3 stories about the kindness of strangers to end the year!
2022 is about to end, and we’d like to end it on a sweeter note—sharing stories of kindness shown by strangers.
“I was on my way to work from Mahim to Andheri when I got into Surender’s cab. The entire ride, we made small talk about the weather, the traffic, and the city. I was eager to speak with him, because he isn’t from here and I wanted to know his story. He told me about his family in the village and how he was managing his income, keeping only a bit for himself and sending the rest back home.
By then, I’d reached my location and was rummaging through my bag; only to realise that I’d forgotten my wallet in my other bag. The bill was almost 230 Rupees, which is a big amount... even for me! I told him, ‘Bhaiya, I’ve forgotten my wallet!’ and started apologizing profusely. But the whole time, he was so cool about it! He just said, ‘It’s okay madam. We all make mistakes from time to time.’ I was shocked. I expected him to be mad, instead, he was consoling me! He even told me, ‘Madam, you’re getting late for your meeting. It’s alright, please go and best of luck!’
I took down his number and went for the meeting without paying. But all day, I couldn’t stop thinking about his act of kindness—coming from a place where he needs the money more than I do.
Next morning, I called and asked him to meet me at the pick-up point. I repaid him, with a little extra, to make up for the trouble he went through, but he didn’t accept a single penny above 230! So after, I took him for breakfast and we chatted about life as we sipped on some hot chai.
I haven’t seen him after, but I always wish him well, because where he could have been angry and bitter, he chose to be kind and understanding. We’re often so caught up with the big things, we forget about the little ones—the ones like these that make life beautiful. So go ahead, be that person today. Be kind; the reason someone smiles and thinks… the world isn’t so bad after all.”
“In this line of work, I meet all kinds of people—some are rude, some are kind, some are very talkative and some are just indifferent. After a while it all just becomes a blur, but a few years back I had a passenger who I still haven’t been able to forget. He was an old uncle, maybe around 80. I was parked on the other side of the road and saw all the auto drivers rejecting him.
He tried for 10 minutes in vain and I could see that he was getting tired, so I crossed the road and offered him a ride. He told me that he lived just a few minutes away and that’s why no one was ready to drop him. He told me that he had come out to buy some groceries but was too tired to walk back home.
He was so grateful, that he invited me inside and offered me a cup of chai. Initially I refused but he kept insisting so I agreed—we got along really well, he was very intelligent and gave me advice about my life. He lived alone with his wife and said that I reminded him of his son who was working in America.
He told me never to lose the kindness I had inside me, and that he was proud of me that day for choosing kindness over money. I didn’t meet uncle ever again after that day, but until today, everytime I feel like the world is unkind, I remind myself of that day and make it a point to prove that no matter how anyone else behaves…kindness begins with you.”
“A while ago, I was on the local train when a lady in my compartment couldn’t find her ticket and didn’t have enough money for a replacement. The conductor asked her to get off the train at the next stop—this lady looked so humiliated and scared.
I decided to pay for her ticket. I didn’t know her, but if I was in her situation I would have wanted someone to do that for me...so I did. She thanked me, I said it was okay and forgot about it.
A few days later, I was shopping at a market, when a lady came upto me and asked if I recognized her. Turns out, she was the one I helped on the train! She insisted on paying me back and we ended up getting coffee later—she’s one of my really good friends today.
So I guess, sometimes, just put yourself in the other person’s shoes and attempt to FIRST give the kindness you expect from the world...and life may just end up surprising you.”
Being India’s biggest storytelling platform, Humans of Bombay is all about bringing you extraordinary stories of ordinary people. With 2022 ending, we bring you these stories of kindness shown by stranger, to remind you that no matter how bad things get, there’s still hope in the world. If you’d like to read more such stories, check out our book and dive into the diverse tales of a country with a billion beating hearts!