Raise your voice for #1000Speak
Madhumita is my friend of almost 4 years. We meet occasionally, chat up a few minutes, and then I rush off to the direction I am headed in. Over time, we have become to each other ‘that face in the crowd that we recognize’. A smile is my silent acknowledgement, loud clapping is hers. Madhumita is an eunuch.
About a month ago, Roshni shared an initiative of raising a 1000 voices for compassion in the blogosphere. #1000Speak seemed like a fabulous idea. The date was 20th February, a day that was special to me. It was the Blog Anniversary, my third. I thought it would be an awesome way to spread some happiness. I signed up. As the days quickly became weeks, and they are known for that notoriety, I was sure about one thing. I did not want to ‘write about the topic’. God knows I do enough brand promotions. I wanted to do something about it.
And so I did. On an impulse, I decided to meet up with Madhumita, and this time stay back and talk instead of whizzing past once the traffic signal turned green. And you can’t go empty-handed to meet a friend. So off I was to our family fav cake store, ‘Love, Sugar & Dough’. On another impulse I asked for 10 boxes of cupcakes. I decided to walk the entire mile, figuratively.
Madhumita was there with two other friends. Delighted to see me walking the street, she was only too happy to sit and chat. I got to know that Mumbai was her home for the past 12 years. People now recognized her as a familiar face at this traffic signal. Many would ask for blessings when they were headed out for something important. She felt that this city has its heart in the right place, just that people need to put it out there more often. Her only grouse, the new metro had made commute easy for many of her regular ‘friends’. As a result, business was slow, but she was happy. The city has been good to her. I told her I was a writer and would write about this, our meet. She quickly asked me to take a picture, too. I laughed, and obediently obliged.
There was this warm feeling inside that I can’t describe. I had another seven boxes to recreate it. I decided to say thank you to a handful of people who contribute to my life. People who, perhaps, are not in the same social strata, yet are an integral part to a certain middle class standard of living. I headed to my all time fav hangout, my beauty salon. It is a mini India out there with a huge chunk dedicated to the North Eastern part of the country. I have seen many faces come and go, a few have lingered and through our conversations I have witnessed their metamorphosis. To them this city is home, now. And any client willing to hear their stories is extended family. Their words soothe, and gently their fingers work their magic, else I’d be a grizzly bear, I tell you. Today, I went in not as another client to be waited on, but as a friend who’d just got a haul of baked goodies. A whole lotta pictures and jokes and jibes later, I had one where I managed to get all of them in one frame. When they asked me what was the occasion, I answered I was trying to be as ‘sweet’ as them. With a promise to return soon for a facial (that I have been putting off forever) I decided to wrap up. Yup, that warm feeling was tagging along.
I reached home. My rickshaw bill was almost 200 bucks. I thanked the rickshaw driver profusely for waiting while I ran my ‘sweet errands’. On yet another impulse, I handed him a box. For a minute he was too overwhelmed to speak, and then when he did……….I couldn’t talk. He said this city was home for the past 25 years. He had ferried all kinds of people. Some were nice, some not so nice. He dealt with them in the same coin they handed out. But today for the first time someone had managed to surprise him, pleasantly. He also added that his daughter loves cakes. I hid behind my camera and thought I saw a blurry picture. Kindness, honestly, don’t cost the moon, now does it?
There are more stories, but this is all I have the time for, today. One of the biggest lessons in compassion I learned was from my first cat Tinkle who adopted a new kitty into ‘her territory’ with such ease. Never once thinking of how her space would be infringed upon. It just seemed like the natural thing to do. And I wondered why are we not programmed thus? The things we worry about are inconsequential. And we worry so much.
Remember, to dust we are to return, yet the earth owes us nothing. We owe our existence to her. And by that relation, we are equals, all of us. And the least we can do is offer compassion and not just lip service. So take time to be kind. Someday, you might be in need of it, too. You wouldn’t want an empty bank account now, would you?
Song Credit : Disney’s Send it On
Pics : BlogwatiG
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