Open Hearts On A Crammed Bus
--by donothing, posted Jul 18, 2010
Riding the bus in India can be a disconcerting experience. First, getting on the bus is itself an imposing proposition. Usually, the bus slows to a coast at your stop and you literally have to jump on, all the while jostling for a grip amongst a crowd of others also trying to board.
Once you get on, it doesn't get any easier. Indian buses are crowded, dusty, stuffy, uncomfortable. You seldom find a place to sit; most of the time you are crammed into the aisles, clinging for a grip someplace.
Today I was on an especially busy bus. I was standing in the aisle when the seat right next to me opened up. Typically when this happens there is a mad scramble to fill the seat, like when the music suddenly stops in a game of musical chairs. But when one opens up in front of me I like to first look for someone in need of a break. In this case there was a young guy with cropped hair and a red kurta on the other side of the seat who I gestured to take it. Surprisingly, he politely declined with a big smile. I sat down.
Not more than 2 minutes later at the next stop, an exhausted-looking woman ambled towards the seat. Feeling inspired by the gesture by the youngster in the red kurta, I looked at her and motioned to ask her whether she would like to sit. She nodded quietly, sat down and gave a quick "thank you".
As I looked for a new place to park myself I glanced over at the youngster in the red kurta. We locked eyes and smiled knowingly to each other. He knew I had passed on his small act of kindness. I gave him a pat on the shoulder and moved on.
In a small moment, a spark of generosity was passed between three people on a stuffy, rumbling Indian bus.
I can purely relate as I have to go through the same many times.....
Best wishes for Raj and Aastha!