Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Incredible Kindness of People

We often hear stories of people complaining about how they have been unfairly treated by others. I think its an in built human trait that we focus on the negatives rather than the positives. But i have often been amazed by the sheer kindness that people can exhibit sometimes without expecting anything in return.
I was on my first trip to Mumbai, alone on a train from Chennai, visiting the IIT campus for a competition. Solely dependent on some vague instructions provided by the event organisers I was a little nervous about how to get to the campus from the station. Asking a few people in the compartment around me, elicited immediate directions and warnings. One man actually got down in the station along with me, put me on a taxi after issuing dire warnings to the driver and even went to the extent of calling me after half an hour to inquire if I had reached safely. I was incredibly touched. And delighted. That a total stranger should go to so much trouble for me expecting nothing in return was surprising to say the least.
Ive tried to do my bit too after that, helping strangers with heavy luggage, giving up seats on buses for old people, exchanging berths on trains. Little bits of kindness here and there. People view me suspiciously sometimes, but they make someone's day a little brighter sometimes. And they are surprised too by the kindness of strangers.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Transition times

My life has been always neatly divided into phases. There was school, college, Wipro, MBA so far and now my married phase is about to begin. But I think its those in between transition times that are the hardest to define and get through. Looking back now I think they were what helped to adjust from one phase to another and changed something inside me. Helped me grow up from a school going child to one supposedly ready to face the challenges and sudden independence in college. And then from an immature college student to an excited then bored office goer.
I am in a transition time right now, and I have the feeling of having lost my moorings, of being afloat and patiently waiting to reach somewhere, to start the next phase. I can already feel the time slipping away, the time I want to cling onto and remember - as a spoilt grandchild, as an independent woman, as a daughter with the freedom to make her own decisions, as a child who doesn’t have to think about what others might think of her actions. Time to just sit at home and while the hours away, reading a book or sleeping or just doing nothing without feeling guilty about it. This is one of the most precious times to me and i intend (hopefully) to use it well.