Sunday, November 15, 2009

The shock of random kindness

I did something totally crazy today. On my way to office, stuck in a traffic jam, with people really irritated and wet around me, honking like mad. A bust traffic signal- no electricity.

People cursing at the crossroads. Wanting to get ahead. One such gentleman on a motorcycle came screeching towards me in a desperate bid to cross my car before I block his path. Both he and I could see he was not going to win here. In my mind's eye, I could see an unnecessary curse on his lips.

I stopped. Gestured for him to go ahead. Smiled and gave him a thumbs up. He looked at me disbelievingly. I think he was figuring out whether I was being sarcastic or just plain dumb. I think he probably figured I was the former. Because I let him pass, of course I had to wait till a whole stream of vehicles went by. I waited.

It took me a minute more to cross the signal -I counted- a minute more than it would have if I hadn't let the guy go. A minute that brought a smile to my face for a couple of reasons. One- I wondered what that guy was thinking, must be all confused and hating me even more I think. Second- I wondered whether people know that a random act of kindness like this only costs them a minute or so more.