Too Quick to Look

Are you kind ?

Think about it before you proceed further.

Kindness –  That was the topic I was going to discuss with my class yesterday. And my class consisted of a bunch of 6-10 year olds. These are good kids. I know them to be. At the start of the class, I asked them to pull a chair from the many lying around and sit. Most of the bunch did. A few little ones, could not pull a chair. And so, I did for each of those kids. When every one was seated,we started talking and I finally asked, why did the older kids not help the younger ones with the chairs. After all, isn’t that kindness ? And their reply was ‘Oh! who? I did not see anyone struggling with the chairs’. (After thanking God for such a teachable moment), I replied , ‘We did not see cause we did not look’.

Cycling_Amsterdan_03We did not see because we did not look.

I do not see because I do not look.

When asked to sit, my eyes dash towards the best seat. I grab one, pull it to the best spot and sit. Proud of my accomplishment.

When I’m hungry, my eyes look for the nearest and quickest source of food. I do not look at the next table, where a hungry mother is silently watching her kids eat.

When I am in a hurry, my eyes look at the watch and the road. I do not want to look at a homeless man asking for money.

When I am tired, my eyes just want to close. I refuse to look at a depressed friend.Not yet anyway.

Till I am satisfied.

Once seated, I will look around. Maybe then, I will spot someone I can help.

Once my hunger has been fed, perhaps my eyes will wander to the next table.

Once My destination has arrived, as I wait, I will help someone with money.

Once I am rested, I will invest my time in a friend.

What if…what if the maybes ,the perhaps and the waits never happens?

We all want to help. If we had the power to heal the sick, we would. If we had enough money, we would help the poor. If we have the time, we would volunteer in a shelter. If we…. , then we would….. . If we …….. , then we would …….. .

But If we were to honestly ask ourselves, when was the last time, we had enough money, achieved all our goals and just had extra time ? When was the last time, we put others first before us?

Let me ask again. Are you kind?

Do you not see because you do not look?

Letters from Calgary. Canada and India.

Dear Exwhyzee,

How are you doing?Hope you and your family are well.Me and Arun are doing great.I’m slowly beginning to settle into a routine here. We have quite a lot of friends here all living close by.So, that is a little bit fun. Actually, a lot of Arun’s colleagues live in the same apartment as us. It kinda reminds me of our hostel days.

I’ve been here for almost a week now Exwhyzee, and I think it is safe to make a comparison between India and Canada now.So, here’s what I’ve found so far.

Traffic

Traffic at its peak in India

Nothing can be compared to our Indian traffic.You know what I mean right ?. The traffic here is so discipled.Every one follows the signals. No matter what time it is.I can see vehicles on the roads stopping at a red light in the middle of the night even when there is absolutely no other life on the roads.I find this really fascinating. Makes me think about India, where we definitely do not have patience to wait for the yellow light to pass.

The pedestrians are given much respect here.They only cross at the intended places.NO random jumping on the road here.Lot of people seem to prefer the public transport.The roads are not covered with cars as in India.Makes me wonder when India will become like this.

Work Culture

I cannot comment on what happens inside the office, but the city comes to life at around 5 in the morning. I can see people on the roads hurrying off to work early in the morning and returning back at around 4.Gosh, this is an awesome habit that I seriously wish India would somehow learn.But I doubt it.No slogging overtime all the time.Arun says that Canadians work smart.Of course, we Indians work smart too but I think we trying too hard to prove ourselves.

Shopping

The shopping culture is more or less like India. Actually it’s more like Bangalore. So, I din’t find that much of a difference in this category except that the people and the shopkeepers are all very polite.Remember, I wrote about that yesterday? Click here to read it.There are shops here like megamart where there are sales  happening   throughout  the  year.There are a lot of Indian restaurants here.

A typical Indian 'potti kadai'

One thing that I miss here are the ‘potti kadais’ (read ‘shop in a box’).Back home in India, once you start cooking and you realize some ingredient is over, you can always run across the street and get it. You will be that close to some shop.That is not possible here. You have to plan ahead.

People

Like I keep saying, people here seem nicer and more polite.Last night, while entering the restaurant, a friend suggested that I leave my coat at the coat hanger.My immediate reaction was, ‘What if somebody flicks it?’. But I guess that’s the way it is here. I’m not saying that no one steals here but I am saying that maybe it is a little better here in Calgary than in India.

I don’t think I will ever be able to figure out who are the native Canadians. There is a whole mixture of communities here.Just like Bangalore. So, not much of a difference there.Just like Malaysians use the sound the ‘la’ at the end of their sentences and Tamilians use ‘inga’ at the end of their sentences, Canadians use the sound ‘a’ at the end of their sentences.(I’m not sure if I’m getting the sound right.I’ll tell you when I’m sure.)

Church

The church that we went to was pretty much like All People’s Church in Bangalore.So no difference there either for me. I saw a lot of churches here as well.Just like India.

Internet

The internet speed here is amazing. I no longer have to pause and wait for the video to load on YouTube.I can actually click on any playlist and let it play. Isn’t it awesome?

There’s a lot I can keep comparing Exwhyzee.But , I don’t have the time now.Will definitely write more about the differences soon.

Life sure is easy here Exwhyzee.I agree without a doubt. Everything is more organised here and it would be fun living here.But India is my home.And to me, home is where family and friends are.So, bring all my family and friends here and I would love to stay here.Else, I’m not quite sure yet.

Missing you.

Love’

Angel.