Saturday, February 2, 2019

Many Faces of Kindness

How many times in life have you come across some random people who have helped in you in situations when you were least expecting it? Such incidents not only provide comfort but also strengthen the belief in goodness that exists in humanity. I have not only seen this happen but has left a lasting impact. I recall some of these instances which are still fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday.

As a bachelor, I got an opportunity to travel to the United States for training whilst in the Navy in the early 1980s. The training venue was Long Island in the New York which is at a distance from Manhattan. I got a call from my cousin to meet one Indian doctor who was working at the Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital. So on the very first weekend, I landed at his place and met his wife who was at home. She met me as if she had known me for long and asked me to stay till her husband returned from work. At no point did I feel as if I was a stranger. Later, her husband too arrived and was equally warm. They insisted that I stay back at their place. Some more of their friends joined and we made merry till late hours. Next morning they took me around to show the city and did not allow me to spend a penny. Only on late Sunday evening, they dropped me at the Grand Central to take the train back to Long Island. For the next four weekends, they ensured that I spend the time with them and looked after me better than anyone would care for own family. I visited the Empire State, the World Trade Centre (which was struck by disaster on 9/11), the Broadway, Statue of Liberty and much more. The time just flew with the amazing couple and next, I got a chance to meet them when they came on board the ship where I was posted in Mumbai.

After marriage, My wife and I travelled to Gangtok the capital of Sikkim. I was confident that with my identity of Navy, I will get accommodation in an Army Mess so just went over to the nearest place that appeared to be an Army Unit. I asked the Major if he could help me find a place in the Black Cat Institute, a well-known institute. He was so courteous that he took us to his home and treated us with hot lunch and later informed that as there was a conference of Senior Commanders so there is no accommodation there but instead he arranged a lovely cottage within his own unit that overlooked the valley. I could not have asked for a better place and the next day he even arranged a trip for us to the witness the sunrise from the base of Mount Kanchenjunga! One of the most memorable sights I remember.

Yet another instance that comes to my mind was a trip to Badrinath and Kedarnath that we had planned impromptu during the summer vacations of my daughter. We returned from Badrinath and were on way to Kedarnath by road. Around evening the bus reached Gaurikund and beyond that, we were required to trek the distance of 14 km. It was getting dark and all the hotels in the vicinity were fully booked. While we were hunting a tailor who worked nearby came to us and asked if he could help. When he learnt that there were no rooms available he took us to his place that was nearby. He had a small room that was unoccupied and arranged some bedding for us. His family welcomed us wholehearted. A very touching gesture! Next morning we woke up and tried to pay him but he did not agree. An act of kindness which I still cannot forget.

I have many more such tales that serve me a reminder that kindness still exists. A total stranger took us from Geneva to Mount Saleve in his car as we could not get tram/train connections. He took us home on the way back to meet his wife who offered us coffee and was extremely kind. He even dropped us back at the tram station where he had met us in the morning. We saw some lovely views of French Alps and the Swiss side from the Saleve Pass. We conversed only in sign language as he was a German and did not know English. His wife had a hearty laugh when he explained to her that we mistook him to be a taxi driver who was forcing us to take us to Mount Saleve.  Eventually, it was just a free ride all the way and some lovely memories to cherish.

It is a long list and would need a lot of space to recount other instances. I consider myself to be fortunate to come across people who keep the faith of kindness of people alive every single day. Do share if you too have any similar stories. 

PS-Image Kind Courtesy Google


  1. Glad to see you here again! There is still a lot of kindness in the world.

    1. Welcome back to my blog, Lady Fi!SO agree with you.

  2. These are indeed great examples of kindness and I do believe the attitude continues to stay in society. Nice reading your memories of those sweet moments.