Harbingers of hope

When on the road, I am maddened by the thoughtlessness of drivers, both four-wheelers and two-wheelers. Their callousness infuriates me. They break rules with impunity.

As for two-wheelers, they are a law unto themselves, usurping as they do, footpaths as well. What is the poor pedestrian to do? Possibly, defy the law of gravity and float in air!

I feel anger, irritation, sadness and frustration at this meanness. So much so, when others show a little bit of consideration, I feel overwhelmed. The days of chivalry are almost dead and gone.

But sometimes one catches rare glimpses of it proving that there are still a few left who believe in the old values. Such instances are heartwarming and restore my faith in the goodness of human nature.

Recently, I had gone to my doctor for a checkup. After that was over, he offered to organise transport for me to get home. I was touched by his concern and assured him that it was arranged. “Are you sure?” he wanted to know. “Positive,” I replied.

In this dog-eat-dog world, rudeness, or downright savage behaviour, is the order of the day. Common garden variety of manners is totally lacking. People have no consideration for children, old people or their peers. In that respect, they treat all equally — very democratic indeed!

The other day, I saw an elderly person trying to cross a busy road. He was waiting for the green light. Even when it came on, vehicular traffic did not stop. A youngster went up to the bewildered senior citizen, held his hand and with the free arm held up the traffic. Then he escorted the gentleman across the road. Otherwise, that elderly person would have stood there till he grew roots!

Then there was the lady laden with parcels outside a shop. She was struggling to take them all in one go. A girl on a scooter stopped and spoke to the lady. There seemed to be an argument between them.

Finally, the lady gave in. The girl parked her scooter, took the parcels and put them in the basket in front. She handed the lady a spare helmet. Then she whizzed off with her precious cargo, probably dropping her home. She was not only caring but also law-abiding, I thought, (impressed).

There are such instances as the boy who helped lift a heavy basket onto the fruit seller’s head or the person who gave his seat in the bus to a lady who was strap-hanging with a baby at her hip. The smile the lady flashed at him was blinding.

What was terribly moving was when I saw a waif eating a bun. A mongrel came and stood in front of her, wagging its tail in anticipation. Without any hesitation, the girl shared her food with the canine.

As long as such people exist, there is hope for this big, bad world.

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