Monday, December 17, 2007

Acts of kindness

When I saw the BlogCatalog email requesting Bloggers to post on December 17 an act of kindness by them, I thought it was an easy one. But I could not think of any good deed by me. We have been taught from childhood that helping the needy was our duty. Therefore such instances do not strictly qualify as acts of kindness.

Then I remembered one incident thirteen years back. The shortest route from Cochin to my home at Olavipe is to turn off at Aroor on NH 47 and cross over a branch of the Vembanad Lake. A bridge was still under construction in 1994. Vehicles had to be ferried across by a jankar (a platform on two country crafts pulled by a boat). That service was available till 8.30 PM only. Those who were traveling by public transport crossed by canoes and took another bus.

One evening when I reached the ferry at about 7 o’clock there was a group of people around a man who was lying on the roadside. My driver K. Sasi found out that the person had a heart attack and someone had gone to fetch a taxi to reach him to the hospital. I got down and told Sasi to rush the patient to the hospital in Cochin. He was also instructed to wait at the hospital till the doctors attended to the man.

I crossed over by a canoe and boarded a packed bus. A few people got up and offered me their seats. I was grateful for that. On reaching home I told Ammachi (Oru Desathinte Amma.) and my wife what happened. They were happy about what I did and started praying (Kerala Architecture: Prayer room of a heritage home) for the man’s recovery.

Sasi came back rather late to report that the patient had stabilized. The ferrymen had waited for the car to come back and Sasi didn’t have to drive the long way around (one hour extra). A week later the sick man’s brother came home to tell us that he had recovered and to thank me for the help.

What I did was a good thing. Then I realized that three other acts of kindness were involved – the people who offered me their seats in the bus, the boatmen who waited far beyond their duty time to ferry the car back, and the man who came to tell us that his brother was out of danger.

There is so much good in people.



Gowri Mohanakrishnan said...

What a lovely story. It's so simple on the surface. There's a lesson here for all of us; to look at and appreciate what so many others do for us all the time.

ER Ramachandran said...


Jacob Matthan said...

A wonderful input.

The only reason for living is to carry out such acts, not for any personal satisfaction or glory, but because that is what we must show to be the true face of "human nature".

Not egotism or selfishness.

Thank you Abe. My faith in human beings lies untarnished.

alfredjohn said...

ever day we should think of doing a act of kindness however small it may be