Language of compassion

Language of compassion

She
had been standing there for a good ten minutes. Traffic flowed like a river
in flood. Never unceasing, fast and incessant. She had
come to dread her morning trips to the market. Despite her years in the city
she hadn’t mastered the art of zigzagging through it all.
She waited on.. uncertain, scared.
Finally, she took a step forward and was greeted by a flurry of
honks as a scooter whizzed by almost brushing her sari. The driver waved her back with an impatient look, like she had invaded his personal space. She stepped back almost guiltily.
She wiped her sweat, adjusted her glasses, shifted her bag to the other hand and readied to try again. A giant city bus
materialised blocking all else other than its dirty red as it creaked to an angry halt.
Flustered, she stepped back onto the footpath again.
She looked around in part dread part fascination at other pedestrians making a dash through the
chaos.
I cannot stay here forever, she reasoned. She straightened her shoulders and with a bravado that felt false
to even to her own self, she stepped into the traffic. Within seconds she heard a car
screech to a halt inches from her… horns blared, people cursed. She tried to
look up but panic blinded her. Someone wrested her bag from
her hand, someone was grabbing her shoulder, propelling her forward. She tried to resist, but
couldn’t.
And then, in a flash, she was on the other side. Her bag was back
in her hand. She stood breathing hard, heart hammering. “It’s alright,” said the young girl, “you’re fine”. Relief and gratitude brimmed over. She tried to focus, a thank you on her lips, but the girl had already melted in the crowd.

Sometimes it takes just a minute, just a tiny gesture to express it
all.. tolerance, compassion, love.

*************


Edited to add: Do check out this page here…
Random Acts of Kindness Week.

20 Replies to “Language of compassion”

  1. Just to let you know that I was here – over a year late – but I'm reviewing the entries to make sure the results of this contest are announced finally. My apologies for the inordinate delay. Keep writing!

  2. You could have written about me. I used to confidently cross roads earlier. But now, with a child in tow, I fear for my life. Nobody stops! But, yes, there is that occasional stranger, either in a car or on foot, who extends that helping hand and I am eternally grateful for that.

  3. This lady was scared of crossing the busy road and I have seen pedestrians brazenly cross the road without a though for the vehicles in motion. I do not label them bold but stupid.

  4. You hit the nail on the head with this one. small gestures mean a lot too. Your post reminded me of a Mumbai scene a few years ago when I visited. this little girl probably about 10 years old bravely stepped on the road, hand out showing the stop sign stopping all the cars (including the one I was travelling in) to cross the road – perhaps she felt the fear but did it anyway. Nicely written Tulika.

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