Kindness of Strangers
If you have a heart, you can help anybody
Small acts, big impact.
In October 2005, when I was in class four, my mother had to be hospitalized all of a sudden with amebic colitis and Dad had to be with her. Worried about Mummy and scared about being all by ourselves, my older brother Vishwanath and I bolted our front door and stayed indoors.
I still went to school. On the second day, at the school gate, another mother from our Bangalore neighbourhood, who came with her son, learnt of Mummy’s hospitalization. “I’ll come by later today,” she told me.
The lady, whom we hardly knew, visited us that evening. She walked straight into the kitchen and asked us for the whereabouts of various provisions. Next, she chopped a few vegetables and made some instant noodles for us, telling us how adding the veggies made the dish more healthful. We called her Geetha Aunty. She cooked dinner and chatted with us, keeping our minds off our mother’s poor health. Since I had a class test the next day, Geetha Aunty quizzed me on dates in history and gave me tips on how to remember them. She also stayed with us that night. The next day, after some more cooking, she went to stay with Mummy in the hospital, giving Daddy time to come home to rest and catch up on other things. Geetha Aunty’s own children, a boy and a girl, had their grandparents at home to take care of them. Saying so, she stayed in the
hospital until Mummy was discharged. She even came to our house with Mummy to help out before returning to her own home and kids.
A month later, we had a small puja at home with Geetha Aunty as guest of honour. We thanked her for the support she provided when we were alone and helpless. The next year, Geetha Aunty’s husband got a transfer to Chennai. We have somehow lost touch, but have never forgotten her. “You were like my own children,” she had said. “I didn’t feel like I was in another home.”