In a span of 10 hours, I transitioned from hoping to relax in the weekend to be on a plane to India. If you had read my travel post, you would have known my last week was really taxing. From 600 miles overnight Uber ride to missed flights, to be in three different states – I had my share of fun. I was so looking forward to the weekend to rewind and be ready for the next week. But as luck would have it, I landed upon this plane for a one-day trip to Delhi.
In the hullabaloo of the last week chaos, I missed telling you a heartwarming story. So, I thought this would be a good time to narrate the same.
Last week I landed in Louisville quite late. The preceding snowstorm in the Midwest had put the airports in complete turmoil. My flight was also not spared, and I was two hours late. I took a ride share from the airport to my hotel. The ride was about 20 minutes. My driver was a lady in her fifties.
When the situation permits, I enjoy interacting with people. I initiated the conversation and she warmly reciprocated. She grew up in Germany and had served in the defense force. She was vibrant and took pride in narrating everything she knew about Louisville. We spoke about Derby, fireworks, about the town and the famous eat outs.
My hotel was in downtown and the car was at the red light across the street where my destination was. Time was way past midnight and there was hardly a soul on the street. Suddenly I saw she is rolling down the passenger side window. I looked at her with prying eyes, doubting her intentions. Then I saw a person running towards the car. Before I could comprehend, I saw her handing him a 10-dollar bill.
He was a homeless person and was holding a placard asking for help. I wondered what he was doing in the middle of the night. Was he expecting her? Her gentle voice took me out of my brooding, “God bless his soul”. The person folded hands and bowed to her in complete gratitude.
I walked into the hotel perplexed. My mind was blurred thinking about what I witnessed. She was burning her midnight oil to make her ends meet. 15 dollars was what she earned, and she didn’t think twice before giving away a huge portion of her earning to someone she didn’t even know.
In the world we live in every time we turn on a channel or read the newspaper all we see is hatred and war. But stories like this would always reassure that there is still humanity left in this world.
PS: I gave her a good tip. The least I could have done.
Copyright © Shantanu Baruah
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