I was waiting at the bus stop that evening for my usual 4 O'clock ride. After a long and exhausting day, I generally sub consciously think of the refreshing shower with cold water once I reach home. Since that was a Friday evening I was thinking about the weekend movie plans with friends.
Then I saw him. He looked like a well fed and pampered adolescent boy like me. He was also dressed like a boy from a well-off family. He was holding out a polythene cover and trying to convey something through hand gestures to a man standing next to me who looked like he was in his early 40s. The man who although looked confused fetched out an $2 from his pocket and placed it in the polythene bag. I understood that the boy cannot speak.
Then the boy approached towards me with a smile. He was pointing to something towards the other side of the road and then held out the bag. I can see some $1 and $2 notes in the bag. Although I could not understand what he was trying to say or where he was pointing to I thought he must have some genuine reason for asking money. I too dropped in an $5 note. He thanked me with a smile and went on to the next person.
Almost everyone present there gave him a 1 or 2 because he looked decent and I observed there were only 1's and 2's in the bag.
He thanked everyone with the same smile. He then crossed the road. All this while everyone was observing him. He too then fetched out an $5 from his pocket, put it in the bag and gave the bag to a physically disadvantaged woman sitting on the foot path beside the bus-stop on the opposite side of the road. Even from the distance I could see that her face was lit up with absolute gratitude. And then he walked away gracefully.
I was absolutely dumbstruck. So were the people around me. And as for me I may not even have acknowledged her presence and be engrossed in my own thoughts. Boy's action put every one of us present there to shame and the way we ignore others who are less advantageous than us. I was still deep in my thoughts when my bus came. And I boarded wet eyes and a smile on my lips.
At that moment itself I knew that his endearing smile and her glinting eyes would forever be etched in my memory and would never let me lose hope in humanity. To me that was a show of humanity at its peak. Do something small for the less advantaged people around you. And do it frequently.