Mango Man

I Trusted A Stranger Who Came For Namaz. And That Is When It All Came To My Mind!


“What seems good turns bad, what seems bad turns good. It is an endless cycle.”   -Brenda Shoshanna

That evening I was returning from my classes when I had stopped by the shops in my neighborhood to buy some stuff. While I was waiting for my turn at the counter, I noticed a thin old man wandering to and fro the colony gate as if in search of something or probably someone. He grew more and more perplexed with each stride.

My next instance with him was at the gate where I could barely comprehend the words ‘Masjid’, ‘Namaz’, amid his mumbling. I figured that he had set out for the evening Namaz at the mosque and lost track of the path that made him land there. His eyes sought help. I could not overlook his plight and asked him over to get on the back seat of my Scooty. I lowered the footrest but he had already seated himself slackly and didn’t seem to care about it. I had some idea about the location of the nearest mosque and hence rode off. On my way back home, after safely dropping baba, yes, I called him baba, all those moral science lessons kept coming back to me and pumped up my heart with contentment incurred from helping a needy.

I did not get a pat on my back, rather met two pairs of anxious and fairly terrified eyes. My father went on reassuring mom that I was completely safe. Yes, their young daughter was home completely ‘safe’ after picking up a total stranger, a ‘man’, from road and dropping him safely! What was wrong with me? How could I not look at the obvious? Their fear ridden words struck my senses hard as if newly opened to awareness.

This is not a utopian world! You can’t trust anyone and everyone. Haven’t I read and seen immeasurable incidences of utterly heinous deeds already disgracing humanity? What if I had been trapped by my own idiocy? Wait! That was merely an act of helpfulness! That old man did no harm. He did not touch me even mistakenly. I was not only safe, but rather glad for helping him. What if he was a con masquerading as an old man beseeching help? What if he was a part of some malicious racket? What if I hadn’t returned home? Maybe I am over thinking. What I did was something that I as a human am hardwired for in the first place- a mere humanitarian act.

I am torn between the kind and the unkind. The good in goodness. The ‘if’ and ‘but’ in my thoughts. My doubts are pretty reasonable. “What seems good turns bad, what seems bad turns good. It is an endless cycle.” These sentences carry a deep meaning. Who knows if it would have been good for me to be less sensitive than to be sorry some day, some other time! If a seemingly good deed were to cost me my life or even worse the sanctity of my soul, would it not further diminish the belief in good deeds? Would it have been wrong to say – it is kind to be unkind?

‘A man gets robbed by an accident victim.’ The detailed description to this news headline reads that a benevolent man had stopped at an accident scene at a highway to help out the victims when many other passers-by had not even cared to slow down. To the kind man’s horror, the supposed victims were thieves in reality. He paid heavily for his kindness. This incident is a permanent blot on humanity. Reports of crimes by imposters asking for lift at highways are not new to our eyes and ears. Even murders have been accounted.

Why does the kind bear the repercussions of kindness this way? Doesn’t it bring the whole concept of helping others in the circle of suspicion? Why does it seem that the paramount inhumane forces are laughing in the face of compassion?

Battling through varied notions, one picture that emerged clearer of all is that I made the good side weigh a little heavier that day. Maybe, that little human instinct is all that is needed. “One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.” The Herculean task is to restore faith in humanity and gain control. I don’t intend to induce negativity in this already downbeat scenario, but will merely quoting those great words get my questions answered? Would words like ‘faith’,’ trust’, ‘compassion’ learn their true meanings?

Somewhere someone wishes the answer be affirmative.

This post was earlier published here

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