Friday, July 29, 2011

TGIF #2: Good Samaritans

We were going to this mall the other day and while walking towards the Metro, I was stopped by a lady tourist, who was going to the same mall. She had no clue as to which train to take and seeing the cool, confident and suave me (Ahem! Ahem!), she approached me for guidance. I told her that we were also going to the same place and she gladly tagged along.

Firstly thank God she was going to the same place that we were. I am pathetic at giving directions. Once I was walking to my school and a car slowed down by me to ask directions to go to another school which was just next to mine. I couldn’t explain although I knew the place but I was eager to help. My parents had repeatedly warned me to beware of strangers and I was wary of getting into the car with the driver. So I confidently told him that I was also going to the same place and he could follow me! I don’t know what the driver thought, but the poor fellow did follow me in his car for the next couple of blocks at a snail’s pace!

So Kirsten, this lady I was talking about, is a South African Animation Specialist - pretty chatty and has a beautiful smile where her eyes crinkle up when she grins! When I told her that we were from India, she asked me which part and informed us that she had visited Mumbai and Delhi! The train was crowded and we had no place to sit. All three of us stood and gaily yapped away about this and that - well, actually she did most of the talking. She had come to Dubai on a last minute trip for her “baby sis’s” wedding! Arranged marriages, the Caste system, Astrology , Work, How I met My Husband were just some of the topics discussed in the short span of 30 minutes!

When we arrived at the mall, she was met by her (South African?)friend who on hearing that we were Indians, promptly greeted us with “aap kaisa hai?”. When I said that I was from South India, he then said “vanakkam!” Pretty charming, is it not!? Anyway then they went on their path and we went on ours.

We were running a little late for the movie that we had planned to catch and we had to drop into the library too. So my husband and I split up, with me choosing to go to the library and he to buy the movie tickets. We didn’t actually decide where we would meet up, as I thought that we could call each other, once our respective jobs were done. So I happily finished my books browsing and when I whipped out my phone to call, it was dead. I had charged it the whole day but I’ve been having a few problems with it lately and apparently one such problem was that the battery wouldn’t last for more than a couple of hours.

I went to the theater (or cinema if you will!) hoping to catch my husband there but he was nowhere in sight. I stood around wondering what to do (whatever happened to PCO booths?!). I then spied two Keralite Muslim women accompanied by a man strolling around. So I approached them and explaining myself, requested to use their phone to call my husband. I guess they were initially taken aback but they obliged. I made a quick call and let my husband know where I was and we were happily reunited in a few minutes.

I know that my no means were we in any kind of disastrous situation. If this kind stranger had not lent me his phone, maybe someone else might have. Or my husband and I would have been running around for a couple of hours trying to locate each other. (But by this point, my heels were already killing me. How on earth do people manage walking in high heels, let alone dance in them?!). Or eventually, I could have just hailed a cab and come home, hoping that my husband might do the same.

But we would have most definitely missed our movie, wasted a lot of time and energy and probably cursed each other. In short our day would have been spoiled. But instead, because of that good Samaritan, we had a pleasant time together. I’d like to think that my small little good deed earlier in the day earned me some good karma. As they say, what goes around comes around , eh?!

So today I thank all the good Samaritans out there, who have helped me in any way, big or small. (BTW does everyone know the history behind the phrase "Good Samaritan"?) I remember, when I was a kid, I used to go to a creche after school. Having too many kids around me was too great a temptation and instead of having my afternoon nap, I used to happily play with all the other kids. This resulted in my nodding off, sitting on the backseat of my dad’s scooter when he picked me up and took me home. If not for the numerous passersby who alerted my dad time and time again, “Paapa thoonguthu!” meaning “Baby is sleeping!”, I would have probably, slept and fell off the bike and seriously hurt myself.

There must be loads of people whom I have asked directions to go somewhere. The many people who have helped me lug my luggage through the many airports, when I teeter around with bag, baggage, coat, passport, ticket, book et al. And the people who have helped me shove my usually-heavily-over-loaded-bursting-at-the-seams hand luggage to the overhead compartments, without dropping it on the heads of the poor unsuspecting passengers seated below. These people were neither my friends nor family, or even acquaintances I vaguely knew. They were strangers. It wasn’t their job to help me. But they did. I would have probably managed to survive without their help. But the truth is however inconsequential their help seemed to be, it made my life slightly more tolerable; a tad bit easier. It made this world, a little brighter and a little better.

My thanks to all those good Samaritans out there! May I too find it in me to pass on all the good deeds that I receive!

Image Courtesy:


  1. Very well written.A good Samaritan deserves another one. What was amazing was the ability of the south African friend to change the greeting from the predominant Hindi to relatively obscure tamil. :)

  2. Thanks Sid! Yep he really took me by surprise!

  3. Oh God, I'm pathetic at recharging or being around my phone. If this had happened to me and there was no one to help, I would have never ever heard the end of it from Anand! Thank God for such good Samaritans! :)

  4. @Neeraja: U know there was a time when I used to carry my mobile practically EVERYWHERE - even to the loo! But nowadays it is useful only to see my missed calls! And yes I too did get a good, healthy dose from Ajay ;-)

  5. loved this post of urs...:) really a nice gonna bookmark ur blog rite away so that i can chk it more freq...:)

    im v bad wth directions.. always used to mess up the right and left turns... most of the time i ended up telling them the wrong direction.dunno how many cursed me for that... :P

    i remember wen i was a kid someone asked me the address of the house which apparently was rite nxt to my apartment and i dint knw.. i told them i had no idea and proceeded only to find them nxt to my apt wen i reached home.. that was embarrassing..:P

  6. @Priya: Haha! Thts funny! I knw wht you mean though-If I am standing at a spot, of course I know which is right and left. But standing somewhere else I find it very difficult to figure it out in my head!
    Please do follow my blog! The more the merrier ;-)

  7. Women and mobile phones (or is it wives and mobile phones :-))) misplaced,calls not picked,mobile not charged...why am i not surprised? Face it everytime.South Africa has a strong Indian connection. Remember Gandhi...Durban has got a very large Indian population. Even in Joberg i found many Indian connections,especially Gujarati!!! After IPL definitley most of SA knows India...But wishing in Tamil is sure sure most of us wouldnt be able wish in Afrikaans.

  8. @Anna: Well you knw no one actually calls married women!
    Ya ur right. Leave alone Afrikaans, when he wished in Hindi itself I didn't understand! Thts y he wished in Tamil! Sheesh!


I love reading comments! Please leave one (or many!). I sincerely appreciate it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...