Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Our Memories and Their's

In Jan 2017, Rajiv Tyagi  was visiting us and as is my wont, we had taken him for a drive around nearby villages. Two large haystacks in a farm by the roadside caught our attention and we decided to pose for pictures under them. To get to them, we had to walk through someone's front yard. On our way out, the lady of the house gave us the most fragrant desi coriander leaves from her kitchen garden. This is the extent of my memory of that day.

Four years later, today, we stopped by their house again, this time to click a beautiful kainth tree. Once again, we walked by their front yard. On our way out, the family called us to sit with them and have tea. We refused the tea but sat on their parapet wall to rest and talk to them.
The man looked at me carefully and then said "I know you. Your mother was a doctor at Tanda. You used to live in Singapore. You have a young daughter. There was also a man with you." This is the depth of his memory of strangers who stopped by his house four years ago!
We again got a gift of fragrant desi coriander leaves, not to mention the sweetest hospitality and welcome only villagers know how to give.
I left their house very reluctantly. I could have sat on that parapet until the sun set and the moon rose.

A Stranger's Gift!

Saw a video yesterday about the release of oxytocin in our brains when we do something for another person. The same chemical is also released in people witnessing such a kind deed. So hoping this will release oxytocin in everyone reading this post.

This incident happened to my students from Sajhe Sapne last month. As part of their English class, we documented it- first in Hindi and then in English. Most of the words are their own, but I did help correct some mistakes and added some phrases.

A Stranger’s Gift
(Written by Phula, Santoli, Nicky, Indu, Jyoti and Arti)
This happened a few days ago. Eight of us had gone to Nangli restaurant for Shalini didi’s birthday party.
There were many people in the restaurant. The manager joined two tables for us and we sat down. Then we started ordering food, such as dosa, sandwich, golgappa, pao bhaji, alu tikki and some sweets.
We were happily eating together and joking with each other. We were having a great time. Everyone in the restaurant was amused and looking at us with interest. A man sitting at the table behind us kept looking at us. After some time, he asked us where we were from. We introduced ourselves and Sajhe Sapne. He was very happy to hear about us. He then told his family about us.
Shalini didi asked him where he was from. He said “I am from Germany”.
After some time, he came to our table and said “Can I pay for your party?” We were shocked and stared at him speechless. He put Rs. 1000 on our table and went away.
It was such a surprise to receive money from a stranger. We did not know anything about him except that he was German. We realized how good some people are in this world.
But now Shalini didi will have to give a party again. This party was given by a German man!
Some questions to ponder on: What made a total stranger do this deed? What was about the group that inspired him? What would make you do this for someone?