There's nothing quite like the kindness of strangers or near strangers to warm one's heart. It always inspires such hope; hope that, despite all the shit we see and hear all around us, this world of ours will be alright after all. A reaffirmation of the basic goodness of my fellow creatures.
I've been on the receiving end of such random acts of kindness so many times in my life that I almost feel guilty. It can't be fair for one person to be so fortunate.
There was the classmate back in college who hardly knew me but noticed I wasn't well on a trip to Shimla and made sure I got back to the bus safe and sound. The driver from the other side of the freeway who saw me lose control of my car and go flying into the snow filled median and came to my rescue despite, I'm sure, having somewhere to be. The nice gentleman who saw me struggling to change out a flat tire and came and helped and vanished back without so much as waiting for a thank you. And many, many others.
These last 10 days I've experienced even more such kindness as I've been travelling in a far off region as a solo female backpacker. And that too one without much of a grasp of Hindi, which, as it turns out, it is absolutely essential to know to survive anywhere in India outside my own home state. Special thanks to D and her husband for watching out for me in N Sikkim and for the use of that hot shower (I know this isn't the book I promised you but someday maybe).
Not sure if this counts but my best friend's best friend has shown me such kindness and care and concern and consideration that I almost wish I had an older brother. Perhaps I should have tied you a rakhi as well when I came to your house that time, R. That hair toussle I shall treasure always. Now I know how Arya felt. I had such a wonderful time these last few days in no small part thanks to you.
The immediate push for this post came from a really kind soul who not only took the trouble to intervene on my behalf with the train guys on this Saraighat express to attempt to get me my dinner or my money back, but also when she found out that I had nothing to eat, offered me roshogollas that her mom made for her. Tastiest ones I've ever eaten and sweetened by more than just sugar. Thank you, D!