Saturday, May 23, 2015

At First Sight....

At first sight - the words speak of love. They have been spoken of in the context of love so frequently that the first response they evoke from the reader is that of love. But I don't talk of love here. 

About three years back, I used to walk my son to his preschool. There was a very close friend of mine whose son also went to the same school. We all used to walk together, to drop our boys and to pick them back. Those walks were memorable and fun. We would talk and talk, not knowing when we reached the destination. We did not care if it was a harsh sunny day or if it rained. We did not care if it was frigid. 

It was on one such walk that we met her. At first sight, she seemed just like any other old lady. She wore sunglasses, probably to steer away the blazing sun rays. She held a walking stick to support her aging body. She stooped a little. And she was walking in the opposite direction to us. 

Now, to tell you the truth, whenever I see old people, I have a strange urge to talk to them. They remind me of my grandparents who are now no more. They awaken memories of a childhood now past. They speak of wisdom and of knowledge that might be snatched away from us because they stand are close to their final destination. 

So it was that that day too I wanted to stop and talk to the lady. But since the kids were running, me and my friend quickened our pace, my one eye being on the lady though. It was just a few steps ahead when she called. For help, from someone. I halted, so did my friend. We saw the lady standing there, and so we thought maybe we did not hear correctly if and what she said. Unsure of what to do, we stopped our kids from running around. The lady called again. Yes, she needed help. 

I ran towards her. My friend looked after the kids. I asked the lady what was wrong. "Is everything okay? Do you need some help?"

The lady was scared. I could see it in her eyes. But I could hear her voice tremble. "Who are you? Are you sure you are good? Do you promise nothing will happen to me?"

The words pierced me. Oh, the distrust, the phobia, the fear!

"You are just fine. Please don't worry. See, we are with our kids. Look, they are running around. We came to pick them from school. Look, that is there school building. What is wrong? Please tell me so that I can help you."

"I cannot see." 
The words hit me again.

"I am sorry. Tell me where are you going? What help can I be to you? And please don't worry. We are good", I reassured her.

"We lost our way........ Came to the doctor......... Are new here...........My husband asked me to wait while he looked around....But I don' know where he is.....Has something happened to him....?" She was about to cry.

"Do you have a phone?"

"No.....er......", she was distrusting again. 

"If you have his number, I can give him a call." She hesitated. She had the number in her bag. She was thinking if she should open her bag in front of me. She still doubted if I was good.

Her perplexity and panic was making me sad. But I had to help her. I don't know how many times I told her that she need not worry since we were good. I never felt such pain in my heart. 

My friend in the meantime, having heard what she was saying looked around. She ran in the vicinity to see if she could spot someone. 

I made the lady sit on a bench. And although it might have frightened her, I held her hand and kept repeating my comforting words. I kept convincing her that she was in safe hands.

Luckily my friend saw an old man coming. She hastened towards him and asked him if he had come here with someone. Yes, he said. 

He came hurriedly to his wife. And thanked us. Never had I felt so relieved in my life. I could see the same repose on my friend's face. The old man shook hands with our kids. Then he told us they had lot of children, but unfortunate as it was, they lost most of them before they were born. They had one daughter who survived and they cherished her. 

I cannot forget the parting words the old man gave to us.

"Give your kids all the love you can now. For they grow up very fast."

To our kids, he said, "Never stop loving your moms, young men!"

And then we all went our way. My mind was riveted on just one thought that day, and for many days to come. Was I good? For her....

Image Source here



Image Source here

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.



You might also like this poem I wrote when I saw an old couple in Walmart. Read Silver Love.

Do Share you thoughts. Thanks

10 comments:

  1. Nice share of the experience :) It feels good to have helped someone in need :)

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    1. more than that what kept me awake often was the fear the old lady had....it just broke my heart........

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  2. Oh my...her fear is really heart breaking...very well penned...so glad you found her and were able to help...God bless!!!

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    1. Yes Vyomi, the distrust kills you....breaks you apart.....

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  4. I can relate to that "URGE to talk to old people" coz i have felt this so many times. I have seen many old people carrying heavy bags all on their own, i feel like helping them , but then a fear will they trust me or will they be trust worthy stops me many times.
    But definitely when you help such people in distress, and in the end the blessings you get are trust worthy every pain you take , whether it's physical or emotional pain of being considered as not trustworthy.

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  5. The society that we live in today feed on distrust. That is a disturbing phenomenon. But when we do a good deed, it is like a ripple in the ocean. It will send waves of positivity and bring about a change.

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