Free shipping on orders over $50!

Adventures in Kindness

***Written by production manager, Jane Mellema***

“Your electricity bill didn’t come. You need to go to Khasa Koti and get it.”

“Why?” I asked the guard in a bit of a frustrated tone. 

“Most people in the building got theirs. Yours and just a couple others didn’t come.” 

My mind took off. “Okay, it is their responsibility to get the bill to me if they want their money. Why did just a few not come? In the building where I used to live, the guard showed us the bill, took our money, and took care of the payment. Don’t they have any compassion on a single lady living alone in a culture where men so often take care of these things?..........” 

The guard decided he would make sure my bill had not gone to a neighboring building. After his inquiry, he learned that other nearby buildings also had a few mysterious missing bills. 

I didn't have time to go search for the utilities office that day, so every time I saw him, the guard reminded me. 

One fine 110 degree afternoon, I got on my scooter and decided to begin my adventure. I went to the place that I thought was “Khasa Koti.” The guard at this location, after an initial blank stare, pointed to a nearby building and said “down behind that building.” 

I did not find an obvious way down behind the building, so I went inside to ask. The man in the office seemed lost, but soon another young man came. After hearing my scenario, he was very adamant that the office was in the opposite direction. I set out on my journey but decided to stop at a dilapidated Department of Tourism building to get a third opinion. 

Each room I entered was vacant. Only the sound of a ceiling fan broke the silence. Finally, at the back of the building, I found one room where several men were gathered. After hearing my plight, they called a man over and told him to go point the direction to me. I was impressed that this kind man would take the time to walk all the way out to the road with me. After reaching the road, he continued to walk. I assumed we would stop at the corner. However, he continued to walk with me. Sweat was dripping from our foreheads. He led me for nearly a half mile. We reached the utilities building and went through the gate, up the stairs and directly into the right room. He waited while I talked to the worker. I was told I had to return Monday to retrieve my bill because the system was down (!).

The man and I walked back to the office. I wasn't as frustrated with the situation as I would have expected, probably because this kind man set aside whatever he was doing to walk with me and ensure that I was taken care of. He wasn't bothered by the interruption or the time it took. He calmed my mind. I imagined that I would have been frustrated if I were in his situation pulled away from my work. Without his help, who knows how many more times I would have had to stop and ask for directions.

I returned Monday. The bill was printed up for me, but I was told I had to wait until the next day to pay because something in the system was down again. Tuesday was the bill’s due date. 

I was thankful that my need was not considered a waste of time to the man at the Department of Tourism office. India continues to teach me lessons in patience, kindness, and not giving up!

Photo credit: Rennie Abraham

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published