It was November 2015 a chilly morning my father wakes up with fever n weakness. There is an appointment can’t cancel, unfortunately he can’t drive, the driver takes an untimely leave on that day of all days. Gets late, to avoid traffic, decides not to take taxi n catches a train instead.
After boarding, the day kind of goes bizarre, dad only remembers strangers one by one playing a role to help him out.
It’s an hour journey, by now he feels weak enough to even register his surroundings:
Offers his seat in the crowded train even though his station hasn’t arrived. In a Mumbai local offering a seat even if you aren’t getting off is most kindest thing of all (talk of simple things making a big difference).
My gratitude to this man, if he hadn’t, Dad could have felt more weak to even walk later, gave him some rest for a while.
Dad wants to type a text about being late, but can’t even see the letters, another stranger observes, offers to type it for him. Types, hands over the mobile.
My gratitude to this stranger for observing my father n being kind enough to text and letting someone know of his whereabouts.
I am calling them stranger(s), as Dad doesn’t remember how he got off the train. My guess, when you are in a crowded train, you don’t get off by yourself, the crowd takes you along, either you get off or you get stuck in the train itself.
So my gratitude to these strangers, for the first time I am happy that Mumbai trains are crammed with travellers.
By now any sane person would know he is not in his best form and it’s better to head home, but for some reason he was reckless, instead feels hungry, goes to a nearby restaurant to eat and then decide where to head.
Observes Dad while eating, ask him, if he is alright. Dad mumbles something. Feels tired to finish, pays, starts moving but wobbles. The stranger comes up to him again
“I don’t think you are fine, it’s better you catch a cab and head back home, Where do you live?”
He holds him, heads towards the taxi stand. Asks the cab driver to take him home.
Do I even have to mention why do I feel any kind of gratitude for this stranger. It feels like he was an angel sent from heaven.
The Taxi driver takes him home. Parking at the front gates, carries Dad to our flat. Advices Mom to call a doctor immediately. When he is about to leave Mom ask him about the fare for the drive. He says it is nothing,
“I don’t need money, just call for a Doctor”. He leaves.
Even gratitude, appreciation, respect feels small, there is nothing I say will convey what one taxi driver who probably doesn’t even enjoy luxuries of life, did for me that day. Words fail for what I feel for this stranger.
For those who have read n are concerned for my father. He is fine today, we did call the doctor, he needed some rest n also realise he is not young anymore. I guess a lesson for me too.
The strangers, feel sad, can’t personally meet these people. Let alone me, Dad doesn’t remember their faces. There is no way we, in this lifetime will ever be able to repay their kindness only wish for their happiness. Another way I can think of is to carry forward their kindness to others, spread their goodness to others it sometimes just takes only seconds of your time to help a life.
There are times I have questioned if people even care for others, do they feel any kind of pain, empathy for others. People say big words but when it comes to action ‘Nothing’.
But thanks to these strangers, these heroes, there is genuine kindness in actions too without any expectations.
I have faith in goodness of people, I have faith in Humanity.
Happy Being Human!!!