Stories of Kindness from Around the World

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.

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Readers Comments

cheeka wrote: So sweet of you
luv4all wrote: Really liked your sweet gesture in the bus to find someone else to take the comfort. Long live generosity and people like you who practice it with all their heart and smiles.
luv4all wrote: so encouraging to be thinking of generosity even in the moments of a stuffy bus ride , i am sure this takes away the tiredness of the ride, replacing it with joy for all 3 of you. i used to travel in bus in india but now i feel its so difficult and thank God i can afford an auto everytime I see a bus pass by.
dailybread wrote: I love this story. Taking an ordinary moment and making it special. Even better, getting to share that with a stranger and finding it in the unlikeliest of places. It inspires me to look for those moments too, thank you :-)
grapes wrote: Hey.
How inspiring.
I can purely relate as I have to go through the same many times.....

Best wishes for Raj and Aastha!

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