Monday, December 16, 2013

Good Samaritan

Have you regretted not having thanked someone enough who helped you? It has happened to me a couple of times. Its not that I have been thankless; but the feeling of never been able to thank enough. The gesture or help may be small but at the right time; when needed the most magnifies the trivial help. I thought I need to share this incident here because such incidents restore the faith in humanity.

During my latest trip to Brunei; I had to transit via Kuala Lumpur. I was flying low cost carrier and hence the terminal was LCCT, KL. It so happens that most international flights arrive by mid night and the onward flights are not until dawn. Since its LCCT; you are required to walk almost a km to the arrival hall and if not having a direct connectivity; you will have to pass through immigration. The walk to the arrivals is tiring in the middle of the night for someone who doesnt stay awake late night. With luggages its more tiresome.

The queue at the clearance was long and by the time I got the stamping it was post 12:30 AM. My onward flight to Brunei was at 6 AM and its that time when you dont need anything else other than sleep. I was walking by to find an empty chair but none. I tried and tried and gave up. Every chair was occupied; people sleeping and waiting for onward flights like me. I didnt know this; else would not have opted for low cost carrier. Seriously thats what I thought.

I saw few people sleeping on the floor and the idea didnt seem bad. I found a corner near the counters and lied down. It was awkward; lone woman with no shawl to spread even. The floor was cold and I was finding it difficult; trying hard not to invite any attention. It was hardly 10 mins past when a janitor walked by. He asked me something in Malay; I gestured I didnt understand. Then he spoke in bit of English he knew. I said I was from India; waiting for my next flight which was at 6 AM. He asked me to follow him. I didnt know what to do; but just got up and walked behind him. He went near a luggage bubble wrap counter that was cordoned off. There was no one; the shop was shut. There was a cozy chair and a table. He asked me to rest there. He snapped off the ribbon; allowed me in. At first I was hesitant. You never know. But I just trust him and thanked him. Left my bag and luggage nearby. Used the table to rest my head and tried to sleep. I did notice that the man was sitting by for a while and could hear him chat with others.

I didnt realize that I had good sleep. I woke up once in between and noticed him standing at a distance. I remembered to thank him again for his great help once I wake up. I woke up just after at 4 when the bubble wrap shop in charge person walked by to open for the day. It was time to get my boarding pass as well. I searched for the janitor but didnt find him. His cart was also missing. Maybe his shift started or it ended. I never saw him. I felt that I should have thanked him more .

I am again flying to KL this Friday. I will be surely searching for this person and if I find him; remind him of his help and thank him profusely. These things really makes your day; isnt it?

And now; I am off to Malaysia and Indonesia for 15 days starting Friday. Vacation yeah! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Read and Travel

These days I've been having my WHY days? Lotta questions - at work, personal or otherwise. One of them that constantly bothers me - Why are people so ignorant?

I know of people who dont read a book, who have not traveled, who dont talk to others who could share different knowledge; talk about different topics. But talk to such people for a while and they would behave as if they know everything. Sadly, I have a couple of them as my close friends. Its difficult to adjust with them when talking about something they think they know better and sadly; everything they claim as true will be not.

Read. Period. Your perspective of the world and the people will change. It improves your vocabulary. And of course; you get to enrich your ideas and knowledge. There is never like "I've read too much". I started reading because I liked it. I loved the fact that I could learn by just reading few pages. I didn't know then what a great gift I have. I feel pity on people who dont read. How else would you know that there exists a country called Vanuatu? Or that Da Vinci designed a humanoid robot in the 15th century?

Some of my guy friends say reading is a girl thing. Hell what? But none of the women I know read; the way reading should happen. People read those fictions and novels; and God! these days everyone is an author and its terrible. But yeah! who am I to comment? I would be worse than most who have at least attempted a fiction :-D

There's a proverb in Kannada. It roughly translates to "Travel around the world or at the least read books". Yeah, but I think both are important. Traveling opens a whole new world. Its so rich; its so very rewarding. You gather so much of experience. You get to know the way people live, their culture, their practice, their habits. You get to interact with them, try understanding them.

You develop that understanding, that adjusting behavior. You will learn to give in, to let go, to prepare for the unexpected, to not be surprised. You learn to co-exist with the dogs, the raccoons, the cockroaches. You learn to appreciate even the minutest of help. You learn to trust, you develop trust. You learn to make that extra effort; in everything and everyone.

You learn to appreciate everything and anything; and learn to pause and savor the most mundane of moments. You will not pick on mistakes and you'll learn to forgive and forget. More importantly; you learn to love - truly.

So read and travel.