Saturday, February 15, 2014

Language of compassion

She had been standing there for a good ten minutes. Traffic flowed like a river in flood. Never unceasing, fast and incessant. She had come to dread her morning trips to the market. Despite her years in the city she hadn’t mastered the art of zigzagging through it all.

She waited on.. uncertain, scared.

Finally, she took a step forward and was greeted by a flurry of honks as a scooter whizzed by almost brushing her sari. The driver waved her back with an impatient look, like she had invaded his personal space. She stepped back almost guiltily.

She wiped her sweat, adjusted her glasses, shifted her bag to the other hand and readied to try again. A giant city bus materialised blocking all else other than its dirty red as it creaked to an angry halt. Flustered, she stepped back onto the footpath again.

She looked around in part dread part fascination at other pedestrians making a dash through the chaos.

I cannot stay here forever, she reasoned. She straightened her shoulders and with a bravado that felt false to even to her own self, she stepped into the traffic. Within seconds she heard a car screech to a halt inches from her... horns blared, people cursed. She tried to look up but panic blinded her. Someone wrested her bag from her hand, someone was grabbing her shoulder, propelling her forward. She tried to resist, but couldn’t.

And then, in a flash, she was on the other side. Her bag was back in her hand. She stood breathing hard, heart hammering. "It's alright," said the young girl, "you're fine". Relief and gratitude brimmed over. She tried to focus, a thank you on her lips, but the girl had already melted in the crowd.

Sometimes it takes just a minute, just a tiny gesture to express it all.. tolerance, compassion, love.
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Edited to add: Do check out this page here... Random Acts of Kindness Week.

19 comments:

  1. So true, sometimes all it takes is just a little bit of compassion and love. Very nice story, quite relatable.

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    1. Thanks Kajal.. Happens with me a lot.. I'm dead scared to cross roads.

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  2. even the smallest of gestures can make all the difference...indeed!!

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    1. It can.. Sometimes a tiny effort from you maybe a huge help for someone else.

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  3. You hit the nail on the head with this one. small gestures mean a lot too. Your post reminded me of a Mumbai scene a few years ago when I visited. this little girl probably about 10 years old bravely stepped on the road, hand out showing the stop sign stopping all the cars (including the one I was travelling in) to cross the road - perhaps she felt the fear but did it anyway. Nicely written Tulika.

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    1. I'm not sure that was a safe thing to do.. but brave nonetheless.

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  4. Lovely story, although I feared for her and the girl! That was a brave thing to do!

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    1. People are in such a hurry they don't spare a thought for anyone else...

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  5. This lady was scared of crossing the busy road and I have seen pedestrians brazenly cross the road without a though for the vehicles in motion. I do not label them bold but stupid.

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    1. Completely agree Kalpana. I keep wondering what if the driver isn't able to brake in time? It's a frightening thought.

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  6. Sometimes strangers make us feel good about the society we live in. Glad she got help.

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  7. Beautiful take, Tullika. Love the story and kindness, tolerance and compassion shall always find echo in beautiful hearts:)
    http://vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/not-just-a-love-story-feel-the-love

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  8. was it a girl selling wiping clothes or window shields that one comes across in signals.They have the dexterity to move in the chaos.I was afraid she would have been hit by a vehicle and you gave a happy ending
    www.kpsarathi.blogspot.com

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  9. Lovely take Tulika. It's often the small gestures that matter a lot.

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  10. You could have written about me. I used to confidently cross roads earlier. But now, with a child in tow, I fear for my life. Nobody stops! But, yes, there is that occasional stranger, either in a car or on foot, who extends that helping hand and I am eternally grateful for that.

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  11. Just to let you know that I was here - over a year late - but I'm reviewing the entries to make sure the results of this contest are announced finally. My apologies for the inordinate delay. Keep writing!

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    1. Thanks Corinne. Always good to see you here.

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