Thursday, March 30, 2023
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Kind in Deed!


I fell in the bathroom.
Luckily I hit the floor without hitting my head anywhere.
It was a swoosh, a splash and a plop! And there sat I on the wet tiles.
In my shock, I wondered if I had broken any bones and slowly, ever so slowly, I got up.


My doctor husband who was getting dressed didn’t seem to be bothered by the sound. And when I finally came out limping and said that I had had a fall, the only response I got was an ‘Oh’.Questions like ‘Are you okay?’ and ‘What happened?’, were out of the question.
Being a Sunday, we had visits to make and it was late already.
Sulking at his indifference, I limped into the car and sat in stony silence.
A few minutes and a mile or so later, he remarked that he had to visit a patient enroute.


Wounded, my pride would not allow me to ask the questions that arose in my mind…Who? Where? And Why? Soon a lad of about twenty five, waved and got in.From their friendly chats, I gathered that he had been waiting at the roadside to show us the way to his house, where his father lay bedridden.


The car skidded off the tarred main road and drove through a winding muddy lane, bordered with huge trees and lush beautiful green foliage.
And when we reached a dead end, beside a gushing stream, we all got out. I was told to either follow them or stay behind and before I could make up my mind, they started to walk uphill.


I ran after them, trying to catch up. It wasn’t a difficult climb but we soon came to a narrow ledge where only one person could walk at a time. I clamoured behind them and tried not to look down the steep side. Soon we reached a clearing, where stood a tattered little house.


The roof was covered partially with a bright blue tarpaulin sheet, for an additional protection from the rains that would otherwise seep in through the broken tiles, that looked like decaying teeth.


As they walked in, I followed them into the shabby room, that was neatly kept.
There by the window, lay a sick man,half naked, covered with a sheet, on a cot.
A woman appeared, smiling and offered us plastic chairs to sit, after wiping it with her towel.


Two young heads peeped shyly from a room inside, which I guessed was their kitchen.
The sick man seemed happy to see his doctor and went on chattering animatedly.
I was asked to step out for a few minutes while the man got his catheter removed and a new one inserted.
I went out and stood under a shady tree, overwhelmed by the squalor and the helplessness of these poor folks.


After the procedure, the mother called me in and we were offered sweet tea in tall glasses.
Later as we took leave, the family gathered together and showered us with blessings.
As we walked downhill, I was told that since the lad had to carry his dad to the hospital along the narrow precipice, my husband had offered to visit him.
I saw the lad trying to thrust a currency note into my husband’s pocket, which he adamantly refused but agreed to take just the cost of the catheter.
As I opened the car door, I was ashamed.


Ashamed to have been sulking with my husband for his lack of concern at my fall.
It dawned on me that love, kindness and concern are expressed by some people through their deeds.
A minor fall may not shake them but when the going gets tough, they go miles.
And I realised that
kindness is not just what you say.
Kindness is what you are.

AMRITA H S MOOLAVATTOM                                                                                                     KOTTAYAM


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