tough job. The place that never had more than 5 cars parked in its big parking space had now over 50 cars parked. After a bit of struggle, I find a space to park. As I bend into the rear seat to pick up my novel, I hear a broken voice from behind me. It says, “Bhaiya, aapko marathi aati hai?”(Brother, do you speak Marathi?). Having attended my engg. college in a small, non-descript town on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border, I knew a fair bit of it. So I answered, “Yes”. The guy started to talk in Marathi, his eyes full of tears, his clothes ragged and soiled, and his voice sounding tired but relieved. Relieved that it had found ears willing to listen.

“A week ago I came to Delhi with my old parents to meet my brother who works in Gurgaon. But we were robbed on our way here from Delhi, and lost all our money, and my brother’s address. We have been running around this city, hungry and thirsty, with no money or means to go back to our village. I don’t know what to do. Will you help me, brother?”

I was stunned. First I thought, this is one of those beggars with another of their stories to pull money out of people. Then I noticed the old parents sitting on the pavement, teary eyed. And I noticed the struggle in the young man’s eyes, who was forced to ask strangers for help. Something deep down in me told me that this lad was genuine, and so was his story. I wanted to help him, but there was a tiny bit in me that kept saying, “Ignore this guy, how do you even know that he is genuine? He could be another one of those liars that run around in this big city.”

I ignored, but I ignored this voice that came from inside of me. The city of dreams was turning me into a person I wasn’t, and a person I couldn’t be. And I could actually hear in my head the broken voice of this lad, trying to approach a lot of strangers, and being rebuked, rebuffed and kicked off everytime he tried to help his poor parents and himself.

I put my hand on his shoulders, and told him to relax. Then I proceeded to give him a 500 Rs. note from my wallet, and told him to directly go to the railway station, buy tickets for himself and his parents, and head back to his home.

Far away from this city of dreams, that converts ordinary people into uncaring, unwielding monsters. I don’t know if I was able to help him enough, I don’t know whether he will be safely able to reach his hometown with his parents.

But I know one thing, at least the man from a small town will know that there is still some humanity alive on this planet. And that one day, he might be able to help another person in need.

A person he might not know, a person he might not care about, but a person he will help. Because when he was in need, he was helped!

Just think, how many days have passed since you did a random act of kindness? Helped a complete stranger, maybe helping an old woman cross the road, stopping your car to let the pedestrian walk by, giving a lift to a person stranded in the rain?

Remember, kindness just spreads. You just need to do your bit and pass it on. If the day comes when your car breaks down in heavy rains, you will find someone ready to stop over and help you out. And that will be the day you really appreciate the value of a random act of kindness.

One thought on “A Random Act of Kindness

  1. Amit

    And that one day, he might be able to help another person in need.

    A person he might not know, a person he might not care about, but a person he will help. Because when he was in need, he was helped!

    I read somewhere that once V.P.Menon(the person who drafted the partition plan of India & Pakistan & was a close subordinate of Sardar Patel) arrived Delhi enroute to Shimla & his money was stolen. So he asked a rich looking Sikh for a loan of Rs.15(a lot of money at that time) & his address so he can repay. The Sikh just told him to help any honest man that asks for Menon’s help with this amount of money for the rest of his life & Menon did that!!


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