The other day I wrote about my experience with a couple whose vehicle had broken down on their way to the airport. It was incidental that I saw them stranded on the roadside and offered them a lift. And when the lady (an NRI settled in the US), expressed disbelief––“I never expected this to happen in India”––I responded spontaneously: “Young lady, it happens only in India.”
Kavita, my niece, now a US citizen, has responded to the post with:
“LOL! Though it happens outside India too, I can say for sure, having been on the receiving end of so many gracious gestures from so many strangers; country or continent no bar…”
I have revisited the incident in the light of Kavita’s remark. And, now I see an all new dimension of the incident.
The lady I wrote about was carrying a perception of India and the people here. For that reason, she did not expect such assistance in India.
My response was spontaneous, rather impulsive. Today when I look back, and analyse it dispassionately, I find two reasons for it. One, when she said: “I didn’t expect this to happen in India,” she inadvertently assaulted my pride as an Indian. And two, I haven’t been many places; I haven’t experienced much of the good behaviour of the people abroad. To say––“It happens only in India”––is, I guess, incorrect.
I love my India so do others love their countries.
What would I tell the lady if I were to go back in time and meet her under the same circumstances?
I would perhaps tell her (of course with a more pleasant smile), “My lady, there is more to India than you have seen, read or heard about. Now go, feel the heartbeat of my country.”
Thank you Kavita for sharing that thought. I value your opinion 🙂