Before I begin this post I must tell you this, (not really) Watson and I are suckers for Random Acts of Kindness. We adore stories of people who do good deeds without expecting anything in return and are the reason for someone’s smile. So even though today’s post has fresh content, it still revolves around the same central theme. Guilty (Not).
December is exam season in med school. If you take a walk through our campus, you will see people huddled in groups in random spots over an open textbook trying to cram as much information as possible. The library needless to say, is packed with different cadres of students.
The first years holding bones in their hands, trying to figure which part of the body it belongs to, the second years carrying books heavier than them, the third years like us, the final years who have only to put up a placard saying “don’t you dare come talk to me, I have no time”, those preparing for their post graduate entrance exams and the post graduates themselves all with the common aim to just get through these exams.
As twilight approaches each day, the sky outside gets beautiful and cool breeze starts to blow. People like us; we step out with our books for a breath of fresh air and a change of scenario. (Read: the library smells of sweat) We sit under the trees or on the grass and study. Trust me, it feels as refreshing as it sounds.
However, there is a hitch. Apparently we have to head back inside the library as soon as the clock strikes 9. You’d think it’s because the authorities want to keep their students safe from malaria. Yeah that isn’t true. It’s just a bizarre rule. Every night then, the security guard who I’ve recently known is a boy of 20, comes to each one of us and “requests” us to go back in.
And we as convincingly tell him we’re on our way. Satisfied with our answer, he moves on to tell the next group of students the same thing. After he has finished telling everyone and seeing how not one person has budged, resigned to his fate he goes back and sits in his chair. (In our defense, the library is really HOT.) But, this is routine. And by now we are all immune to it.
It so happened that on this particular day, the head of security came on rounds at about 21:30 hours and seeing all of us still studying outside, he went cuckoo in the head. He yelled at our very-innocent-not-his-fault- security guard and threatened to have him fired. Filled with guilt, all of us slowly trickled back in.
On my way in, I heard him talk to an insignificant guy who had also been out there studying, “He yelled at me in front of all of y’all. Its okay what can be done?” and smiled and walked off. That night as I lay in bed, the guard’s smiling face consumed me with guilt. I went to sleep with thoughts of “Damn, I feel so bad for him.” Come next morning and all was forgotten.
The following night, as we sat outside on the grass, we were on the lookout for the head of security guy. But we sat outside to study after 21.00 hours nonetheless. Twenty minutes later, this seemingly insignificant guy comes back from dinner holding with him a parcel of what could only be food. He says something to the guard, hands him the parcel and gives him a small pat on back. Then he picks up his book and continues studying.
I wasn’t the only one watching this. As I absorbed what had just happened, I looked around to see my expression of wonder and awe being reflected off of others’ faces too. Oblivious to him, a collective murmur of “Did he just get him food?” “Oh my god that’s so sweet of him” “Damn dude” went through the group of onlookers.
While I just felt bad for the guard, this guy actually went ahead and did something about it. I saw the smile on the guard’s face when he took the parcel from him. One insignificant man’s one random act of kindness inspired one trivial girl to write about him and probably restored some of the onlookers’ faith in humanity. The insignificant man did his very significant part. It’s time for us to do some.
Who knows what a little kindness can do? You could set off a chain reaction. They say, no kind action ever stops with itself. So in the spirit of Christmas, let us all go out and spread some love today. God knows we could all use some of it. No act of kindness, however small is ever wasted.
P.s. For those of you who are from our college and reading this; The guard is a 20 year old boy from Assam. He finished tenth grade last year. He works as a guard to save money to finish studying 11th and 12th grade. If nothing else, smile at him whenever you see him. Apparently we intimidate him.
And if he can work as a guard to make money to finish his education, we can get through this month of exams too. All we have to do is park our asses in a spot and study all day 🙂
Also, 18 days until Christmas, yayy!