Monday, July 19, 2010

Hope was at our doorstep


It is often said…Your good deeds will pay off someday. At the most unexpected, unpredictable time, when you are lost in the chaotic life. That one deed, which might have caused an impact in a person’s life, will just take any form and take you by surprise. I am sure it happens to most of us, sometimes consciously, sometimes without realization.

I am definitely not intending to focus much on what I did. It is close to nothing. But, it was a moment of joy for someone who had lost hope in life.

She walked into office one morning and asked for me. The receptionist asked me if I knew her. I repeated the name several times under by breath. As I walked towards the reception, I realized something and my eyes just widened. I knew her. I could not help but feel enthralled. It is strange I thought.

She was sitting on one of the sofas in the lounge. Initially I could not find her. My eyes were looking for her, more like a feeling, to make sure that I had guessed right.

Finally I found her. Her small petite body which had aged gradually, had drooped. Her gray and black hair was cut short, like I had seen earlier. I walked upto her. The moment she saw me, it was like a lightening of feelings which splurged into the void she was living in.

She hugged me, kissed my cheeks several times. ‘It is so good to see you…so so good…’ she said. I reciprocated by politely accepting and greeting her sudden rush of feelings. I held her hand, ‘How are you doing?’. She did not reply. Instead, she looked down and held my hand tighter. She then slowly raised her head and said, ‘Do you know how much it helped me. I did not know how I would get home that day…I had not even paid the autorickshaw driver when I came to the police commissioners office. You saved me’.

She immediately dropped my hand which was safely cupped in hers all this while. She picked her handbag. I said, ‘Please madam, do not embarrass me. I was concerned. You are like my mother. It is ok’. She said, ‘No child, I would not do that. I just bought you some chocolates. You are a young girl and I am sure you like chocolates’.

The next second, a big bar of chocolate was in my hand. I did not know what to say. I sat her down. ‘How are you doing?’ ‘I am ok darling’ ‘Did the police address your problems?’ ‘not really. I think they have been bribed’. She then tried to tell me what the problem was. Words, hard to comprehend—House, brother-in-law, wall…and the rest just drifted away…as she gasped for breath…gulping away something which was choking her…trying hard to control…but not for long. Tears rolled down her wrinkled cheek. I said, ‘Please hold on. I will look up this case for you’. Her face lit up. ‘Why? How?’ The next few seconds just went by in me explaining how we could solve her problem.

Loyela Mascarenhas was a 60-year-old woman I met at the police commissioner’s office. She had approached me when I was running around on my routine. We had spoken for exactly three minutes. In those three minutes, I had to ensure she was ok to get home safe. In those three minutes, she managed to tell me that she will meet me again. She had asked my name and my place of work.

Close to one month after that, there she was, sitting beside me, with tearful eyes, but, this time, a lot better. There was a smile in those eyes. She said, ‘I got my hope back…’, and she walked away.
I smiled. There was a feeling within me. A feeling of satisfaction, happiness. My otherwise troubled mind, just seemed to open up. A feeling of freshness, when rain droplets fall on a withered leaf. Smile is all I could do since then…Hope had just knocked my door too.