Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Renew My Faith in Humanity

--by RS, posted Mar 20, 2006
Next day was Holi, the festival of colors in India. I was sad and wanted to stay in bed, but the boys came downstairs and ambushed us with buckets of water and colored Holi powder. (There are still green and blue handprints on our walls from the struggle). I was even attacked while I was sleeping and woke up with blue dye on my back and my pillowcase. I went to celebrate at MS (I didn't want to bring down everyone else's day) and played with the colors, then water, then mud just like last year. At one point, Anup (who later shamelessly lies and says he had mud in his eyes and didn't know it was me.... ) bodyslams me into the mud while I'm screaming 'Inappropriate!!' ... I forgot about the laptop for a few fun hours.

Later that day, when I tried to get some work done, I discovered I had not only lost my laptop, but also the back up CD's (b/c I had just burned them; they were still in the bag) and my planner, my notebook: everything. I still tried to stay positive and productive but when I realized that I no longer even had a PEN - I broke. I cried for a really, really long while.

With my lack of time left, I had no time to dwell on it or be sad. However, a few days later, when I realized that I was meeting the designer for the annual report but all the pictures were gone, I decided I wasn't going to let my work go so easily. I made small flyers w/ Raju (who took a few hours out of his super busy schedule to write them up in Gujarati b/c he's the best person ever!), xeroxed 600 copies, and passed them out to every rickshawwalla I saw. Must've talked to over 75 and I was losing my voice from repeating the story so many times.

Then I met up with Pankaj who said I had to take the rest of the night off or I would drive myself crazy. 10 minutes later, Virenbhai (of Manav Sadhna) calls. Says he just got a weird call from someone who may have my laptop. Asks if I'm willing to pay a reward. Yes, I tell him, whatever the guy wants. He says, hopefully, if the guy calls back, he'll offer a reward and also explain that we are here doing good things and servicework.

He calls me back. Says he's convinced the guy to come over to his house by assuring that the police won't be involved. Tells me to get there as quickly as possible. On my bicycle it would've taken me an hour. Pankaj generously lends me his scooter, knowing full well I've never driven in India at night. (I don't even know how to kickstart them properly!) I chug along the road and get there- this guy asks me a million questions about what I had in the bag. When he is satisfied that the bag is mine, he goes home to bring it to me. (Turns out the rickshawwalla tried to sell it to him thinking it was a small TV. This guy says he needs to see it first to assess the price. Looks through the bag, realizes what happened, and calls a few of the first numbers in my notebook.) He wouldn't even take a reward. Says God gives him everything he needs. Says he wouldn't even take 5 rupees that don't belong to him b/c somewhere down the road he'd pay for it a hundredfold. I'm still in shock. This guy singlehandedly renewed my faith in the world.

The whole night was so surreal: this guy and his friend had apparently gone through my things, and even asked if I made my dentist appointment on Friday (!!!). Then, Jayeshbhai calls to tell me that I can never sell this computer now b/c it's a reminder of the good in the world.

On the bike ride home at midnight, while I'm still in shock and the streets are surreally empty, and I think that the world couldn't possibly surprise me any more, I pass a nice man riding an elephant (!!!) and have a totally casual conversation with him.

Everything was still in the backpack. I'm typing this on my laptop right now. I am so lucky and so grateful. I am blessed.

AND I have my pen back.
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Readers Comments

jsmc10 wrote: Such a fantastic end to the story :)

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