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Unexpected Acts Of Kindness

GERALD ESKENAZI

 

 

 






I'm going to share a couple of experiences I recently had on the subcontinent that, I think, gives resonance to that old saw about the guest: “The guest is god“.

A bearded man in a turban -- a sure sign of a Sikh -- stopped a few feet away as I was negotiating with a taxi driver in Delhi. One of the screwball things you have to get used to in India is that most taxis have meters -- and many of them are stowed in the glove compartment so that a passenger can't see them, and so is at the mercy of the driver.

What you do, quite simply, is either not take that taxi, or insist that he show the meter, or negotiate a price.

Well, there I was, discussing fare with the driver, when the man in the turban came over, and said, "Excuse me." He asked where I was going, and started to talk in Hindi with the driver. After a few seconds, the stranger said, "Your fare will be 500 rupees."

That was about $7 -- a fourth of what the driver originally insisted on.

On another day in Mumbai, we were standing on a corner, apparently looking confused. And guess what? Another fellow in a beard and turban approached us. He asked what we were looking for. When I told him we wanted to bring home some presents from a government-run store, he said, "Come with me. I'll take you there."

Then he added, "Don't worry. I'm a Sikh man. I am honest."

And he was. He walked us over to the place we were looking for, gave a slight salute, and walked away.



[Courtesy: Forbes & Associated Press. Edited for sikhchic.com]
May 5, 2018
 

Conversation about this article

1: Harpreet Singh (India), May 05, 2018, 10:39 AM.

Many salutes to such Sikhs who always help others. Really proud of them. Great write-up!

2: Preet Singh (New Delhi, India), May 05, 2018, 11:02 AM.

In a nation gone mad, I am proud to say that Sikhs in this country remain oases of compassion and kindness in a sea of inhumanity. Our biggest challenge is to resist hinduization - a virulent goal of the Hindutva plague that has enveloped this land - so that we remain, always, beacons of light for all who are in need, voiceless or, for one reason or the other, weak.

3: Ajit Singh Batra (Pennsville, New Jersey, USA), May 07, 2018, 6:18 PM.

The two Sikhs described in the article are God-conscious persons. Their belief is 'to serve God is to serve humanity.' The Sikh in Delhi could not be indifferent, listening to the discussion between the author (passenger) and the taxi driver. He resolved the matter by admonishing and forcing the driver to accept the fair price. This is indicative of moral and spiritual growth acquired by Sikhs in their gurdwaras when they hold langars.

4: Ravinder Singh Khalsa (USA), May 12, 2018, 11:52 AM.

Love this, reminds me of how I should be all the time. Spreading love and joy around the world :)

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