“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the and the blind can see”- Mark Twain.
I was leaving to do a clinic this weekend at my hometown and booked my travel by train. It was an obscure ’special’ Mangalore Express and its announcement was not even on the billboard at the railway station. It even arrived at an obscure platform 2A in Chennai!
The train arrived in Coimbatore at dawn- 6am. As I walked towards the exit , I saw a couple- a blind couple with the man holding a white tell tale stick. I slowed down when the man and woman were about 10 feet away; people walked around them clearing the space for them. The couple clearly did not know which way to go. The noisy platform did not help them either. The man rotated around himself as if to assess which way to go. The wife just held his hand and circled along with him.
I politely walked past but then out of curiosity turned around to look; no one wanted to help. My pick up was waiting and I wanted to go away; but was interested enough to see if anyone would help. Well, no one did. So I stopped and walked back to the man and asked if he wanted to go out of the station.
He said he wanted to go to the bus stand. Coimbatore station has 2 long flights of stairs and I walked holding up his hand, warning him of the steps and the pillars around. He was a bit slow at first and then picked up momentum, gathering enough confidence in me not to use his stick for tapping. I walked him and his wife to the bus stand and then rang up for my car pickup.Ten minutes of my time probably save one hour of his.
I suppose most people would be like me – knowing when some one needs help, and hoping that someone else would help them. I guess that is human enough. But then, when help is not coming , we should step up. A little bit of kindness in spirit and action goes a long way to help the physically challenged and the weak.
Mark Twain was not wrong.