Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Random (and most unexpected) Act of Kindness

I have recently moved to a new apartment. I am obviously very anxious and wary because it is not easy to deal with new people sometimes, especially when all they want to know are exactly the things you wish to keep private!

Work keeps me away from home and at times I have to get back quite late. This is a nice gated community and there are two watchmen who take turns for day and night shift. They are actually genuinely the non judgemental, *non-rolling-the-eyes-at-a-late-comer*, *non-looking-away-while-you-are-talking-to-them* - sort of people.

When I walk in late, if I bump into the watchman, I wish him goodnight and keep on walking without really worrying if he is responding or not.

The other day, I wanted to ask him if he uses a two wheeler so I can give away my helmet that I am not intending to use anymore. We got talking and he asked what I did for a living! *anxiety creeps in*.

I told him something akin to making videos for companies, for children and …he interrupts me and asks if I do social service. And so I said, yes in a way! He asked, do I do it for orphans and economically under privileged people - and I said, yes preferably but it is for everybody really! The only effort is to make it in vernacular language so the reach is more, I said.

The man is visibly smiling now and he said, "Thank you madam!" and spoke for a brief period about how it is important to take up 'empowering children' as a crucial task and more so without expecting any returns. I suddenly felt unworthy of his comments as I was barely scratching the surface while there are people who are moving mountains in that domain. So I stood there and heard him speak to me in that calm chilly night with just our voices in the horizon devoid of any hold ups, prejudice or judgements.

He shyly mentioned that he is a poet and he enjoys writing, a lot. Said he has written a lot of poems which I asked to read sometimes. He reluctantly put his hand forward to shake mine but didn't and I rushed to shake his and we parted thus.

Today, he runs up to me and hands me a poetry that he has written exclusively for me - ABOUT me. I just thanked him profusely, rather mechanically without realising what an astonishing thing I have been made a recipient of.

Here's the poem with a loose translation of it! It is moments like these that I forget all the horrific things that otherwise happen during the day while I, a woman, am out dealing with men of all kinds in public space.

Not a big fan of the religious / godly undertone but it is just as overwhelming and inspiring that I want to do more such work and earn this high praise! Thank you Azhagu Nagar Iniyabala - you beautiful person!

Dear goddess Vaishnavi, long live and flourish
Service to humanity, is service to god and your service is of a great importance. You are god's incarnation of woman - praise be to thee

May you have an amazing life where you seek smiles.
In this young age, as you fly about like a bird, you share what you gather
Praise be to that magnanimous heart of yours

Seated in a white lotus, performing penance to ensure there are no poor people or orphans.
That you offer boons by saying that the world that has given lives to all living things, is our home - praise be to thee

At the goddess Vaishnavi's temple,
may there be service, wealth, applause, people
chariots celebrations jubilation, may people revel in joy
Praise be to thee

If we pray to her every day
may there be good lives for all
may the town, city and the whole wide world
sing praise to vaishnavi - praise be to thee