“I learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This touching quote has a lot to do with the incident I am about to relate. Kindness is a very powerful quality a human being can have that can go a long way in changing attitudes. Can religion become a barrier to kindness? Nope! No way!
The other day while I was chatting with my grandfather, a very interesting event in his life came out of the conversation that I would like to share.
The whole story took place in the pre-independence era. Grandpa, along with his family consisting of his little sister, mother, and father, had come out for a movie that was a classic in its day. Despite the limited technology available at that time, the film turned out to be very enchanting with all kinds of graphics. The theater was within walking distance and so after the film was over, they had an exciting conversation about the intricacies of the film as they returned, not realizing that his little sister had been left far behind. They didn’t find the missing toddler until they got home. A frantic search began.
My grandfather had decided to go back to the theater but the search had proved fruitless. The only option he had then was to ask every passerby. Seeing his agitation, a Muslim approached him and asked him why he was frustrated. Belonging to an orthodox Brahmin family, he initially ignored the man’s polite speech, seeing his attire. My great-grandmother, who was also in a frantic search, had observed this Muslim and decided to take his help. The man took her to a horse-drawn cart and showed her the baby that was sitting inside. Oh! What a relief the whole family would have felt to see the toddler inside sucking on a lollipop! My grandfather, with great remorse and almost choking with tears, told me that instead of thanking the kindly man, his mother unwittingly checked that all the child’s jewelry was not missing. It seems the reaction on the man’s face didn’t change despite the offense and instead he asked them if all the jewelry was intact. Spontaneously, my grandfather took him in his arms and respectfully invited him to his home, which he graciously accepted.
Good! So ends my grandfather’s touching revelation. My grandfather still treasures how the Muslim man made him feel.
Our country is known for its unity in diversity and this story is a great example of that. When I sit down to introspect this beautiful anecdote, I can only understand the fact that kindness knows no religion!
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